Fran is Dead. Long Live Fran

Many years ago when I moved into my house a family friend gifted me with two small Japanese Maples, of the red variety I like a lot. Apparently he’s had a few in his yard for ages and was happy to send along a couple of volunteers. For reasons nobody can remember, the two tiny plants were named Mortimer and Fran.

I offer no excuse for our weirdness.

Anyway, we planted the two in a spot in the yard where they’d get decent sunlight and, more importantly, not get chewed up accidentally by a careless lawnmower. Mortimer grew a few feet and stopped, forever a leafy twig in the yard. Fran never made it past 8” tall, and eventually her tiny twig stopped putting out leaves. We assumed it was dead. Eventually we decided that the hard Georgia clay was probably Mortimer’s problem, so today we went to move him into a large pot in the hopes that some soft potting soil would be just the ticket. I dug it up with reasonable care and carried it to its new home. But then I noticed two teeeeensy little leaves on another twig. And it turned out it wasn’t a runner.

Much to my surprise, they were a new branch adjacent to the much larger old dead stick, and were definitely a part of Fran. Fran lived. So it got moved to the new pot as well.

Hopefully both will survive. There was some root damage to each in the digging which is probably to be expected, but plenty of roots were still solid enough to plant. Kind of excited to see that Fran might make a comeback though.