Ask a Question forum: Japanese maple seedling

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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
May 15, 2014 7:18 AM CST
This JM seedling appeared and I'd love to save it but know I've read they shouldn't be moved at all for the first two years. I need help! There's no way it can stay where it is for two years!

Thank you.

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 15, 2014 7:59 AM CST
Are you sure it's don't move them until the 2nd year or don't move them until the 2nd set of true leaves appear? For small finicky volunteer plants/seedlings in the ground I take my bread knife and cut a circle around the plant about twice as deep as it is tall and a minimum of 6 inches away from the stem. I then let it sit for a week or so and watch it's reaction. If it doesn't react by wilting after a week I take a shovel and dig it up. I've had good success doing this.

If it does wilt then I leave it until it recovers then dig it up.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
May 15, 2014 8:10 AM CST
This is similar to what @Xeramtheum suggested, only uses a shovel instead of a bread knife and takes a bit longer.

Our local nursery had advised me to make a deep cut with a shovel...just once. Then wait several days. Make a second cut...wait...etc. until the shovel cuts encircle the root area. Waiting gives the small roots a chance to re-group and re-grow. After about 2 weeks of this cutting/waiting you should be able to lift it with a large amount of soil intact and move it to a better place.

Good luck Thumbs up
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
May 15, 2014 8:18 AM CST
Great. I'm so thankful to both of you.

I can understand the cutting or shovel cuts and allowing for the plant to slowly adapt.

There is yet another one in another garden, surrounded by lilies. I can't shovel into that spot, nor can I knife around it without slicing apart my lilies but perhaps this fall I can attempt to lift the lilies and save the seedling.

Let's hope both of these will be worth the work.

Thank you, Anne and Greene!
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
May 17, 2014 9:17 AM CST
Yesterday I found three red maple seedlings so I'll practice on them. After digging and potting, how long will it take to know if they survived? A month?

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