Japanese Maples forum→Japanese Maple "Red Dragon" Leaves Turning Green - HELP!

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erikscanon
May 20, 2020 12:32 PM CST
Hello all, new here and need help!

I purchased a Japanese Maple, "Red Dragon" and planted it 3 weeks ago from an acclaimed nursery by my house. Ever since I planted it, the leaves have been turning green and I am ultimately confused.

It's planted so it receives 4-5 hours of morning sun then about 2-3 hours of half sun/half shade, then shade for a few hours until 6-8 p.m. with "soft" sun during sunset. I'm in Illinois and it's been 50-65 degrees f for the entire time with no freezing temperatures. I've been watering it every other day and started fertilizer on it yesterday with "Jacks 20-20-20".

From what I've read, it could be the root foot from grafting with a green tree?? However, the green is in multiple areas of the tree from branches under the main branches in the "shade" of the tree, to green leaves at the apex that are in the sun, even small branches near the trunk.

I don't know........

1. If these individual leaves can be "pruned" off to direct growth to other areas of the tree.
2. If the entire branch has to be pruned that contains the green as to contain the spread, "if it's because of spreading".
3. If it needs more sunlight or shade?? But as I said, temperatures have been 50-65 degrees f, with low's going to 40.
4. Does it just need summer sun to bolster to color, obviously not to the point of leaf burn?
5. More water?
6. Better soil?
7. More fertilizer?
8. Prune/Trim?

I'm just super concerned as I'm a new homeowner and spent a fortune working on landscaping for the first time and this is an expensive tree. When I bought it, it had NO signs of greenery. When the plant was stored at the nursery it was also under a shade tarp for it's the existence of being there.

Please help and thank you!!!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 20, 2020 5:23 PM CST
Welcome!

I think you're good but, you can always check with the nursery if you are unsure.

I just went out and moved the red leaves aside on my JM and the leaves below the top leaves are green. I'm surprised as this tree as always been red but it tells me I've never bothered to move the top leaves to look at the lower leaves. D'Oh!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
May 20, 2020 6:03 PM CST
Reverting to the root stock would be a new branch suckering up from the bottom with completely different leaves. Like this:
doublebhomestead.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/p1010113.jpg
(I'm not sure what the etiquette here is on linking other people's pictures? I hope this is ok)

You sometimes get variegation (leaves with white parts) reverting to plain green in the middle of a tree, but red doesn't revert to green.

So, no, you don't have to cut anything out. It's not going to get worse.

Like DaisyI observed, leaves that get more sun often have brighter color.

And that's about the extent of my knowledge of maples. You can really go off the deep end with titrating sun amounts, different soil mixes, containerizing, growing 57 different cultivars... trying to get 'the best' red, but basically, what you are seeing is how your tree naturally grows. You might see slight changes as it reacts to stress and new growth hardens off.
[Last edited by PlantingOaks - May 20, 2020 6:11 PM (+)]
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central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
May 20, 2020 6:08 PM CST
Also, I [em]think[/em] you're not supposed to fertilize Japanese Maples. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in on that point.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 20, 2020 8:09 PM CST
Fertilize? Now you tell me. Rolling on the floor laughing I don't fertilize. Never have, never will. Potted trees get enough fertilizer with repotting - I don't need to add more. As PlantingOaks pointed out, JMs don't like fertilizer.

The leaves in ericscanon's photo are not rootstock leaves. This is a really old variety so reversion is not an issue either.

Its all about available light. Do I need to take photos of mine?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
CPPgardener
May 20, 2020 8:28 PM CST
Actually, Japanese Maples like fertilizer as much as the next plant. If you want to get the most out of any plant, appropriate fertilizer (amount and frequency), proper light and moisture are equally important.
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These are a few of mine. They get Miracid 1tbl/gallon of water every Sunday unless it rains. The "Butterfly" was a 15" tall,1 gallon plant 4 years ago and now in a 24" barrel from HD.

Follow the directions on the package and you won't go wrong. Repeat, follow the directions.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
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bumplbea
May 20, 2020 9:40 PM CST
Oaks and CPP .. your JM are gorgeous and all in beautiful shape. No problems that Imsee and your trees will give you years of beautiful color thru fall.

The leaves will vary and different colors are normal in maples.They all react to the temps - cold- light - sun exposure which help create the colors. Many leaves underneath may not get enough air or Exposure to sunshine 🌞.

Some of the newer maples are on root stock that are grafted with red dragon . If the graft is planted above the ground it will revert slowly to green , the color of the rootstock and the grafted red leaf maple is lost.

In general a few leaves that are green are normal the temp and sunlight exposure will also have an impact on color and growth and less competition from plantings close to roots also eliminates some growth deficits . Some are considered understory trees and sunburn easily in hot summers and require protection from direct sun in afternoon. In newly young trees the first year they can be a bit temperamental until they adjust to the new growing conditions.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Teri
Seattle (Zone 8b)
Hummingbirder
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Teruko
May 20, 2020 10:10 PM CST
Eric- I see your Red Dragon JP is in the Plants Database and cwitt's Red Dragon also shows green leaves among the red. You could send him a treemail & learn if he has more info on this variety .I hope this link works for you.

I had 2 Bloodgood JP's which both succumbed to verticillium wilt. I had them for almost 10 yrs, they were a very dark red but during the summer their leaves would turn to a bronze color.

Welcome! to the JP forum!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
May 20, 2020 11:21 PM CST
bumplbea said:
Some of the newer maples are on root stock that are grafted with red dragon . If the graft is planted above the ground it will revert slowly to green , the color of the rootstock and the grafted red leaf maple is lost.


I've never heard that before...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
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bumplbea
May 20, 2020 11:24 PM CST
Teruko... that is hard to predict if the soil is infected. I had the same thing happen to a JM and just planted a rhodie in its place it does just fine in the same spot. Some maples are more susceptible than others. Mine was the the Bloodgood too. V wilt spreads thru the JM vascular system and the roots. Most don't show signs until it's too late.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Aquaponics Greenhouse Clematis Lilies Cut Flowers
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bumplbea
May 20, 2020 11:31 PM CST


Here's a good article on how the leaves turn green on grafted red dragon JM.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/...

Any plant, trees, shrubs that has a graft if planted with graft above the soil will revert to the root stock.

Im sure this is a rule of thumb and there are a few exceptions.


I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Teri
Seattle (Zone 8b)
Hummingbirder
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Teruko
May 21, 2020 1:00 AM CST
Bea - I took branches of my Bloodgood to the Washington State Univ Puyallup Research & Extension Center & paid to have them analyzed for verticillium wilt & they tested positive. I'm still grieving the loss of those trees after 5 yrs. Crying My husband suggested I replant with new maples but after watching the Bloodgoods grow for 8-10 yrs, I didn't want to chance it. I'm too old to risk it. Instead, I grow JM's in pots which is less risky Crossing Fingers!
central ohio (Zone 5b)
PlantingOaks
May 21, 2020 4:51 AM CST
bumplbea, The article you linked is referring to branches sprouting from below the graft on the rootstock. You can see in the picture I linked before red weeping leaves on the right and plain green leaves on the left? The leaves on the left are the root stock. It appears as new, completely mis-matched branches sprouting from low on the tree below the graft, not leaves and branches that used to be red slowly turning green.

here is another image of it happening on a larger tree:
www.walterreeves.com/gardening-q-and-a/japanese-maple-growing-a-vigorous-green-top/

It's the same phenomenon as suckers at the bottom of a fruit tree, or when part of a weeping cherry stops weeping.

here's a good picture of it happening on a weeping cherry (scroll down):
freeplants.com/free-article-pruning-weeping-cherry-trees.htm

It can also happen regardless of what color rootstock was used, just in that case the sprouting leaves would be a different shape and habit, even if they were the same color.

Just to re-iterate, this is not what is happening with erikscanon's tree. erickscanon's tree looks absolutely fine. Rootstock sprouts are not subtle.
Name: Teri
Seattle (Zone 8b)
Hummingbirder
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Teruko
May 21, 2020 9:03 AM CST
Erik- Sorry I hijacked your thread with my verticillium wilt tale of woe. Also, I sent you the incorrect link for cwitt's Red Dragon. This photo looks similar to yours. Here is the correct link:
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 21, 2020 2:59 PM CST
Please don't bury the graft or any part of the trunk of your JM's. If you have leaves coming up below the graft (from the root stock tree), keep them trimmed off or you will lose the grafted part of the tree. A healthy JM won't have a sucker problem, but, if the tree is an unstable sport, you will be battling reversions for the life of the tree. But, that has nothing to do with the root stock tree.

I have noticed that a lot of JMs recently are grafted at the top. Don't buy them; they are inferior trees.

Wilt has become a real issue on the Pacific Coast. I wouldn't try growing any JM's in the ground - pots are much safer. The disease lives in the soil so even rain splash could spread it.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

erikscanon
May 23, 2020 8:26 AM CST
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Seriously! I appreciate that everyone was so kind, especially on a forum. After hearing all of this, I believe it is just because of the shade, which makes sense as I potted it where it gets half shade and half sun so it doesn't burn in the summer. Plus, since I planted it, we had a week straight of pure clouds and it's actually turning more red as we speak. I just didn't want my expensive purchase to be lost.

Thank you again!

Erik
North Richland Hills, TX (Zone 8a)
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Rido
May 31, 2020 12:29 AM CST
It is fine. It looks like red dragon to me since I have one, mine actually on greener side since I live in Texas.Color depends on the several factor; temperature, soil moisture, right amount of sun exposure among the the top. As long as top leaves stay red. It is good.

Rashmedo
Jun 29, 2020 1:05 PM CST
Hi all need your guidance. I got this inabe Shidare lace leaf. The tree is about 6 feet tall but doesn't have spreading branches. I would love to have the canopy/ umbrella look. How should I trim this tree. Or should I wait for it to grow more
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Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Aquaponics Greenhouse Clematis Lilies Cut Flowers
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bumplbea
Jun 29, 2020 2:32 PM CST
Absolutely wait for it to grow...it's just a baby...
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jul 2, 2020 4:29 PM CST
Japanese Maples grow into their shape. No pruning is neccessary.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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