The Q&A Archives: Frost bitten Japanese Maple tree

Question: I have a 3 year old Japanese Maple. It looks like the frost got the best of it...but there are shoots coming up from the ground. Is there anything I can do to possibly plant them? Or are they useless suckers? Thank you very much for your time Donna

Answer: Some Japanese maples are grafted onto a different rootstock (for hardiness or for size) so I suspect the suckers are coming from the rootstock, which would be entirely different than the type of maple you purchased. I'd recommend pruning the suckers off so they cannot overtake the grafted top of your tree. While the late frost may have damaged the leaves and some of the smaller stems, it probably did not hurt the main branches or the trunk of your tree. Prune it lightly to encourage new growth and then take a wait and see stance. Don't be surprised if your Japanese maple competely leafs out later this spring. I hope so!

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