I am trying to determine what would be a good contrasting maple to an Emperor JM. Both trees will be in full sun and must be as hardy as possible. I was thinking something with yellow/ light green leaves?
Stay with a green leaf, not anything too pale or gold/yellow colored - these tend to be too vulnerable to damage in full sun.
If you have the room, I'd consider an 'Osakazuki'. A good, longtime, durable selection that has full green leaves in summer and a wonderful orange/scarlet kaleidoscope of fall color. Gets about the same size as Emp I or Bloodgood and makes and excellent companion.
Thanks gardengal. How winter hardy is 'Osakazuki" to zone 5b? Does it bloom earlier or later than most JM?
How hardy is 'Osakazuki" to zone 5b? Does it bloom earlier or later than most JM?
I doubt you will have any concerns with this selection. It is one of the oldest cultivated forms of JM's, known equally for its very robust nature and spectacular fall color. I can't speak to your zone but it leafs out comparable with most other JM's in my climate.