This is a “Monday’s with Mike” segment. Our Members like to know what I am up to in my nursery at any given time so I try to keep them updated and at the same time, offer up information on plants, caring for them etc.
In this segment it’s spring and we are digging Japanese maples that have been planted in a bed for several years. We are bare root digging them for a number of reasons.
- They are planted very close together so there isn’t much room to get in there and dig a ball without damaging the other plants.
- If we were to dig them and burlap them, even treated burlap only lasts a few months before the bottom of the balls start to rot and when you move them all the soil comes out.
- By bare rooting them we can get them in our super loose, well draining, potting mix, and that makes Japanese maples really happy.
As soon as they are dug, within minutes really because we don’t want the roots to dry out, we heel them into the potting soil pile. Once that is done the trees are safe and happy. In the potting soil pile they’ll start making new roots because the severing of roots during the digging process stimulates new root growth and that’s really good.
We made a movie of the digging process, enjoy!
Now we have all kinds of time, weeks really, to get them potted. They’ll leave out in the potting soil pile and that’s fine, pulling them out to pot them won’t hurt them because no roots will be damaged when taken from the potting soil.
It’s important to note that we are digging these trees before they leaf out. Once they leaf out digging them is likely to kill them dead as a door nail! I tell people this all the time. Make sure you get everything dug that needs to be dug before the plants leaf out. If you miss that window of opportunity the next chance to dig isn’t until after Thanksgiving.
You can see from this photo that there are all kinds of different varieties of Japanese maples in this collection. Did you know that there are well over 1,000 different kinds of Japanese maples? Yep! Sure are.
Marcie Clinkenbeard says
To get rid of Yuccas dig out a hole in center of plant and use lots of epsom salt in hole with a little water, About 3 to 5 times and it dies and then dig out.’
I laughed at the comment about trying to remove a Yucca plant. My husband would dig one up and 2 more would take their place. Dig those 2 and 4 would be there. I offered some to my cousin and she said, “No thanks! They call them Yucca for a reason!” I happen to like them but I think I’m in the minority.
About the Japanese Knotweed, that should be I MOW over it, and YELL at it! It is awful stuff! I also read that in Britain you can’t get a mortgage if it is on the property or on the neighbors property!!!
Hi Mike, Any ideas on killing Japanese Knotweed? I’ve lived here 2 yrs and been fighting it since moved in. I thought it was bamboo but it is Knotweed. I now over it, use herbicide, dig it up, cover it, swear at it, tell at it and stomp on it!!! It was really thriving in and now I don’t let it get far, but of course, every rainy season it goes crazy. Help! I’d read to plant a pumpkin patch there???? Thanks!
You can spray it, smother it with cardboard and mulch or you can till, re till and till some more until it’s gone and doesn’t come back. Then use a pre emergent to keep seeds from germinating.
DONNA LYNN Hall says
Hey Mike! My neighbor house is being demolished because they are putting in a road. he has a pretty large Japanese maple and Other trees that he says we can dig up before demolition. What is the best way to dig these up so they don’t die when we transplant and would it be worthwhile to do.
Don’t move them until after Thanksgiving or they are likely to not make it. Using the search bar on the right search ‘moving a large Japanese maple’.
Mike, any suggestion on how t KILL a YUCCA? I had some in an area where i wanted to put a raised bed. Dug down 2-3 feet and removed all of the old yucca plant that i could find, Then put gasoline/oil mix (old weed wacker mix from last year) on them, waited a couple of months, then filled the hole and raised the bed. That was over a year ago, now the yucca have sent new sprouts up. Those boogers are tough. Any thoughts on how to really kill them?
Best thing is to remove those sprouts as soon as they appear. A plant cannot survive it you continually keep it from photosynthesis.
I learned a tip that might work if you absolutely have to move something after they leaf out: remove almost all of their leaves, that way they won’t loose so much moisture and might actually make it. I have tried this on about 8 small trees and most made it. I just couldn’t get them moved in time this year or last because of some crazy warm winter weather.
I don’t think I would try this if I were selling them, but for my own personal “they are in the wrong place and will die there,” I tried it.
Hi Mike – I just received a 7gal “Rainbow” JM as a gift. It appears healthy but has only a handful of variegated leaves. Balance are a mix of purple & green. Purchased from a reputable nursery but I’m worried that it has already reverted. I’m totally new to this & not sure what to do. Thoughts?
They really don’t revert, just get taken over by suckers that should have been removed. See this; http://japanesemaplelovers.com/one-finger-pruning/
Glenn Davis says
Mike do you have any dwarf Japanese maples?
I have quite a few, different varieties. $39.00 and $99.00.
Marcie Clinkenbeard says
Can you please tell me the type of maples. I would like to buy some; I live in southern California. Thank you
This is a question best asked in the members area because it does require some conversation and an exchange of information. And in the members area you can often buy Japanese maples for around $15 each. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
I have a Tamukeyama Japanese Maple. It is already almost 4+ ft. How do you propagate and also how do you prune.
Propagation of Japanese maples is not simple, they are typically grafted. See this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2011/04/pruning-japanese-maple-trees/
Have a young Japanese maple planted may 12 and the Japanese beetles attacked it. They have eaten all the foliage my question is will it be able to survive the attack so soon after transplanting and if so about how long before it would get new leaves if ever
It should recover if the beetles leave it alone.
A landscaping service moved three false cypress bushes for me in the fall. It is now April and two of them are very brown with almost no green showing at all. Will they come back if I prune them back to the bare stump will they send out new shoots?
I don’t think I’d prune them yet. Just leave them and see what is alive and what is not. Give them a chance to make some new growth. But don’t be overly optimistic.