The Q&A Archives: Planting Trees

Question: I received 2 Japanese Maple trees and am going to plant them soon but I have heard they are very sensitive and need special care and also that they are supposed to be planted on the north west side of the house????? Can you clarify?
Also have a very large rose bush that was two at one time and was planted together. Can I now seperate them to plant in different places at our new home we just purchased? When can they be cut back?? Thanks so much for your time.

Answer: Japanese maples need protection from hot afternoon sunshine. Find a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade, and amend the soil with organic matter prior to planting. They appreciate moist, slightly acidic soil. After planting, water deeply once each week and your maple should thrive.

If the rose bush actually has two distinct root systems it can be separated without problem. Winter, during their dormant season, is the best time. If after digging and washing off the soil you can find two different root systems, you rose bush can be divided with ease. However, you may find that the two stems share the same root system. If this is the case you should still be able to divide the plant - just make sure that each stem has a healthy mass of roots attached. Replant in a spot that gets all day sunshine and they should grow and flourish. Rose pruning is typically done in spring, just as the buds begin to swell. I begin by cutting all the canes down to 18-24" then removing the dead (obviously gray) canes and keeping only 3-5 of the healthiest looking canes. Everything else is pruned back. On these reserved canes, cut each back to an outward facing bud, in the direction you want the plant to grow. New flowering stems will grow from these canes.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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