San Diego Maple information

Discussion in 'Maples' started by siddharth ram, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Hello,

    I live in zone 10, and am wondering if maples will do ok here. Soil is alkaline (I can amend that) but I am more concerned about the weather. I am looking for fall color for a little japanese garden I am building.

    thanks for your help
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Whereabouts in the San Diego area are you? Yes, you can grow Japanese Maples
    in your area but for you wanting to grow Maples for Fall color there then I would
    need to know when do your temps cool off, what those cool temps are and for how
    long are you less than 50°? You will need some help from people that know your
    area well that are also growing Maples near you to make decent decisions to see
    definite Fall coloration for any length of time where you are. How saline or alkaline
    is your soil as many Maple varieties do not like strong or frequent doses of Sulfur in
    their root systems at all if you are planning to use Gypsum as a soil amendment?
    Are you using a water softening agent for your drinking water, if so, do you plan to
    use that water for your plants?
  3. Thanks for the response.
    I live in Scripps Ranch, about 12 miles inland as the crow flies.

    Temperatures start cooling off in late november. There are typically 10-15 days of frost. Late december, Jan and feb night temperatures are below 50.

    The soil is very alkaline, but I am willing to dig it up and amend it as necessary. I was planning to use gypsum. Is that not a good idea ?

    I do not have a water softener. are the salts in the water going to be a problem ? I guess I could install one if necessary.

    Are there particular varities of acer palmatum which will do better here ?

    thanks again
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    The only reason I mentioned the water softening question is because I lived
    in San Pedro for 13 years and most people were using a water softener due
    to the hard water there. The softening agent is a salt which would add to your
    alkalinity woes. Gypsum has to be leached well with a lot of water first and
    foremost to be effective. What I would not do is put any of the soil back in
    the hole prior to and after the planting of the Maple. I would use a potting soil
    instead with no fertilizer amendments to the potting soil. Mound the Maple
    high, meaning plant it high out of the ground and then cover the area with a
    forest humus. The purpose for mounding the plant high is that the roots will
    not be exposed to your alkaline salts in the soil for a while. You might get
    lucky and not need the Gypsum if you can make sure the soil medium where
    the plant is located is on the acid side. You will want to have a circular moat
    around the plant to hold the water but have the moat about 1 1/2' away from the
    base of the plants trunk for a 5 gallon sized plant. Have at least a 2 1/2' moat
    around a 15 gallon sized plant. In a rock garden set up with sprinklers or bubblers
    (more than one for each plant) running off a drip line then you will not need a
    moat to hold the water for you.

    The biggest problem in Maples with alkalinity problems is that the Maples
    leaves burn a lot. Generally it is the edges of the leaves that will burn and
    the first hot wind you get you will see the plant burn some. Well, with
    the potting soil and the humus you can cut down on the amount of times
    your Maples leaves should burn as some burning in the Summer will be
    something you cannot control much as we really get our leaf scorch here
    during the Summer months. Maples can handle 90-95 degree weather
    with little ill effects as long as you keep the plant out of the direction
    where the winds are coming from. For us it means do not let the plant
    be exposed to any Northwest winds and you should be okay. No need
    to fertilize the Maple as long as you are using a nursery grade forest
    humus, preferably bagged or in bulk with no nutrient amendments that
    has as contents either ground pine and/or ground fir bark only.

    Do you have a Nursery nearby that you can depend on to help you in your
    selection of Maples? You may want to buy some of your nurseries Monrovia
    plants for your selections. Okay, I can recommend Monrovia Maples and
    they owe me for this, just kidding, as they grow a good plant and I've
    recommended their Maples to others before, many times actually.
    Whatever you do, do not plant your Maples in a Western exposure
    unless it is protected. Eastern and Southern exposures out of the winds
    is best.

    Varieties to choose from:


    The above list came from Monrovia's web site. Do get a nice Seiryu as that one
    is dependable for Fall color. The Shaina is a dwarf and is cute. Of that group the
    Emperor1 and the Bloodgood get to be the largest Maples in size. Burgundy Lace
    and Oshio Beni would be the next largest for plants. All the above are worth having
    but do pick strong looking trees and buy them no smaller than in 5 gallons. 15 gallon
    sizes are pricey but for you unless you have plenty of money and you have reason
    to want to make an immediate impact go with the 5 gallons and baby them and get
    them used to your conditions.

    There may be other selections from other wholesale nursery growers for you to
    look at but do not buy cheap plants, pay the money and get plants that look healthy
    to you. I would suggest you buy them from a full service nursery just in case you
    lose one or more as if they perish within a year they can be replaced for free. You
    are somewhat limited in your choices but all the above are, for the most part, proven
    Maples all over. The Monrovia plants are just a quick suggestion and not meant to be
    the only wholesale grower of the Maples you may want to have but they may be the
    safest ones for you to buy.
  5. very good info. thank you! what is monrovia web site and where are they located? Thank you!
  6. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Bordeaux, France

    Monrovia is headquartered in Azusa, California, just east of Los Angeles, and operates nurseries in Dayton, Oregon, Visalia, California, Springfield, Ohio, La Grange, N.C. and Cairo, Georgia. These wholesale nurseries, encompassing 4,724 acres, are not open to the public. Our plants are sent from our nurseries in refrigerated trucks to more than 5,000 fine garden centers nationwide.

    Click here to find the nearest retailer that sells Monrovia plants :

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