Japanese maple - sometimes necessary to transplant

Japanese maple - sometimes necessary to transplant

Moving the Japanese maple needs to be carefully considered

Basically, the following rule applies: the smaller the tree (and the smaller the size of its trunk), the more likely the project will be successful. Younger trees up to an age of around four years are usually not very well established in their previous location, and they are also more manageable than older specimens. However, the implementation needs to be carefully considered, because the sensitive Japanese maple can hold this measure very badly against you. However, there are good reasons for moving

  • wrong location (too little / too much sun)
  • unsuitable soil (too firm, wrong pH value)
  • wet soil / waterlogging
  • Wilt disease outbreak

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In all the scenarios described, the Japanese maple threatens to wither or even perish without a change of location, which is why transplanting would be the wiser choice in these cases.

Only transplant during the leaf-free period

However, the Japanese maple should only be replanted when there is no leaves. By digging up and moving many fine and coarser roots are damaged, so that the tree is no longer adequately supplied with water and nutrients. Since there are no leaves on the tree between November and April that need to be taken care of, moving during these months should be made safer. However - analogous to removing the roots - the above-ground parts of the plant should also be cut back.

What to do with the wilt disease?

An exception, however, is the wilting disease caused by a fungus, in which the susceptible Japanese maple can often only be saved with quick and courageous intervention. The pruning and transplanting should be done completely independently of the right time, after all, it is an emergency.

Transplanting procedure

The following applies to the actual transplanting: proceed as quickly and painlessly as possible. Cut off the root area around the tree in a wide and circular manner and loosen the root area below the maple tree with the help of a spade or a digging fork. Carefully lift it out, check the roots and cut back the sapling if necessary. Then put it back in its new location.


Support the transplanted Japanese maple in the new location with one or two planting sticks and water it abundantly and regularly.