Bloodgood Japanese Maple - Knowledgebase Question

Pine Bluff, AR
Avatar for rdpetty71603
Question by rdpetty71603
June 20, 2005
I have a 6.5 foot bloodgood Japanese maple that I purchased and planted in late March. The tree is in partial sun except for about 4 hours of the day when it is has full sun.

I dug the hole three times the diameter of the root ball and backfilled with a 1 part sand and 3 parts potting soil up to the top of the roots but not over.

I water daily for the first two weeks and everyother day since, but I have noticed that the leaves are turning green. Some of the leaves are turning brown around the edges. I have used a fungicide and pesticide when I noticed that something was eating small holes in the foilage.

I was informed that a true bloodgood maple would never lose it's red color is that true?

Answer from NGA
June 20, 2005
Your new tree has certainly gone through a lot in the last 3 months! Transplanting can cause some stress to a tree, especially if the weather is hot. It will overcome this stress as soon as the roots become established; the best thing you can do for your tree is to water deeply once each week. Watering every other day isn't good for your tree and will encourage the roots to remain at surface level instead of working their way deeply into the soil. When you water, apply the water slowly so it has a chance to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. 15 minutes with a sprinkler is probably about right, but you can water deeply and wait 3-4 days, then dig a small hole down near the roots and check the soil moisture. If the soil is moist 3" beneath the surface, your tree won't need watering again for another 3-4 days; if the soil is dry, it's time to water again. After a while you'll be able to judge when to water your tree without first digging a hole to check the soil moisture.

Spraying with both a fungicide and a pesticide may very well burn the edges of the leaves or change the leaf color. Either product could have oils in them that might coat the leaves.

Bloodgood maples usually have deep maroon colored leaves all season long (but the pesticide and fungicide applications may have compromised your tree's ability to maintain this color this year).

Be patient with your maple; water it regularly and wait for it to become established (which may take the rest of this growing season). Next spring it will produce new leaves which should maintain their deep maroon color.

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