true color of 'Jordan'

davidrt28 (zone 7)March 13, 2014

Hello. A couple days ago I bought an Acer 'Jordan' at the wonderful Colesville Nursery of central Virginia. This was a nice sized plant for $60. They've gotten a little more expensive recently, but are still a bargain compared to nurseries in the northeast corridor. (of nurseries that focus on high quality, selective plant material, which is the only kind I'd deal with)
I was a little worried though, when I said I'd wanted it because it had yellow foliage and a guy helping me with loading it paused for a second and said he had one and that it was "more like chartreuse." It was, IIRC, promoted as a more heat-tolerant substitute for 'Aureum'. I was researching this issue w/google later that day. Apparently one of the earliest posts about it, back in 2007 at the UBC forums, says that it doesn't color well _unless_ it gets close to full sun. Is that the general experience growers here on gardenweb have had? Maybe this guy planted his in heavy shade, thinking a Japanese maple needed that. And that's why he thought it was a lime or chartreuse color?

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Hi David, Acer shirasawanum 'Jordan' and also 'Autumn Moon' are more heat tolerant that 'Aureum'. Sometimes the color is hard to describe. My Jordan is on the north side of my house and is a yellow/ light orange color,but is potted up and that can make a difference. The yellow Japanese maple that has worked the best for me in southern Md. heat and humidity is Acer palmatum 'Summer Gold'.
Best of luck

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:24AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Thanks Alley_cat.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:50PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

This plant does qualify as being called 'yellow' in my opinion. Now, we didn't have a very hot summer, but it still browned out a bit by mid-August. As is always the case I do not coddle my plants and let rain take care of most of the watering. But I'm not really worried about a little leaf loss and burning. It is still getting established. I'm very confident that after getting established, in a normal summer here, it will look good (and yellow) throughout the summer. NB that the upper Bay area tends to be cloudier and cooler paricularly in early summer; in many gardens here you can see ironclad rhodies in full sun which is not the case down in DC or points south.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 8:38AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Thanks for the info. I bought a young Jordan earlier this spring. It is still in a pot and I have been trying to decide where the best place to plant it would be. I have finally decided on a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

How much sun does your's get? Mine was in too much sun when I first got it and all the leaves browned and fell off. It is now starting to get new leaves. I want to find the perfect spot to plant it so it will stay yellow.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:39AM
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ysrgrathe PA 6b

I have two Jordans. In bright shade, it is more green than yellow. With half day sun it gets quite a bit of yellow (but not nearly as much as my autumn moon). In full sun, it is very yellow but crispy by this point in the summer in PA.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:02PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

To clarify, mine was in full sun. As ysrgrathe's did, mine got a bit "crispy". But, it was on a drainage mound, and it was in its first year. And I only watered it a couple times at all when it was getting really dry out there. The fact it is mostly alive and in fact majorly resprouting on the died-off branches from the peak of summer suggest to me that once it has a good root system, it should be able to survive most anything here. In a place with dry air like UT, I would definitely not plant in full sun. The intermountain west is the opposite of summer conditions here. (Because I'm close to the Bay, even when we have summer cold fronts and we had many this year, it's never as dry here as it would be further inland like Lancaster County.)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 5:19PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

BTW Linda, I think you would need a spot with at least 2-3 hours of mid-day shade. And you would have to keep an eye on the watering. If you don't have much experience with JMs in your climate you might want to check w/someone on the California forum who is growing them in the warmer, interior parts of that state. (only because it's kind of a rare plant for your area, I suspect, and there are probably more plant collectors in California...)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 5:23PM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi David, The spot where I am thinking about planting it will be shaded from about 1pm on. It will get sun from about 8am until then. I actually have 4 other JM's planted in my yard and they do quite well. I have an Oshio Beni planted right in front of my white house with southern exposure. Probably the hottest spot in the yard and it looks great. I also have a Bloodgood and an unknown red one planted in the back yard that get quite a bit of sun too. They all get regular water and seem to do fine. This year I planted Acontifolium in the front yard and it seems to be doing fine. It gets a little shade from the neighbor's tree.

I actually see a lot of JM's maples planted in this area but most of them are red, even quite of few of the lace-leaf types do fine here. I know the yellow leaves will need more shade than the red ones do so hopefully this spot will give it enough morning sun to stay yellow and the shade will protect it during the hot part of the day.

Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2014 at 9:19PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

Thanks Linda, it's good to know they do well there. They are beautiful plants.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 2:06PM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

This is good information and I'm glad to find it for my own area!

Of my acquisitions this year, Jordan is going to be one of them. Now, according to Parks & Planning, I live in a microcosm that gets far less rain then even surrounding neighbors. Must say that's darned true, since I get nothing but thunder, lightening, and run-off, whereas neighbors get floods and downed trees. I digress.

I have a 'Vitifolium' in full sun (along with an 'Attaryi,' 'Tana,' 'Hogyuko,' and a bunch of others). They're faring well, other than the late summer dryness.
For those of you in my zone, dare I plant a 'Jordan' under the no-shade conditions - with watering - here?

FWIW, I'm also adding an 'Emmit's Pumpkin' this year. Yeah!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 11:01AM
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ysrgrathe PA 6b

I would proceed with caution. I have one in full sun partially protected by shadecloth. The leaves not protected completely crisped by the end of summer, and this was not a particularly hot or dry year. The only thing I will say is that this tree definitely had a better yellow color than its sibling which was potted in half-day sun. That one was more a mix of yellow and light green.

This tree has been in-ground for 1 year. I might give it another year to see if things improve. If not, I will move it as I don't intend to maintain the shade cloth forever.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 5:04PM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

" Now, according to Parks & Planning, I live in a microcosm that gets far less rain then even surrounding neighbors"
Just where is this amusing tidbit of information provided? Not that I'm some anti-tax mouth foamer, but if Montgomery County has its own county climatologist, local spending has truly reached a new zenith of insanity.

ysrgrathe - your POV is certainly a valid one and I'm guessing because we're in this forum you have more experience with JMs than I do. I'm just synthesizing available info. (including that about my local microclimate and soil) and making a educated guess that after *several* years of establishment, it will be able to maintain its top in full sun here. I could be wrong but I'm willing to take the risk. Having seen 'Aureums' in full sun in UK gardens, yes I was jealous of that look and wanted to try to replicate it with a less demanding plant.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 7:45AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

That amusing tidbit was provided by a climatologist based here in PG county, where my land and the protected open space along the 301 corridor is under their auspices. I have all kinds of information from them, from when I was trying to get into the CREP program. Ariel photos, water table and aquifer information, etc. And nothing beats true experience as I mentioned with my neighbors, or turning right (south) onto my road and driving out of a thunderstorm. Or having absolutely everything I grow leaf out or bloom an exact (usually) week later than others away from me. And to be clear, Parks & Planning is National Parks & Planning. Not some rinky-dink, PG county office.

I, too, love the full leafed look of the mature Aureums. Although the UK certainly has a cooler climate than we do here in the MidAtlantic, I've successfully established a few. I have wayyy more in the ground that are thriving without shade (and usually water, but that's another story), so it can be done.

My concern is that an established Jordan just can't hang. I've had the following (certainly not all Aureums) in the ground, in full sun, in the Washington DC/Annapapolis, Route 50 corridor for 5+ years:
a Chantilly Lace,
Burgundy Lace,
Beni shichihenge,
Oregon Sunset,
(2) Fireglow,
Green Cascade,
Green Elf,
(2) Bloodgoods (of course),
Red Dragon
Dissectum Nigrum
and more than a few more who have actually made over 5 years in full sun, in pots.

My point, I guess, is that it can be done once established. Sure, some shade would benefit everything alive, but sometimes you gotta grow that yourself.

Actually, I guess I'll just have to pick up a Jordan, pot it and see how well it does on its own. Got the Emmits Pumpkin today.

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Thu, Sep 11, 14 at 8:46

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 8:26AM
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ysrgrathe PA 6b

I don't want to claim any particular expertise, just wanted to share my experience. ;) I too am hoping to successfully establish a Jordan in full sun in a similar climate, just wanted you to go into it with the awareness that it may be rough going until established.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 11:18AM
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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

Always is. :)
Frankly, I hate the sun. I garden in the evenings and at night, or in the mornings before 11:00. I have worn SPF since it was invented in the 70s. I wear Coppertone Sport 50 (because it doesn't hurt your eyes when you sweat like a pig gardening in this heat) and at 55, I look 10 years younger than my tanning, blonde sisters.

But it's true sun avoidance. I wish I could provide it for my maples, but will do my best to grow tall ones so I can plant the million shorter ones underneath their shade!

That is my plan....
(Sorry to Hijack. I can't wait to receive my Jordan!)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 11:42AM
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