Japanese Maple wanted - red leaves

buyitjodyApril 17, 2009


I am currently having a new landscape bedding constructed. It will be approximately 8' x 14'. There are walls/windows of the house on one 8' side and one 14' side. We are wanting to plant a japanese maple...variety that has the red leaves. I am in the North Texas (more specifically, just north of Dallas) area. The bed will get some sun during the morning, but as the sun moves across the sky, the house shades this area. Right in the corner where the walls meet, the grass has a hard time growing because of not getting enough sun.

Anyway, I don't know that much about japanese maples so I would like to get your opinion on what japanese maples w/red leaves would do well for us.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What these don't like as far as aspect is concerned is hot sun combined with low humidity. The minerals in desert soils and water are also a problem.

This tree is extremely popular at present. Do you see any attractive, long-established ones in your neighborhood or town? I'd expect it to be present just about anywhere it can be grown without extra difficulty. If you don't see any others around already...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 7:04PM
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Japanese Maples like acid soil, consistant moisture, good drainage, morning sun and afternoon shade. Planting in a raised bed or mound is recommended. They don't like a lot of fertilizer (like Miracle grow) - a natural, low nitrogen fertilizer like HollyTone or Fish Emulsion is best.

The particular variety of JM you plant will depend on the form you want and the size of tree suitable to your yard. Some get 20+ feet in height. Others stay smaller. Some have large, bold leaves and an upright habit, others have finely dissected leaves and a mounding, weeping habit. Still others have small leaves and don't get much more than 3 feet high in 10 years.

So, if you could provide some specifics of the size and form you're looking for, we can give you some suggested varieties and sources for them.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:41AM
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Since it would be near the house, we would need one that grows more upright and doesn't necessarily grow too wide. Our first thought is one of the smaller ones (ie. not really tall) because we thought that would help in the aspect of not getting too wide. But if there are tall ones that don't grow extremely wide, we would be open to those, too. We do like the ones that are more tree-like and not bushy (ie. see a trunk).

Thanks for the info about the natural fertilizer. I truly take it seriously when I get a plant. I HATE to see one die in my care and do NOT have the mindset of, "oh well, I'll just get another one".

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 10:03AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

As far as the height and shape goes maybe 'Shaina' would suit. If not purple enough, maybe try 'Nigrum' instead.

If your site is suitable for Japanese maples.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 10:11AM
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I have the following to suggest:

A. p. 'Beni otake'
Otherwise known as 'Big Red Bamboo', this tree is treasured for its deep red, strap leaves. Spectacular spring color holds through summer and turns crimson-orange in fall. This is a vigorous tree providing good texture variation and rich color. 10'

A.p. 'Cindy'
9-12' high. A new variety that is a medium sized tree. Large maroon leaves hold color well in the hot summer months. Color also holds well in deep shade. Moderate growing rate. Upright, rounded form. Fall color is crimson.

A.p. 'Fireglow'
This selection retains red all season while the actual tones of red do change. Spring leaves emerge in an array of bright rose colors then darken. Backlit in summer, the leaves flicker like campfire flames on a breezy evening. Fall brings on scarlet. Summer heat does not tend to burn 'Fireglow". It is an excellent choice for an upright red that does not get overly tall.

A.p. 'Margaret Bee'
An improvement on "Bloodgood" leaves are larger and richer in color. The dark purple color stay well in the hot summer sun. Does not tend to get leaf scorch like "Bloodgood". Crimson fall color. Creates an upright tree that reaches 13-20 ft at maturity.

A.p. 'Moonfire'
"Opalescent" is how the large almost black-red leaves of this strong upright- growing (12-15') tree have been described and they keep this deep color until they turn a bright crimosn in fall.

A.p. 'Suminagashi'
Reaching up and out, the branches form a vigorous, finely shaped tree. Deeply divided and deeply colored in a long lasting red, the large leaves add a beautiful contrast of color and texture to other specimens in your garden. Maroon turns crimson in autumn. 12'

A.p. 'Trompenburg'
It's something over 15'.Spring color is a fairly bright red, which in summer becomes a glossy black- or purple-red, a color which it holds well during the heat of summer. The most distinctive character of the cultivar is the rolled leaf lobes, which form long, narrow half-cylilnders, giving the leaf the appearance of a (you guessed it) dragon's paw. Fall color is crimson. Juvenile leaves may not show the rolled lobe effect for awhile.

A.p. 'Tsukushigata'
Bright sour-apple green veins and samaras (seeds) contrast with rich burgundy red leaves in one of those magical color combinations found only in nature. Fall color is purple-red with orange highlights. 15'

A.p. 'Twombly's Red Sentinel'
Bright sour-apple green veins and samaras (seeds) contrast with rich burgundy red leaves in one of those magical color combinations found only in nature. Fall color is purple-red with orange highlights. 10'

A.p. 'Yezo nishiki'
Large leaves display glorious colors through out the year. The reds are brighter and a touch of orange is stirred into fall's scarlet. This is a vigorous, sturdy, upright tree with good branching. It grows taller than wide to 15'

Might I also suggest the addition of a second, smaller maple to contrast the first? A small green-dissected-leaf JM is a great foil for the red leaves of the main tree. The dissectum will have a completely different look and shape than the upright, and the fall colors of both will be enhanced. For a SMALL green dissectum I would suggest:

A.p.d. 'Lemon Lime Lace'
Beautiful pastel yellow and lime green new leaves in the spring, holding the contrasting colors all summer as young leaves emerge. The habit is weeping and it makes a very round mound if left unpruned and unstaked. Fall color is orange. 6'

A.p.d. 'Ellen'
Growing 3 1/2 ft high in 10 years this desirable dissectum emerges in the spring with yellow green leaves and becomes a fresh green in the summer. Yellow fall color.


A.p.d. 'Flavascens'
Unique in color. Yellow-green in spring and early summer. Becomes darker green as summer goes on. Fall color is spectacular with golden yellow and orange tones.

All of these trees are available by mail order from Topiary Gardens in New York. www.topiary-gardens.com. Diana is wonderful to work with...



    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 11:44PM
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Uh...WOW!! Thanks so much!! Once I get my bed tilled with some compost, I'll place an order. I really need to read all your information closely so I can make a good decision for what we want, etc. Much Appreciation.

Thanks to everyone who has posted. I have seen some of the red varieties in our neighborhood, so it appears japanese maples can do just fine in our area (at least those). Unfortunately, the folks I've asked what variety of Japanese Maple it is, they don't know.

I welcome anymore suggestions out there.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:13AM
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hi jody, i'm in mckinney, & have a dozen jm's. i'd recommend the emperor 1, or the fireglow.

the local jm experts are "metro maples" in ft worth. google them, they have a great website, lots of info.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 7:28PM
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i have both the fireglow and the twomby's red sentinel. i love them both. both have brite red sping leafs, and stay red for the whole year. they just get better in the fall. but for a tree next to a wall, the best choice is the twombly's. they will top out around 10-12 feet. 3-4 feet wide. with bushy leaves all the way up. this is a must see tree. you will love it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:35PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Check out Metro Maples. It's located in south Ft Worth. I probably would consider it a premier place for maples of any kind in DWF area. If you have open sunny area and you want maple, I highly recommend 'Fire Dragon' shantung maple. Turns red in the fall. I have my eye on 'Skinny Dragon' shantung maple available this fall which looks more like Japanese Maple but MUCH tougher in full sun and our weather in Texas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Metro Maples

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 7:51PM
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