pruning and transplanting - Knowledgebase Question

richmond, Vi
Question by sneaders
March 23, 2010
We have a japanese maple that has flourished, but has not gone to purple leaves, and we think we should move it to more direct sun. when is best time of year in my region to transplant? also, when to prune trees and shrubs.

Answer from NGA
March 23, 2010


Japanese maples grow best in shade, or at the very most a few hours of morning sun and filtered afternoon shade. The leaves or a red Japanese maple should emerge purple. They can sometimes fade in bright sunlight, but they won't be green - unless your maple was grafted onto a vigorous rootstock that has overtaken the Japanese maple top. In this case the leaves will emerge green and remain green all summer long. Check the graft (swollen area) on the trunk of your tree to see if it is still intact. Sometimes cold winter weather can kill the graft and sometimes stems and branches from the rootstock can grow up and overtake the tree.

If you decide to move your tree, spring is the best time to dig and transplant. Pruning is usually done in spring, unless the trees and shrubs are spring bloomers. If so, wait until flowering has finished to do your pruning.

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