Poll: Japanese Maples for a beginner

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Spacehog, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Spacehog

    Spacehog Member

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    Hello all, I am brand new to this forum but so far I feel like I have learned a lot from reading stuff. Anyway, I wanted to poll the community to get people's take on where to begin with Japanese Maples. I knew practically nothing about them before I got my current house. I still know very little (I think) especially because I only just started gardening for the first time in my life this spring. I'm growing a few herbs, a few vines and a few trees. So far the Japanese Maples have stole my heart, so I wanted to get input on which trees would be good to get for a beginner. I guess I am looking for cultivars that are fairly hearty on the one hand, but also I would like to get a range of styles on the other hand. Let's say for the sake of this poll that I plan to get at least 5 Japanese Maples but no more than 8 this year. I already have some sort of maroon colored laceleaf Japanese Maple, but I can't really identify it any more than that. I have spots in my yard that range from full sun to full shade and pretty much any type of sunlight you could ask for, so that should help. I also should point out that I live in Columbus, OH which is in zone 6.

    If you could just give me a recommendation or two that would be great! But if you want to give me like 8-10 that's even more great. I doubt I will ever have more than 20 of these trees, party due to space issues so I don't need a ton of suggestions. I probably would like to eventually try my hand at some tougher Japanese Maples. But for now I'd just like to get a decent collection of Japanese Maples that a rookie could maybe keep alive. I would also like them to be different from each other because that is what I like most about the Japanese Maples; their variety. Ok, I've droned on long enough, if you have any suggestions fire away! Thanks in advance!

    -Hog
     
  2. Sea Witch

    Sea Witch Active Member

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    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, Zone 7
    hi Spacehog, welcome to the forum.

    There are a lot of JM experts here (not me), so I'm sure you'll get lots of ideas. I'll just mention that there are an enormous number of cultivars, and not all of them will be easy to find or available everywhere. One question that people will have is whether you want to plant them permanently in place or whether you're open to having them in pots and babying them somewhat in the winter.

    For permanent planting, I'll go first and recommend these:

    Acer palmatum var. dissectum "Waterfall"
    Acer palmatum var. dissectum "Green Mist"
    Acer palmatum "Burgundy Lace"

    The ones with the more delicate leaves (dissectum) tend to have a harder time in full sun, especially hot afternoon sun. So they would probably do better with some shade or dappled sun in the afternoon.

    P.S. If you post some photos of the one you have, some people here may be able to help identify it. Include some close-ups of the leaves.
     
  3. SFyffe

    SFyffe Active Member

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    Hi SpaceHog,

    Start scouting out local nurseries and see whats available. They have 50-60 percent sales as fall approaches.

    'Red Dragon'
    'Crimson Queen'
    'Viridis'



    Are probably at the top of my list of favorites.

    Stephen
     
  4. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I can't make recommendations to you regarding which cultivars to choose since I'm fairly new to JMs myself, but I would highly recommend checking out maplestoneornamentals.com. Micah - the owner - has a very good selection, good quality trees, good prices and best of all for you, he is located in Alliance, Ohio so he could give you very specific recommendations from firsthand experience (he also sells on ebay frequently).

    Personally, though, I love my Moonfire, Nuresagi, Filigree and Sherwood Elfin. Seiryu also seems to be a pretty hardy cultivar, as well as Sunset. For a really unique looking tree, Manyo no sato is very eye-catching with it's purple and green leaves.
     
  5. Spacehog

    Spacehog Member

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    Thank you! Thank you! I love the suggestions, and I am researching them as fast as I can to make some final decisions. I have pulled the trigger on 5 trees that I thought I could share with you all. If you have any input, advice or, well, anything please feel free to fire away. Once again, this is all very helpful! I am glad that I have joined this forum. Tell me what you think...

    In no particular order:

    Yama Hime (dwarf with very small green leaves with red border)
    Kuro Hime (dwarf with dark green leaves that are red when they are new leaves)
    Shuminagashi (a tree that has red leaves spring/summer/fall. I like the leaf shape better than bloodgood)
    Moonrise (which I'm told is very similar to Autumn Moon)
    Ryusen (A really strange one that needs to be trained to an arbor or something similar to get it to stand up. Very pretty leaves though)
     
  6. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Most any of the himes are good, I have found Shishio hime to have a strong growing habit and good color. One note, himes get damaged with snow.

    Suminagashi is just another red tree with very nice fall color. Again there are loads of interesting red uprights which have a nice rich red. Yasemin is one which has interesting leaves. I find Red Emperor or Emperor One to have large open growing habits with wonderful red leaves through the summer but again there is so many great reds.

    Moonrise is similar to Autumn moon but different. I like both but if to pick just one would probably go towards Autumn Moon for its lighter color leaves.

    Ryusen is an interesting tree. You can train most any of the dissectums to grown up an arbor. My favorite dissectums include, Red Dragon (red), Hana Matoi (varigated), Baldsmith (red/green) and Flavenscens (green). These trees stand out and get lots of comments. I think the new red/green dissectums such as Watnong, Chantilly Lace, Otto's Dissectum and Shu Shidare get the most amount of attention these days.

    So trees i would alwways have in my garden include

    Mikawa yatsubusa
    Shin deshojo
    Iijima sunago
    Amber Ghost
    Orange Dream
    Red Dragon
    baldsmith
    Flavenscens
    English Town or Brandt's Dwarf
    Koto no ito
    Beni Otake
    Komache hime
    Beni kawa
    Villa Taranto

    There are hundred more i could add but these trees all are all standouts amoung their grouping.
     
  7. Spacehog

    Spacehog Member

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    Wow! Thank you so much for that list amazingmaples. I'm going to have to go over that one for sure. Yeah, I was torn between Emeror I and Suminagashi, but went with the larger leafed Shuminagashi. I'm not sure if that is always the case, but it was for the trees I was looking at. Thanks for the warning about the snow damage, I'll get a cooler or something to cover them when snow comes.
     
  8. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    i do not think of the suminagashi and emperor one has having much difference in leaf size as in shape and wether they lay horizanally or droop.

    About the himes, i saw where you live so i thought I would give you a heads up. At that every year I still seem to have one or more of them suffer damage from our heavy snow.
     
  9. Spacehog

    Spacehog Member

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    Oh ok, so when you say snow damage you mean snow in the middle of winter then right? Or are you warning me about snow that comes late in the winter or early in the spring? Or should I just be careful of any snow regardless of when it comes? Thanks again for the heads up.
     
  10. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    the weight of snow causes damage to himes. I have had to prune back many of my larger older himes due to snow damage.
     
  11. Spacehog

    Spacehog Member

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    Ah, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks again. I've tried to attach some pictures of my laceleaf Japanese Maple. I don't really know what kind it is or how old it is, although I doubt it is very old at all. The leaves came out a deep red/burgundy color and have stayed pretty close to that all year. I am starting to see some green in some of the leaves though as the summer progresses. I don't need a positive ID, but if anyone has a good guess I would really appreciate it. I think I attached 3 pictures, but I guess we'll see what pops up. Thanks in advance!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  12. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    I live in Euclid, OH by Lake Erie and I bought my first house seven years ago. I got addicted when I bought my first Japanese maple, 'Sango Kaku' which is a great choice for year round interest. I never imagined that I would be up to over 50 different varieties in my small suburban lot.

    Here is a link to my Flickr page. Photos on Flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/
    Galleries are on the right side of the page. The gallery "Japanese Maple Garden Tour" is the most popular (photo tour of the front and back yard)

    The Japanese Maples in my front yard do great in full sun and exposure to late afternoon sun. The Japanese maples in the back are more sheltered and get morning and early afternoon sun.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hmmmm. So difficult, since there are so many. However, if you want a variety of forms:

    A. p. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' - very dense and universally admired. Looks almost 'shaggy'.

    A. p. 'Shishigashira' - 'lion's mane maple' - curled leaves almost like parsely. Very cool.

    A. p. 'Skeeter's Broom' - dwarf, red and different

    A. p. 'Iijima sunago' - lovely mix of reds, golds and greens. Constantly changing.

    A. p. 'Pung kil' - nice red threadleaf. Th eleaves of this cultivar have a more constant lobe diameter than many threadleafs.

    A. j. 'Otaki' - big leaves and spectacular fall color

    A. p. 'Peaches and Cream' - amazing reticulated leaves. Good for shade.

    A. p. 'Ariake nomura' - probably my best red.

    A. s. 'Jordan' - spectacular gold leaves. A knockout!

    A. j. 'Fairy Lights' - nice dwarf and very dissected Japonicum


    Of course, I could go on forever there are so many good ones to choose from, but these are some I enjoy. look to mail order sources for most of them. They are rarely stocked in garden centers.
     
  14. Sea Witch

    Sea Witch Active Member

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    JT1, since you are in Ohio like the OP, perhaps you could list for the OP which JP's you have that have thrived A) in full sun and B) in your more sheltered backyard?
     
  15. Spacehog

    Spacehog Member

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    Oh JT1, I think I have sort of seen you before. I'm also on a forum called Dave's Garden and when I get a Japanese Maple I will post my zipcode as a place where that tree grows. I also like to check if any of the trees I look into are grown in Ohio. Usually if the tree is grown in Ohio, it is grown in Euclid Ohio which I am guessing is you. I really do appreciate the picture gallery, that helps for sure.

    I also appreciate your list Kaitain4. I think I'm starting to piece together which type of trees are good to get and which cultivars are good representatives for each type. My neighbor buys some JMs from a guy in Mount Vernon that does his own grafts. I think I'm going to go out there this week to see what kind of selection he has. I'll certainly keep these lists handy to see if there are any matches. Thanks again everyone!
     
  16. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    My favorite supplier from your neck of the woods (upstate NY, actually) is Diana at Topiary Gardens. She has over 500 varieties, and they're pretty much guaranteed to do well in your area, considering where she is. Always high quality plants.

    http://www.topiary-gardens.com/store-new/
     
  17. Thumblessprimate

    Thumblessprimate Member

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    Osakazuki is one of my favories. It's got the green leaves that are useful for a traditional Japanese style garden, nice leaf shape. Lots of flowers in the spring. Great spring color and fall red color.
     

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