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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - May 22, 2009

From: Markham, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Planting location of non-native Japanese maple in Toronto
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hi Mr. Smarty, I am in the region of Toronto, Canada. I just bought from nursery a "Red Select" Janpanese Maple, about 2' tall, still in its 1' pot. I intended to plant it in my front yard (facing West) between two Alberta Spruce (now about 4' tall). As the leaves are needle like, not sure whether it is a good idea to have it planted on land facing West which could receive quite an amount of sunlight in the afternoon. The tips of some of the leaves seems to be drying out and turned brown despite that I already watered it everyday. Any tips you can provide for keeping the tree beautiful before moving to the soil? For transplanting from pot to soil, should I add on any low diffusing fertilizer at this stage? If so, what kind of fertizer you would suggest? Thanks. Wing


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, propagation and protections of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The Japanese maple is therefore out of our range of expertise. However, we found a website from the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories on Japanese Maple which hopefully can answer your questions. 


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