I was told you shouldnt defoliate japanese maples?
However In my experience:
I have one that seems to be very touchy and gets leaf burn especially easily. I just cut all the crispy leaves off (about 1/2 or more of total leaves) and they always bud back out nice and fresh. I dont see the issue with total defoliation at all.
Joe this is yet another somewhat hotly debated topic. Ryan Neil for example will tell you never, ever to defoliate a maple. On the other hand you have Bill Valavanis, considered a maple expert par excellence, does in fact defoliate some of his maples.
I defoliate a few of my maples occasionally. It works for me and never have I had a tree wither and die or even weaken because of it.
What "color" were you hoping for? Defoliation doesn't improve the "spring" color of new leaves. It only (sometimes) improves the color of leaves in the fall. If it happens, it will come.
As for leaf size, did you fertilize heavily before or just after defoliation? Was the tree kept in full or almost full sun as the new leaves emerged? Too much shade and too much fertilizer can lead to large leaves.
Down here in the NC foothills, I often defoliate twice in a summer.
I am trying to understand here... you defoliated (pics 1 and 2), then new leaves came out (pics 3 and 4).
Did they come out greener than you thought?
Where you expecting these to be redder? Are any of your trees showinf fall colors?
This Maple was taken as an airlayer 4 or 5 years ago by a gentleman named Neil Parker from Massachusetts. He does some propagation and sells some stock to NEBG. I happened to be there the day he brought this in along with several varieties of Elms cuttings and stuff. I definitely eyed this one but didn't have the cash with me. Well, to my surprise when I went back maybe two weeks later and it was still there!!! A little pricey, but if you want it, better do it quick because someone else will!!
Yes, a bit of wire would probably go a long way!!
That's actually a Surinam cherry belonging to an associate. Flowers like a Mimosa or a Raintree....edible fruit too, if a little bland!!
Apologies Lance. I realized that for whatever reason I read your post completely in reverse! Originally I thought you had taken off the leaves because they had gotten scorched. And the pics with leaves were the "before" pics. Not sure why I saw it that way
Now. The new leaves you have gotten from the tree being defoliated is usually always the case. In my experience you never get the original vivid spring coloration at least in green varieties. However, if you are successful in keeping your leaves in good shape all the way deep into autumn you will most likely see great colors out of your maple.
EDIT: I assume you defoliated the tree because your leaves were in bad shape?
Well, over the years, I've gotten more twigginess, smaller leaves that last much longer into the fall, and very nice fall color. Only defoliated once this year, though; I'm reducing my collection by 90% now because I'm too ill to care for them, and have no idea how they're faring since I haven't been able to visit my trees for some time.