Growing Vine maples in Midwest?

picea(6A Cinci- Oh)January 14, 2008

I was interested in a couple of vine maple selection but have never seen them growing in the midwest. Is there any difference in growing them that growing palmatums?


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I would think that they would thrive if in a woodland planting (along a creek would be ideal) or on the edge of a woods on the east or north side only. The drainage would need to be perfect and supplemental watering would be needed to keep the ground constantly moist otherwise I would be led to believe it won't stand a fighting chance.

Out in the open you might as well kiss it goodbye!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 7:46PM
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These trees are native to a repeating summer drought area, so constantly moist soil may not be the concern you imagine. Good drainage is important, but no more so than with a Japanese or other Asian maple. But full open sunlight could definitely be a problem. If you can provide partial shade in somewhat of a wooded, understory situation, you should probably be fine. btw, good fall color in vine maples is extremely variable and not nearly as closely related to weather conditions as it is with many other maple species.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 7:56PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I live in an area where they naturally occur, Maple Valley, which used to be called Vine Maple Valley. I see them growing in a variety of situations from deep shade with year round damp soil to sunny, dry, well draining, gravelly soil. They color up best in the latter. Establishing them in that environment is the tricky part. Supplemental water is required in our climate to get them to initially survive, or shade for the first few years, until established. I have transplanted Vine Maples from deep shade where they did not have good Fall color to sunnier spots and saw them subsequently have good color in the Fall. I believe, from experience, that their color is more dependant on cultural conditions, rather than genetics.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 5:48AM
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I'm going to try them everywhere on my property with all the above mentioned conditions. Midwestern summers I'm sure you guys know are much hotter than Pacific NorthWest in both actual temperature and sun rays, and combined humidity. It's easy for us to see 90-95 F for a month straight at a time during summer's peak. I believe I will be successful with a little help from myself and utilizing common sense for plant location. I believe I read in one of Dirr's publications the complexities of Vine Maple in the midwest. He says their impossible to grow but I won't pass judgement until I've tried everything I can first.

Thanks for the info gardengal and botann.

Always appreciated,


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:12AM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

Thanks for the info. I just purchased a Cultivar called 'Pacific Fire' which has red bark so we will find out how well they grow here. I think they are grafted onto palmatum so I don't know if that makes a difference or not. David

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 10:19PM
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I grew "Monroe" vine maple, a cutleaf variety, here in the Cleveland area for quite a few years--it ultimately succumbed to a canker disease. Acer japonicum "Aconitifolium" is similar in appearance, and easier to grow. I think similar Asian maples, either Acer japonicum or A. pseudosieboldianum, would be more succesful in the Midwest in the long run.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 6:44PM
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I have a 5-year-old plant I grew from seed. It is in a semi-shaded, very well drained area where neighboring conifers take up excess moisture. Keeping it from being browsed has been the most difficult thing, not getting it to survive my zone 4 weather, heat, humidity, below zero temps, etc.

I have 5 other 2-year-old vine maples in a nursery bed, will probably locate them to permanent positions next spring.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 3:25AM
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I have had Acer circinatum 'Sunglow' in the ground and unprotected since 2003, with no damage. I actually purchased a magnolia to replace the 'Sunglow', during the winter after I planted it, fully expecting the 'Sunglow'to be toast the following spring. The magnolia ended up being toast and the 'Sunglow' grows on. The 'Sunglow' is in a very open part of my yard. I also have an Acer palmatum Robinson's Red growing in the same area and it has done fine, too.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 2:15PM
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