Shantung Maple - WSJ

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Hope everyone had a nice, safe Thanksgiving. I am hoping for the community's help with a Shantung Maple I recently bought through Ebay. The tree arrived and had been broken to hell by Fedex. It was bought through a trusted seller, who i know from experience packs the trees securely. But looks like Fedex failed to "handle with care" to say the least. Below are the photos from the listing, showing the full tree as ordered and below that are the remnants after the Fedex handling/delivery disaster. My question to the community is, where should I start with rebuilding this beauty? Hard to tell if any buds still on whats left of the "leader." Should The tree be chopped to the lower branches or should I give it a year or so to see what shows itself on the top. I hear, but don't know, that these are good at back-budding.

Thank you for your input and feedback, it is most appreciated.

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keri-wms

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If I was you I would get it in the ground and develop from there. You’ll save SO much time even if you just want a smooth taper at the top. Unless you go for a hollow/“split” trunk I suppose…. I’ve got one of these in the ground myself!
 
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I like that idea except I have to move to CA in February and want to keep the tree. Should have made note of that in my original post. Thank you for your reply.
 

keri-wms

Shohin
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Can’t you get it in the ground at your new place once there? Re damaged branches areas, wrapping them in grafting tape seem to help them survive/not dry out. Cut paste seems to get into cracks where it gets in the way but maybe that’s just me!
 

sorce

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I'd like to see you use that bud in the last pic to restart it from.

Sorce
 

Shogun610

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Oh man , I saw this what a shame. Are you getting your money back from fedex? What avout that small branch still intact up top? I’d honestly not touch it , might pop buds up where branches broke.
 

Colorado

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I have the same question - whether you should just chop to one of the lower branches in the spring as a new leader 🧐
 
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Oh man , I saw this what a shame. Are you getting your money back from fedex? What avout that small branch still intact up top? I’d honestly not touch it , might pop buds up where branches broke.
I have attempted to get my $ back from fedex though I should look into it. Suppose I’ll need to see what kind of shipping protection/insurance the shipper had in it.
 
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I have the same question - whether you should just chop to one of the lower branches in the spring as a new leader 🧐
Seriously considering it, but I’ve noticed some little buds shining near the top on the trunk. Thinking I’ll see how things look this year, and if it doesn’t do anything up top will think real hard about mowing it down to the lower set of branches. There are some decent buds showing closer to the trunk on the lower branches that should be good back up.
 

keri-wms

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Your rounded nebari mean you can change the angle more easily, if it was me I’d stick it in the ground at 30-45 degrees using that pair of lower branches as a new leader and first branch. But I would do the chop in a year or more, the tree would need vigour in the lower branches first to avoid dieback. And I’d do it in more than one step. No hurry to create a big wound on a slow moving tree, on the other hand any (careful!) wiring to the lower branches can be done before it’s revved up so you can dodge scars. You could potentially layer the top off but there’s the dieback risk again.
 
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Wow, nice tree in any event.
Thank you, John. I'm happy with it too. Just want to get it back moving in the right direction after this unfortunate setback.
Your rounded nebari mean you can change the angle more easily, if it was me I’d stick it in the ground at 30-45 degrees using that pair of lower branches as a new leader and first branch. But I would do the chop in a year or more, the tree would need vigour in the lower branches first to avoid dieback. And I’d do it in more than one step. No hurry to create a big wound on a slow moving tree, on the other hand any (careful!) wiring to the lower branches can be done before it’s revved up so you can dodge scars. You could potentially layer the top off but there’s the dieback risk again.
Still considering putting it in the ground at some point, but as mentioned above I am moving in late January and not surer if I will be buying a house right away, or renting until I figure out exactly where I want to live. In any event, once that gets sorted out, I am considering a ground plant as it seems like the extra room for the roots will allow for quicker healing.

Want to see how the tree responds this spring from the FedEx butcher job and hopefully it puts out some nice buds.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts.
 

Colorado

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I think you could get comparable healing while maintaining better control of the roots in a wood box vis-a-vis the ground.

You have a nice nebari there, would hate to ruin it by allowing a big thick root to run too much in the ground.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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