Identification: Tsuma Beni vs Tsuma Gaki

Discussion in 'Maples' started by MapleJay, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. MapleJay

    MapleJay New Member

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    Hello! I'm new here. My name is Jay. I was looking to see if someone could explain the difference between the Tsuma Gaki and the Tsuma Beni? I have one of them. I only remember the common name it was given to me under, Red Nail Maple. I planted mine in 2001 in full sun. It is now 10-12 feet high, 10 foot perfectly round wide head and still growing.. Leaves getting full sun will mature to a darker almost brownish/burgundy color, leaves under first layer do not get as dark. I will take a picture tomorrow or the next if that will help.
     
  2. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    You might want to double check this but i think Tsuma Gaki's leaves droop or hang down when it first leafs out in the spring.
     
  3. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, that is correct. They hang down like a deflated balloon.

    Here is a picture of the spring leaves of one we planted for my Mom and Dad:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=65934757@N06&q=Tsuma Gaki

    MapleJay welcome to the forum! MAF gave an excellent detailed description in the differences between the two in another Thread titled "Pics of the new additions to my maple collection" that you might find very helpful. Maf said the following to someone with a similar question.....
    To summarize his points Tsuma beni is greener with purple red nails, and generally five lobes. Tsuma gaki is more yellow with persimmon red nails that hang down as they open in Spring, and it generally has seven lobes.
    Here is the caveat, both can have 5 to 7 lobes. So another way of identifying the two is Tsuma gaki has ovate lobes that taper to slender tips. Where Tsuma beni has broadly ovate lobes terminating in a narrow tips. Confused yet…I know I am. No wonder there is so much confusion about these two…I guess the Spring leaves hanging down as they emerge is the best way to tell if it’s Tsuma gaki, like in the pictures I provided in the link above.


    Here is a link to that thread with the pictures (reply #11 has pics) MAF is comparing in his response (reply #13 response):
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=78573

    If you have Japanese Maples 4th edition by J.D Vertrees & Peter Gregory there is a picture of both on page 263 for comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  4. MapleJay

    MapleJay New Member

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    Thanks for the replies :) I will study the tree, but I now belive it is a Gaki.. Here are some pics from an hour ago.
     

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  5. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wow, great looking maple! I am not sure by any means which it is but it is very nice.

    A straight translation of the name "Red Nail" would make 'Tsuma beni' your maple, 'Tsuma gaki' would mean "Persimmon Nail". I agree with JT that 'Tsuma beni' has greener lobes and more purple red tips than 'Tsuma gaki', and that the real best signifier is whether the leaves hang down droopily in early spring.

    I am having second thoughts as to whether the predominant number of leaf lobes is significant because I was of the opinion that 'Tsuma gaki' tended more to five lobes and beni to seven, but JT has it the other way round. I know both plants throw both seven and five lobed leaves and maybe the difference is more to do with cultural issues rather than which cultivar is grown.
     
  6. JT1

    JT1 Contributor 10 Years

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    Seeing your pictures, I feel strongly that it's Tsuma Gaki. That's a beautiful tree!
     
  7. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have been growing them both for many years. My experience shows that the tip color (hue and intensity) depends strongly on the amount of sunshine received. Today I would have a hard time telling them apart just by looking at the leaves. However I can see a clear difference in size: my Tsuma beni is much smaller and slower grower than my two Tsuma gakis (all planted in comparable conditions). But, what is inherent to the cultivar and what is the influence of the understock?, I do not know.


    Gomero
     

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