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By Brentsa

South Africa Za

Hi all , so glad to have found this site , i never ever thought of looking for a gardening forum until my aunt, whom hardly knows how to work her phone suggested it to me after asking her for advise .

So question being .
Does Chinese maples take a little longer to give off new buds in spring ?

I have two small acer maples which is pushing out new buds and one has some soft leaves already.

My chinese maple on the other hand, refuses to give me any signs of life and panic is beginning to set in .

I did notice that my soil is very wet , I broke the plant bag a little and pulled it down to expose the soil and hopefully will dry it out and get more oxygen too the root system ?

Don't know what else to do , maybe a replant ?




Welcome to GrowsOnYou. If your Chinese Maple hasn't yet sprouted leaves, then I regret to tell you it's probably dead. Scrape away some of the bark to see if it's green or brown underneath. Brown=dead tree, green=live tree.

I don't understand what you mean by 'plant bag'. You have it growing in a 'plant bag'? Is this the bag from the nursery you purchased it in? They cannot support the needs of a Chinese Maple. They are only intended for safe transport to your home. Chinese Maples need a very large tub or preferably to be planted in the ground in rich, moist compost where the roots can sprawl along the surface. They need copious amounts of oxygen, water & nutrients. Now is a good time to snap up a bargain on a new tree.

29 Sep, 2018


I scraped some bark off very gently and it is still green so I know I have life, but my plant is deffinately letting me know it is not happy .

It is a nursery bag but I replanted it in there to grow with very good quality soil , I intend to use it as a bonsai so did not want to put it into the ground or huge pot . But now I am worried that my mixture was not porous enough for the maple. Im just hoping it can be saved .

29 Sep, 2018


I'm not sure what you mean by 'chinese maple' - there are japanese maples, Acer palmatum varieties, so I'm assuming that might be what you mean. If the bark is still green inside, give it some more time, but A. palmatum varieties are prone to a soil borne infection called verticillium wilt which causes die back and eventually death - they are more likely to succumb to this in very damp conditions. It's a wait and see I'm afraid... and if it does die back and you want to replace it, don't plant it in the same spot as this one.

29 Sep, 2018


I understand you want to create a bonsai, but it still has the same basic requirements - just on a smaller scale. Can you get it into it's bonsai pot now? I think that bag is the problem. It heats up too quickly which isn't good either. At least open up the bag so the top surface is exposed to open air, then poke a few drainage holes in the bottom.

29 Sep, 2018


The lady I bought it from had it labeled as Chinese Maple and I never really thought to question if it was named correctly but the leaves was a stunning red .

I got this little guy just before winter set in and it was losing its leaves at the time and I redid the soil hoping that when spring started ... it would take off .

I have a nice oversized pot for it but will repot it in the morning though , my back is shot from working in the garden whole day , within a week , plants is being covered by faster growing plants and I have been bending and clipping the entire day.

Thanks very much for all the help everyone.

29 Sep, 2018


Putting it in an oversized pot isn't a good idea though and surely the wrong thing to do if you intend to bonsai the tree?. Ideally it needs a pot no more than two inches wider than the present rootball. If the plant bag its in now has no drainage you need to get it out of that straight away before you repot.

BUT if you want to bonsai it you might find it very helpful to get a book on bonsai techniques, as they are totally different from normal growing. If you try to do it without instructions you might end up killing the tree.

29 Sep, 2018


Ah,bonsai,that wasn't mentioned in your original question - in regard to bonsai,there is a Chinese Elm - or a Japanese Acer....

29 Sep, 2018


Steragram, at the moment the tree is very young, I didn't want to put it into the earth simply because it will be a challenge to get it back out after the roots take hold, but growth is by no means a bad thing in bonsai , certain branches or roots we leave growing tobgey thickness in certain places and that growth its our trees saying , "hey , i like what you doing, do it some more " , at the moment I am not training any root system for bonsai , at the moment I need to get the tree healthy before I can even consider bonsai and putting it through extra stress of root or leaf trimming.

After everyones advice I think I just need to get it flourishing again and into another pot , If the time does come and the tree survives ... I'll just have to trim it back and do heavy root pruning once the tree has hard growth .

Bamboo - yeah sorry , never mentioned that because I havnt touched it in the sense of getting it to a bonsai just yet ... I'll be seeing the lady from the nursery very soon and I'll be asking her for some more details on the tree .

29 Sep, 2018


So did some investigation on the "Chinese Maple " , turns out that it is what she said it was , proper name is Acer buergerianum .

And I apologise for the typing errors in the previous post , I have a new phone and these buttons are so darn small , that along with terrible auto correct = a nightmare .

30 Sep, 2018


Excellent!! Turns out there are several maples native to China that do very well in the North American landscape. Good luck with your bonsai. Acer buergerianum would make an exquisite bonsai and I hope you post a few pictures. To me, it's a botanical sculpture and there are a few members here who are very skilled at doing it.

30 Sep, 2018


That was a really good read , thank you .

At least I do not need to worry about snow and freezing in south Africa, we barely even had hail this past winter in Cape Town and what we had was tiny ,maybe smaller than a pea .

And it would be my pleasure to post some pics of my bonsai , but I do not have any refined trees at the moment , when I was away my family never watered a thing for about 4 months and came home to dried up plants , only had 2 trees left , one which is sort of a suculant and managed to hold water but a lot of it never made it So the canopy is not very great . And my ferns , cacti and a bi colour rose bush (was a deep pink and white) , was attacked by mealybugs and they just rotted the plants from every which way and direction, I had never seen so many of them before .

Beneath each leaf by the trunks and on the base was black , soft and slimy the way they ate away at my plants , I touched it and the only way I can discribe it, and I apologise in advance , but was like snot, everything was just too far gone to take clippings to try and root . And your roses are stunning btw .

As for other bonsai enthusiasts , I hope i will see some posts on here of their little works of art ... can never get my bonsai nerd on enough and always something to learn . Next thing I aim on doing with bonsai is to air root some large tree branches which will be able to make nice thick trunk bonsai, but you must have patients of a saint and leave it too grow uninhibited for a minimum of 1 too 2 years for a strong root system... well that's what I do anyway , I don't want to say that's what must be done , I suppose many factors can come into play and you might have a tree which grew roots as a phenomenal rate and needs a new pot , I know redwoods tend to need a yearly repott because of their vigorous growth .

All of the new trees I have is going to take years to refine and get my little bonsai space back to what it was , my biggest and hardest loss was that of my bonsai weeping willow .... I was told I would not get it to survive as bonsai and when it was thriving .... I could kind of boast a little to the lady who told me it was not possible . Was super proud of that tree .... And all I did was have my pot suspended with a layer of air between the pot it was planted in the a container/base with water, so semi hidroponic and it worked like a charm , soil could be kept moist and if the plant wanted extra water then it had it . Maybe it was pure luck , who knows .

But really, thank you once again to everyone for their 2 cents , your guys opinions and knowledge is much appreciated and I'm sure with all the gardeners on this site and just with what I have read , there is a plethora of knowledge being shared on here . Truly enjoying this forum.

30 Sep, 2018


You can find the other bonsai gardeners very quickly. Scroll down to the alphabet across the bottom of this page ↓ select 'B' then 'Bonsai'. You'll see the bonsai gallery with members' name.

30 Sep, 2018


Apologies from me for assuming you were a bonsai beginner - there was noway to tell...

30 Sep, 2018


No need to apologise for anything , just like you said , you had no way of telling if I was a beginner and your input is valid , I am by no means an expert but you never stop learning with bonsai .

30 Sep, 2018

How do I say thanks?

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