FAQ

really - people ask these all the time

I have a Shipping Question

How do You Ship?

We ship the plants in their container – so there is very little stress to the plant in transit. For more info goto: Shipping Policy

How do I get my Tracking Number?

Tracking numbers are sent out by UPS an USPS the day your maple is shipped.  Please check your email and spam folder. USPS will send an Endicia tracking number. If not found please Contact Us

Can I have My Maple Shipped Later or on a Particular Date?

Yes, not a problem – when ordering just mention when you want it shipped in “special instructions” area.

How much does it Cost to Ship a Maple Tree?

This depends on the size of the plant and the distance it needs to be shipped.  There is a shipping calculator you can use when you have an item in your cart.  Shipping costs are determined by weight and the size of the box.  It does not reduce cost to pack numerous trees in one box.  We do offer a discount for multiple tree orders to help with the cost of shipping.

HELP!!!  My Tree was Damaged in Shipping…what do I do?

We have shipped over 10,000 trees and usually there are no issues. But every once and awhile we will get a handler like this: Delivery Man

Take a deep breath and be reassured we will keep you as a happy customer.  Please take photos of the plant (and the box if damaged) email the photos to info@mendocinomaples.com and then Contact Us

I Received the Wrong Tree!…what do I do?

This sometimes happens – sometimes it gets pretty hectic shipping so please bear with us…we will sort it out and get you your tree ASAP. Please Contact Us

Only Part of my Order Arrived …what do I do?

This is common when we ship the order in multiple boxes. If your plants do not arrive within 2 days of the first box Please Contact Us

I have a Question about My Order

When Does My Order Ship?

Typically, plant orders go out the following Monday after an order is received. If you would like your shipment sent a particular week, please let us know in the special instructions area.

Can I make a change to my Order?

Yes no problem, but please do so before the trees have been packed! If you need to change or cancel an order after the trees have been packed a 20% restocking fee will be assessed. If you cancel your order after 48 hrs after it was placed – a 6% credit card fee will be assessed (PayPal is exempt).

How do I get my Tracking Number?

Tracking numbers were sent out by UPS the day your maple shipped.  Please check your email and spam folder.

My Tree was Damaged in Shipping…what do I do?

Please take photos of the plant (and the box if damaged) and Contact Us

My Tree was Stressed in Shipping…what do I do?

It is not uncommon for a little stress to occur when shipping. If the leaves looked a little damaged or wilted – do not over water.  Soak once and set the plant in a protected morning sun afternoon shade place for a few days to recover. Check soil moisture before watering with fingers – water when almost dry. Do not fertilize.  If the plant does not perk up within a few days- send us a few photos and Contact Us!

I Received the Wrong Tree!…what do I do?

This sometimes happens – sometimes it gets pretty hectic shipping so please bear with us…we will sort it out and get you your tree ASAP. Please Contact Us

Only Part of my Order Arrived …what do I do?

This is common when we ship the order in multiple boxes. If your plants do not arrive within 2 days of the first box Please Contact Us

My Tree Does Not Look Like the Cultivar it is Supposed to Be.

It is not uncommon for a young plant to look slightly different from the described cultivar. A young plant will sometimes have bigger and mis-shaped leaves. Dwarfs will often grow fast for a few years and then slow way down as they get older.

Color can vary as young plant is actively growing. When growing at the nursery – the plants here receive a modest amount of fertilizer and that may mask some of the reds and may create larger than typical leaves. If the plant is in the shade (we grow our plants in 50% shade) the red will not develop as prominently as with direct sun exposure.

Too much sun exposure can change the color of leaves dramatically.  If the tree is in the full hot sun it can “bronze out” and the color can be altered.

Sometimes (rarely) we will ship the wrong plant to you.  If you think this is the case – please send us a photo of your plant and we will sort things out.

Can you Appraise a tree for Insurance Purposes?

There are a lot of factors to take into consideration for pricing a tree and it would be best to talk to a local landscaper.

Can you take a photo for a plant I want to buy?

We are a small operation (basically just me) and it takes a lot of time to go out and photograph trees for customers. We have been in business for over 25 years and have a keen eye for what looks good. We will pick the nicest tree that we have for our customers. If you read our testimonials – customers are happy with the size of our plants and our selection.

If there is a particular form or shape you are looking for – please mention that in the “special instructions” area when ordering and we will do our best to find that for you in our inventory.

We are happy to take photos for plants that are 15 -25 gallon size (that will be picked up from the nursery). .

Can you ID a Maple for Me?
There are so many different varieties of maples it is almost impossible to ID a tree from photos.

I need help deciding what maple to buy...

Caring For maples

Help My tree was Stressed in Shipping...what do I do?

It is not uncommon for a little stress to occur when shipping. If the leaves look a little damaged or wilted – do not over water.  Soak once and set the plant in a protected morning sun afternoon shade place for a few days to recover. Check soil moisture before watering with fingers – water when almost dry. Do not fertilize.  If the plant does not perk up – send us a few photos and Contact Us!

When is the Best Time to Plant a Maple tree?

Since our trees are container grown – anytime the weather is cool to warm – but not hot.  Fall and winter are generally great times to plant trees – but if there is a risk of a cold snap (temps below 32° F within 6 weeks of planting time – wait until spring to plant.

How often do I Water a maple tree?

Watering depends on lots of things like soil type, size of container and climate – so it is best to check your soil moisture with your fingers to see if it is almost dry.  Water when soil is almost dry. 

In summer – on average every three days – depending on weather. 

The tips of the leaves on my maple are turning brown - what do I do?

If the leaves of your tree looked stressed it is usually from over watering or under watering.

In either case – since the leaves are damaged do not over water. Check soil moisture before watering – it should be almost dry before watering again. The plant will not need as much water as usual since the leaves are damaged and are not utilizing the water. Too much water can cause root rot.

Do not fertilize.

If the tree is in a very windy spot or excessively hot area I would consider moving it to a more sheltered area.  Mulch and morning misting help in extremely hot climates. Everyone has their own particular micro-climate so it is best to provide as much shade as possible when you are in extreme hot areas. If you can’t or don’t want to move it – the mulch can really help out.

My maple leaves should be Red - what happened?
All red leafed maples need some direct sunlight (2-3 hrs.) to develop their red color.
 
Our trees are grown here at the nursery with shade cloth to protect them from the hot summer sun since they are grown in containers. The shade cloth limits the amount of light hitting the trees which in turn limits the red color development in the red leafed varieties of maple.    
 
 
How Large of Container should I Plant my Maple tree in?

Japanese maples prefer to be somewhat snug in a container. If too much soil is allowed to sit around the root ball there is a greater chance of the soil becoming too saturated with water which can lead to root rot. This seems to be particularly true for smaller maples in containers. So it is best not to use a container that is too big for your tree.  A 1 gallon plant can go into a 2, 3 or 5 gallon.   A 2 gallon can go into a 5, 7 or 10 gallon.

What Climate Zones do Maples grow in?

Everyone has thier own microclimate – so I tend not to list the zones for particular cultivars. With that being said – In general, most Japanese maples can take down to zone 5 (-15° F). Full hot sun all day and heat is more of an issue with the Japanese maples than cold is. If you have hot direct sun consistently over 85° – planting in morning sun with afternoon shade would benefit good growth of your maple. Japanese maples have shallow roots and mulching can greatly benifit them in hot climates.

I have a Disease/ Pest Related Question

Aphids

Aphids sometimes bother the new growth of maples – but they do not harm maples long term. Aphids are little insects that suck on plant juices. They have to suck a lot of it to get the nutrients they need, so they excrete the excess water and sugars as a sticky liquid called “honeydew.”  Ants really like to eat honeydew, so they hang around and protect aphids from their natural predators (such as ladybird beetles). Since aphids prefer to feed on the succulent new growth of maples, they often become more of a problem after a plant has been fertilized.

Aphids can easily be controlled by spraying them off your maple with water. If they become a major problem for you, soap sprays (such as Safer Insecticidal Soap) can help. Soap kills them on contact, but it’s not a preventative spray, so you should revisit the plant periodically to see if it needs to be resprayed.  DANGER: Be sure to read the label fully.  Some soaps can harm maples – especially if sprayed in the heat of the day or hot weather.

I tend to just use water sprays and live with them.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is very common.  Conditions that seem to encourage powdery mildew include temperate weather and high humidity  Powdery mildew does not harm maples long term, but it can look unsightly and cause some of the leaves to drop.  Morning sun tends to help reduce the chances of it occuring.  Remove and dispose of infected plant leaves.
Generally we do not spray our plants with any pesticides or fungicides but have sometimes spot sprayed plants with this simple homemade solution that seems to help:
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of liquid soap
  • 1 gallon of water
Do not apply in full sun

Dormant oils (applied in winter) can help stop the emergence the following spring.

Black Stem – Bad News

Pseudomonas syringae pv. Aceris, the same bacterium that causes bacterial blight of lilac, fruit trees, and many woody ornamentals. It overwinters on infected plant parts or as an epiphyte on healthy tissue. It spreads with windblown rain, insects, and pruning tools. Bacteria enter through wounds or natural openings. Wound infection during budding may interfere with bud-take. Frost damage, high nitrogen fertilization (especially late summer), and heavy rains favor bacterial invasion. Most species except sugar maples are susceptible. Conditions that favor both of these tend to be cool and damp – high humidity – a situation in which the spores flourish.
These diseases are among the most widely distributed disease on many plants throughout the world. If your plant has this – it is best to discard and keep it away from other maples.
Control:
1.Protect from rain and frost, if feasible, in early spring or late fall. Plastic shelters have been as good as or better than chemical methods against the same disease on other crops.
2 .Remove and destroy dead and/or blackened twigs and fallen leaves.
3. Maintain adequate spacing for good air circulation.
4. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilization that produces a lot of late-season growth which causes plants to be more sensitive to winter injury and thus more susceptible to bacteria.
5. Rake up all leaves in the fall
6. Spray  the trees with phyton 27 or a copper sulphate in the winter may help.
   

Deer

Typically – deer will sample maples and then move on to more preferred plants.  However – a lot depends on how aggressive and hungry your deer are.  If you have aggressive deer, it is best to have venison for dinner.  Just kidding.

Actually, it is a good idea to stake your tree with fencing until it grows up above deers reach.  No maple is fully immune to aggressive deer.  Many of my customers tell me that Sprays (Not tonight Deer, Liquid Fence, Deer Out) work well if applied according to label.

Scale

What type of Soil should I use when planting?

Japanese maples prefer a fast draining soil.  If planting in the ground and your soil is heavy clay it is a good idea to mix a reputable fast draining soil mix with the existing soil 50/50 mix.  Bagged potting soil mixes that I have tried and like are Happy Frog, EB Stone Organics, and Fox Farm.  All of these will be fine for maples planted in containers.

Can Japanese Maples be Grown Indoors?

They can be kept inside for short periods of time (several weeks to a month). But as a general rule they are outside plants.  The problem with bringing them inside is that they prefer cool weather and the house is dry and warm…they do fine in a greenhouse which is warm but it has high humidity.  In winter they need the cold to reset their biological clocks for their dormant period

How do I Winterize my maple tree?
Protecting your young plants during the coldest months is a good idea so that the roots don’t freeze solid and the tops don’t break off from the weight of heavy snow.  
 
When in containers – some folks bring them onto a porch or into a garage when conditions get real bad. When to bring them into the garage in the winter depends on seasonal conditions.  I would wait as long as possible before the weather really gets cold and nasty.  That way your maples biological clock will get set and they will remain dormant for a longer period than say if you brought them in early in for the rest of the winter season. So, with all that said,  bring them in when temps will remain  below 25°.
 
Since the maples are relatively young they will need more protection than an older tree.  As they mature and grow they can take more stress  ie. cold, heat, and wind.  Bigger containers can take colder (and hotter) conditions.  But they are of course harder to move!
Click For more in depth information on Winterization of maples