Japanese Maple assistance needed


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Hi All, new to the forum. I am located in US- NJ. I have had 2 japanese maples die on me in one location. The first one was a bloodgood Japanese maple which lasted about 2.5 seasons before the leaves dried up and the bark started peeling off. We pulled that tree out and bought a Coral Bark Japanese maple. I did a lot of research on planting this time just in case I screwed something up last time. This tree was planted in May of 2018. We watered the tree every day- either with the hose or with a soaker hose on a timer. Never gave the tree any fertilizer as I was told it wouldn't need it. It looked pretty good last year. We wrapped it up for the winter, using burlap going about 3/4 of the way up the trunk. We used posts for the burlap giving the tree room to breathe (about a 6" diameter from the tree trunk to the burlap). We unwrapped the tree this year after the cold weather was over and it didn't look good, but not too bad yet. As the weeks went on it just got worse. Leaves shriveling up, the beautiful coral colored bark turning brown. And we had a very mild spring here. Right around the middle of May we realized that it seemed that the tree was dying and I called an aoborist to come out and take a look. He said we did everything right (planting, watering, winterizing) and that the spot these 2 trees were planted in may have fungus (Verticillium Wilt) in the soil and could be the cause of the trees dying.
I removed the tree today and took a number of pictures, one odd thing that I noticed was that there are a good number of strange white soft "roots", for lack of a better word, growing out of the root ball, you can see them in the pictures..
I am hoping that someone can provide me with some insight, as to whether or not I'd be crazy to plant another Japanese maple in this same location... we just want a Japanese Maple tree in our front yard!!!
Just as a backgroud these trees are planted in the front of our house facing the south so they are in the sun all day long.
Please see pictures and let me know if you need additional info, thanks!
 

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Welcome scottc2. :)

I agree with Chuck about the roots.

The root ball and the soil look very dry. I suspect that the location facing south is probably too hot during the summer for your Acer. It would be better in shade for at least part of the day. A windy location wouldn't help either as it burns the leaves.

If you intend to try again I suggest you mix some compost and fertiliser with the soil when you back fill the hole. Don't use fertiliser directly on the roots or they will burn. Also give the hole a good watering beforehand and make sure the tree is watered regularly for the first year. Don't rely on rain as that doesn't penetrate down to the roots, just the top few inches of soil.
 
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Just for grins why don't you cut the trunk at soil level, remove ALL of the dead roots and pot up the little stump and the live roots. You might even end up with a tree.
 
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IMO your arborist was correct when pointing the finger at,'Verticillium wilt'. This in simple terms contaminates the soil. Once this has been suspected, the wisest plan is to avoid planting in the same spot. Yes the soil can be removed and replaced with fresh soil. Depending asto the possible spread and contammination, I would stronly asvise having a thorough soil test carried out before any further tree planting.

Other pests of Acers include. Aphids,mite, scale insects, caterpillars, tar spot, leaf scorch and honey fungus.

Generally, Acers require fertile well draining soil. Most are fully hardy and only a few are frost hardy, these may need some wind and winter protection. General advice on tree/shrub planting. Select the site. Dig out a hole for planting, avoid burying the rootball/compost, keep the soil level the same. Prior to planting, give the hole a really good soaking, soak the root ball as well. IMO, if insisting on using any fertalizer, stick to bone meal. Firm the plant in and water. Unless you live in a semi-desert location, there's no need to water every day. Hope this helps.
 
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Just for grins why don't you cut the trunk at soil level, remove ALL of the dead roots and pot up the little stump and the live roots. You might even end up with a tree.
Worth a try but remember, most trees & shrubs are grafted onto root stocks. This method could result in getting a throw-back to the root stock. No offence meant.
 
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Worth a try but remember, most trees & shrubs are grafted onto root stocks. This method could result in getting a throw-back to the root stock. No offence meant.
Yes, Japanese maples are grafted onto rootstocks. Here in the US the rootstocks are just about always Acer Palmatum. I don't think I have ever seen an ungrafted mature Palmatum tree.
 
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Just for grins why don't you cut the trunk at soil level, remove ALL of the dead roots and pot up the little stump and the live roots. You might even end up with a tree.

That's a bit drastic, it might take years to see even a small tree, even if it survives.
 
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