Purple Leaf Selection for Full Sun

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)March 6, 2011

Hey folks, looking for a purple leaf JM for full sun (10am - 7pm).

This might not be the ideal condition for most JMs but if I can push the envelope, any suggestions for which ones I should pursue?

Conditions - Good moisture, well drained

Size - 12' to 30' by 12 to 30'

Exposure - protected from the north and northeast, some exposure to northwest winds.

Acer palmatum 'Emperor I' seems to be the leader.

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Or 'Bloodgood' or 'Fireglow', 'Moonfire', 'Seiryu' - red leaf Japanese maples on the whole are quite sun tolerant, provided other growing requirements are properly met.

You might want to cruise through the archives here - this topic has been discussed numerous times and for climates a lot hotter and drier than yours, like Texas and Sacramento :-)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:18AM
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How about 'Trompenburg' for something a little different? Rubbish name, great plant.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:27PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I missed the most important criteria....needs to be hardy to at least -20 to -25. I know there might be a couple that are hardy to -20 but not sure if any could be pushed to -25.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:12PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Someone brought up Acer palmatum 'Yasemin' and another mentioned 'Moonfire'.

All these cultivars are driving me nuts!

'Trompenburg' seems to be nice selection as well.

The foilage can actually be red or purple. I just don't want it to burn and crinkle.

A more formal look that is horizontal to slighly upright, with a loose appearance would be the perfect speciman.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 9:22AM
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Yeah, usda zone 5, -20F, is usually considered the limit for palmatums. Acer pseudosieboldianum is a solid zone 4 plant but doesn't have purple leaves, so no good here. A japonicum and A shirasawanum are usually rated slightly more cold tolerant than A palmatum. The purple leaved cultivars 'Trompenburg', 'Gloria' and 'Yasemin' are hybrids betweem palmatum and shirasawanum so *might* have a slightly better chance of making it through -25. Feedback from growers in zone 5 is that protection from winter winds and direct winter sun are big factors in survival for JM's.

Glad I don't have those temperatures, good luck.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 9:40AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

That makes sense...a JM expert in IL stated the same thing about the A japonicum and A shirasawanum hybrids.

Its that northwest wind that I'm a little worried about (north and northeast are protected). I want to put this JM where the Magnolia is shown in the image below.

Another local person told me not to worry about the winds as much but the early frosts so find one that buds late. Any suggestions there, or do one of the cultivars you mentioned bud out later than the others?


    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:47PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I have an 'Inaba Shidare' that has seen temps of -17 but it is protected from both sun and wind in the winter. I also have a 'Bloodgood' with no protection and it seems tough as nails. I think the most important reason to protect JMs from winter sun in our area is that it will naturally delay them budding out in spring and avoid the late frosts. Other than the 'Bloodgood', all my JMs are either on the north side of buildings (they can be quite a ways out with our winter sun angle) or they are protected by conifers.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 5:59PM
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I have an Emperor 1 that has survivied Chicago winters for the last 8 years. It is in a protected south east corner with the house on one side and a line of tall viburnum shrubs on the other. It is a full sun position. I bought it as a small sapling (24" tall) and now it is about 5 ft tall with about a 4 ft spread. Has grest leaf color all summer. However, if I am not diligent about watering in July & August the leaves will crisp up a bit. It is one my favorite trees and I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 6:48PM
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noxtra(SW MO. 6)

Emperor will break dormancy about two weeks later than Bloodgood and seems to be fairly hardy even in the extremes of your environment. Mulch well and hope for the best. Once they develop a good root system they seem to increase in hardiness.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:40PM
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