Coral Bark Maple

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)April 29, 2011

Today I found what I believe to be a Coral Bark Maple at Lowes. It was mistagged as a $22 redbud, lol.

It was the only one there so I just bought it.

I'm not sure if its a straight species or a cultivar. I'm assuming it will be a zone 5 plant since its stocked at a zone 5 store.

Are these trees pretty picky or am I better off spending my time with a 'Fireglow' or 'Emperor 1' JM?

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CEFreeman(DC/MD Burbs 7B)

Mine is pretty hardy. It's in full, horrible, unrelenting full sun and has beautiful colors.

At $22 you have nothing to lose. Give it a shot!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 10:37PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Lowe's here has plenty of zone7 plants for sale. A crepe myrtle my wife picked out for example.

Maybe they know something more of clinate change than I do..

Just pick a sheltered location for it. Near your home can not only show off that beautiful bark but also provide some heat.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:08AM
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Coral bark (common name) is a cultivar of Acer palmatum/Japanese maple, 'Sango Kaku' (although there are other JM's that feature reddish stem bark). It is not any more fussy than most other cultivars although it does tend to be somewhat more prone to some common JM pathogens, primarily pseudomonas. Due to the popularity of this specific cultivar, much like 'Bloodgood' it has also tended to be over-propagated, often with less than high quality stock plants or by less than reputable growers. IOW, you can find some dogs out there :-) But I agree with Christine - at $22, this is definitely not worth passing up!!

Most cultivars of JM's are listed as fully hardy to zone 5. 'Sango Kaku' also tends to be quite tolerant of both full sun and high heat. And it should be relatively easy to confirm this is what you have.....Googling the cultivar name and viewing various images should turn up at least a photo or two of the tree without foliage, its most distinctive characteristics (red stem bark) obvious.

FWIW, a good many crape myrtles are hardy to zone 6 as well, especially those that are fauriei hybrids. They grow them successfully in New York! But there is no guarantee ANY box store will be selling zone appropriate plants -- they are NOT plant nurseries :-)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:08PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

After visiting another Lowes I found another one that was mislabeled. $110, oops I almost feel guilty. They had tons of trees mislabled though.

GG, that is where I went wrong. I was thinking Coral bark was a species of Acer, not a cultivar of Acer palmatum. So I most likely have Acer Palmatum 'Sango Kaku'?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 8:57PM
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Sure looks like it!! Pretty nice score for $22 :-)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 7:32AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)


Well situated Whaas.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:21AM
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Excellent steal! I just bought a $325 Coral Bark Japanese Maple from an over-priced yet reputable nursery. It's the specimen of my front yard. I'm still trying to justify the price. I'm new to the North so I've also said (to my husband) it's my little bit of color to get me through the 6 months of winter. Congrats on your excellent find!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 2:00PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

That is the darned truth about the six months of winter. You will have the tree for decades and I bet everyone in the neighborhood will know where the neon barked maple is in December!

Heck, we usually settle for noticing Sycamores around here.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:28PM
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