help with a maple forest


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Ptown oregon

So two weeks ago - at the seattle bonsai auction, I got a maple forest. The main tree had some leaf burn which wasn't bad at the time (that only should have been the red flag) but you know at auctions trees go for really cheap and I somehow ended up with it. Anyway, now two weeks later, on the main tree, 100% of the leaves are dried out and I don't see any new buds swelling - I've never had to deal with leaf burn in the past cause I keep my maples in the shade most of the day and they only receive morning sun.

So the question is - is it dying or does it take time for the new growth to come back. I've defoliated trees in the past and I've never worried if it took a while but this time the tree took a hit and I don't know how maples usually respond to that.

Anyway, if anybody can help I'd appreciate it - I was gonna add a bunch of maples to the forest anyway but it would suck to lose the main tree.

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Do a scratch test, if under the bark is green there is a chance, if it is brown I'm affraid a funeral may be in order. In the meantime watch your watering and allow to dry somewhat between watering and place in a semi-shaded area until it recovers.
I was gonna do a scratch test but I think it's too soon and it'll be green anyway -
I was just wondering if they typically do that after being burnt - do they lose their leave before they grow new ones
In Michigan here I have had Maples bounce back well after leaf burn, but these were established in pots when that happened. What is the history of the forest, how long has it been potted, and do the trees appear to be healthy (other than the burn that is)? Are all the leafs burned or just some?

How about a picture?

May not be applicable because I live in such a different climate. I experience leaf burn on my maples all the time when I am not really careful. I have to move them into total shade the second I see signs that the ends of the leaves are getting crisped. I have never lost a tree to it, but they certainly look the worst for wear.

I always consider bad leaf burn as akin to a defoliation. It is stressful for the tree, but a healthy tree should bounce back. It is something that is very dangerous if it happens more than once per year however (on the second growth of leaves).
Are you sure it is leaf burn? Here in Portland I have my maples in full sun right now and we haven't had any weather that is close to intense enough to burn leaves. Might be wind damage, which we have had plenty, combined with a lack of moisture in the soil that dried the tree out. Also, damage to only one tree in a group is something that seems a little strange, unless that main tree totally shaded out/protected the others.
Well I dont have much history on this tree - it was donated for the auction and the owner wasn't present (again another red flag) but even if the main tree dies - it's still worth it. I wished I hadn't forgotten my checkbook at home cause trees were flying for pennies.

Anyway, I don't know when it was last repotter - it pretty well secured to the pot and fine roots extend all the way to the rim so i'm guessing it was repotted two or more years ago.

It's very odd for only one tree to be affected, I agree, and I'm sure it's more a combination of dry wind, sun, and possibly watering the tree in full sun. Again I don't have much history on the tree.

Hauling that thing around in the back seat of my little acura integra during the weekend I was in seattle didn't help either. It was sunny and warm. It didn't fit in the trunk and I had a large shimpaku in there anyway =)

I'll do a scratch test tonight just for kicks and then take pictures. I have a bunch of maples i can replace it with anyway, they just won't match because that forest has been in training for a while. I can tell for the very short internodes and aged bark.

Anyway thanks for the support and advices. I'll update this thread as time goes.
I honestly don't see how one tree in the middle of the forest could be affected by leaf burn, and the others be just fine. My guess is problems with that one tree's roots. It could be insects, but they would not confine themselves to one tree. It could be nematodes that haven't spread yet. About the only thing I can think of is to examine those roots.

That's it! An emergency repot is in order! Bareroot! Dry it out! Get the chainsaw and die grinder! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Sorry, did I say that out loud?
Well I guess i'm gonna repot it tomorrow during lunch break cause that's the only free time I have and It's gonna be sunny and warm - perfect for a repot :D

Would you advise fertilizing it once I'm done? maybe it doesn't have enough fertilizer...

Anyway, I'm just kidding and I'm sure you are too... if anybody is reading this, don't do any of the things that were suggested in the last two posts.

Alright. Enough messing around. Now it is time for some GOOD advice. Call Michael. Not sure what he will charge, but he of anyone around here can help you out....


got a chance to take pictures -

The new buds are starting to swell and should open up in the next month or so - it's been really slow
I'm pretty sure it was leaf burn - the other trees show some but not as much as the tall one.

Will add more trees next year when I repot.

Thanks for the help

update on the maple forest -

it survived the year and is thriving right now...

also - will add 7 trees next year - I bought these at the last club meeting for $10. They were seedlings started in 1996. I think it'll be a perfect match...


Big Change! Very nice Manny. Might add a couple of small ones in back on the right side to give depth.
It has grown a lot...and lost a bit its shape, but by now, I am sure you know how to sort it out.
I see you shortened some trees...nice!
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