village green zelkova & jacquemontii birch - Knowledgebase Question

Knightstown, In
Question by donniewwells
August 17, 2008
I have two questions regarding the above 2 trees. The top 3' of my jac. birch leans (the tree is approx. 15') should I trim it back or do I need to tie it to a ground stake to correct growth direction. I purchased and planted the tree this year, other than the odd growth direction the tree is in good health.
My village green which has been in the ground for approx. a month is showing wilting on the top part of the foliage. It was somewhat like this when I purchased it at the Home depot, is this just a stress related condition? I water it every other day unless there is rain. Thank you for your expertise... gratefully yours Donald Wells
PS in regards to a japanese maple do light conditions determine foliage color (light green vs maroon) and does partial sun mean mostly shade for this species?

Answer from NGA
August 17, 2008


It's true - most Japanese maples do best with morning sun and shade from the hot afternoon sunshine. With too much intense sun, the foliage tends to fade and can sometimes turn crispy around the edges. Partial sun means a few hours of morning sun and at least some filtered shade in the afternoon.

As for your two new trees, the top growth is new and has not had a chance to harden off. Leave the birch alone; the top will become more rigid as the growth matures. The stress related problems with your zelkova will improve as the the roots become more established in your garden. I would simply watered them well each week and allow them to adjust. Watering every other day is excessive, even in the hot summer months. It is better to water deeply once every 7 days to promote deep root growth. As the weather cools you'll only need to water once a week. I think one of the best ways to provide a deep soaking to trees and shrubs is to make a watering well or watering basin beneath each by mounding up a few inches of soil in a circle, about 12" from the trunk. Fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill a second time. Watering once each week in this manner will concentrate the moisture over the root mass, and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root system.

Best wishes with your garden!

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