Higasayama & Purple Ghost in a shady naturalistic area

toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)February 16, 2010

I'm thinking of planting both a Higasayama and a Purple Ghost on the north end of a row of walnuts in a location I cleared some honey suckle and grape vine from.

The top soil is pretty darned deep for near a house. It wasn't scraped off when my home was built 60 years back and for I bet 20 years it hasn't even had grass on it just leaves rotting.

None the less it still isn't the typical "in the manicured garden" I usually see japanese maples in.

If I keep the weeds beat back can I expect these two to grow if planted 8 or 10 feet from the trunks of my big walnuts?

It would essentially be on the right side of the pic where a number of logs from the pile have been removed. (they've been mostly removed.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Assuming shelter etc. adequate main problem highly unnatural appearance of these cultivars, this would be why such forms would be associated with more developed settings. In a native thicket like this wild-type green Japanese maple seedlings or similar-looking cultivars would fit in, wildly aberrant colored foliage forms would not.

On a big place like this, including areas that are to be wild gardened a way to place plants of various types in situations where they look right is to designate three different zones, starting with the immediate vicinity of the dwelling. Built-up forms like the two maples would be planted in this first zone. The outer area is given to species forms, like zone between intermediate types.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 1:49AM
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You could try planting them in large containers and setting them where you think you want them. Watch them for the year and see how you like them there. Move them around your yard untill you find just the right spot. I think 8-10 foot from a walnut is too close. Walnuts have juglone which is harmful to some trees. Plus the competition for water from all those walnut roots may be difficult. My walnut tree killed 2 maples I planted about 15 foot away.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 1:22PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

"In a native thicket like this wild-type green Japanese maple seedlings or similar-looking cultivars would fit in, wildly aberrant colored foliage forms would not"

bboy, you do have a point. I do enjoy the wildness of the thicket. Its nice to find the cherry tree volunteer and notice the tall thin white ash's sneaking their way between the walnuts. Perhaps something somewhat shrubby and unkept in appearance like a viburnum would be best there long as I can keep the honeysuckle and grape vine under control.

Hmmm, I want these trees. I also have a sunkist arborvitae, a similarly yellow variegated leyland cypress and a couple strangly variegated holly cultivars being tortured in too damp an area for their liking and the purple and yellow would provide freakish contrast....if only I could pick a place to put them

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 10:13PM
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swmogardens has an excellent point. Walnuts produce toxins specifically designed to kill other trees growing near them. Not a good place for JMs.

Have you considered containers? The nice thing about that is you could move them around to different areas until you found a permanent home. Or perhaps you'll love them in containers!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 12:49AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I have found sources which claim Acer palmatums are tolerant of the juglone black walnut trees produce. Has anyone experience otherwise?

Of course the generally stronger growing acer saccharinum (silver maple) is reported not to tolerate juglone. I KNOW honeysuckle and grape vines grow very well under walnuts. Apparently white ash, black cherry, and elderberry also grow well.

bboy has a point. Refined looking trees such as higasayama and purple ghost would look out of place in my "thicket".

My plan is to stare long and hard to see if there is another place I can plant the two.

Containers. Wow. I dunno. A whole new set of issues I know little about. I have an acre and some change so there should be SOMEPLACE these fellas would fit in. I want them though so I just might give in lol.

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU.EDU Juglone Toxicity

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 1:27AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I planted an Acer palm 'Beni Hoshi' just under the drip line (well within the root zone) of a mature Black Walnut in the fall of '07. Doesn't seem to have bothered it at all. Two more JMs were planted in walnut root zones last spring and they are fine as well. Not long term data, I realize.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 8:08PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Ended up planting it in the middle of my front yard and the purple ghost is really growing! Faster than I expected and handling all the sun better than I thought.

The purple growth is new "summer" leaves.

Really though, be sure you can handle the blend of purple and olive green when buying. My sister (who isn't even into flowers) thinks the two color leaves on one tree is freaky.

The Higaysayama is still alive and growing but even though it gets a little more shade isn't growing as fast and its foliage seems just a little on the ragged side. Not bad for first year in the ground however.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 4:15PM
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Your purple ghost looks nothing like mine the new growth looks like mine but my ghost has deep purple tint to the leaves maybe too much light for yours? I don't know but I have a ghost indoors(it's possible) and outdoors and they both have the deep purple foliage on leaves I'd give it shade I'm no maple guy tho just an orchid nut. I got these cuz they looked cool. Read my thread on growing indoors just posted it today Id love to have others try this and keep me informed as we all know people say it's just not possible. Well it is for me atleast 2 years going strong.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 6:14PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

That two tone one of mine sure does get plenty of sun.

I have plenty of out door room and only 1100 square feet of indoor room upstairs so I'm always seeing what I can get away with just sticking in my yard.

Indoor trees.....bonsai comes to mind and seed starting. I bet there are tons of books on bonsai to help you out. Probably in Japanese lol. I've seen/heard references to root pruning to control tree size and the like.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:39PM
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