A few things to look for when purchasing a Japanese Maple Tree.
TIP 1 Where did the tree come from; how old is it; how many times has it been repotted; was it a field grown tree recently potted into a container? (BEWARE OF THIS ONE)!
The seller should know the history of the plants they are selling.
TIP 2 Do any of the main stems have injuries or wounds? Damage to secondary limbs that can be pruned out are not as critical.
TIP 3 Will the seller guarantee the variety is true to type? (There are a lot of mislabeled trees on the market). Buy from a trustworthy source, or purchase in the spring when the tree has foliage. This helps assure that you are getting the variety you want.
Tip 4 Is the tree grafted or on its own roots? Different varieties are grown from cuttings, grafting or from seed. If it is grafted inspect the graft union. Be sure it is well-healed and not fresh or loose. Graft unions are easily broken in wind, snow or ice. If it is cutting-grown, make sure it is well rooted.
TIP 5 Most important is the root system! Has the tree been grown using any root enhancing methods? Most often the purchase of your Japanese maple tree will be the most important and most expensive plant or tree in your garden. Be sure you are purchasing a tree that has been grown using root pruning methods. I stand by the motto “You get what you pay for.” Many chain or box stores sell trees cheaper, but there is a reason. Most trees are grown row run (not sure what this means – in rows?) in fields, dug-up and freshly potted for sale that season. Few or no feeder roots exist. When they are transplanted the root system is disturbed and many times the tree will be shocked and fail to recover. You may get a free replacement tree but this will cost you time and money.
I have been growing Japanese maple trees for 20 years and the best root enhancement method to date is the fabric bag growing pot. Compared to other growing pots or methods on the market, plants grown in a Root Pouch® have a healthier root system. PERIOD! The fabric bag allows for optimum oxygen exchange, a lower perched water table, better ground heat and cooling transfer, eliminates all circling roots, and produces the most feeder roots of any other growing container. What does this mean to you the customer? You are purchasing a plant or tree that has been grown using the best growing method available. These root enhancements will allow your tree to establish more quickly in your native soil, due to the abundance of feeder roots. You tree will tolerate soil moisture fluctuations better, which reduces leaf burn or leaf scorch.
A healthy tree is a happy tree and is less likely to sustain insect or disease problems. Lastly, Japanese maples that are grown using the root enhancement Smart Pot® tend to grow faster!
To see and purchase Japanese maple trees grown using Root Pouch® Pots click here