Red-leaved JM Recommendation - NOT Bloodgood

marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)May 1, 2010

Hi - I am looking for a red leaved upright JM recommendation for my backyard. I was arm-twisted into it by my better half. I really don't want to add another Bloodgood to our town, it seems everybody grows one. I am not a plant snob (well, mostly not), I like Bloodgoo alright, but aren't there any other interesting red-leaved JM that hold their color, have a graceful upright shape and are a little more out of the ordinary? Just to be clear, I am also open to Acer jap. or Acer shirasawanum.

The area in mind receives full sun from about 10am until 3pm in the summer, doesn't try out completely nor is it waterlogged. Pretty good soil actually. Please help me come up with some interesting choices before I am forced to accept the standard Bloodgood maple from the nearest nursery. Size wise the tree should be in the 12-20 ft range for height, but I am pretty flexible on that, it would have plenty of space to develop.

Thanks so much for any suggestion or idea!

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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

There's a newer japonicum selection available called 'Ruby'. Description from Stanley & Sons: A red leafed variety of Full Moon Maple. Leaves medium size for japonicum with a red to burgundy color. Good growth once established. Fall color is red. Plant from a seed at Don Schmidt Nursery, Sandy, Oregon.


japonicm is a bit hardier too.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 7:36AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The true 'Bloodgood' is one of the best cultivars. Some stock on the market under the name is not the true item, I have seen obvious mixed seedling batches here that included individuals that were not even a good, solid red. Otherwise, specimens sold under other names such as 'Atropurpureum' are more likely to be prevalent in older plantings - unless you are fully acquainted with it maybe not all the 'Bloodgood' you are seeing around you actually are. In my area, where some communities have lots of planted trees I have noticed only a few older Japanese maples that looked to me like they were probably 'Bloodgood'.

If you are in USDA 5 you might want to try this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acer palmatum 'Wolff'

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 1:44PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Acer palmatum 'Fireglow'...otherwise as bboy mentioned Acer palmatum 'Wolff'.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 2:32PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

I saw an Inazuma maple today at a nursery. It was about 5 ft tall and wide. I liked the shape of the leaves and their coloration. The only thing I didn't like was that it looked very much like a shrub and not so much like a JM tree, if that makes sense... Do you know if it will assume the shape of a small tree with age, or if it can be carefully pruned to resemble more of a small tree shape?

The other one I saw and really liked was Acer shirasawanum 'Yasemin'. It was a small plant still, but the color was almost identical to the Bloodgood's and Emperor I's nearby, except that the leave shape was very appealing and different from the more typical Acer palmatum shape.

Bboy, the Wolff maple looks great, the leave shape seems distinctly different from Bloodgood, color seems good. I will check it out at the local nurseries.

Whaas, I saw a Fireglow nearby as well, but I couldn't tell any difference between them in the Bloodgood's, neither in foliage shape nor coloration. Like I said, I have nothing against Bloodgood, it's a great tree, and obviously is doing well in our area, or all the older trees wouldn't be around. I just think there are so many good maple varieties that it doesn't hurt to plant something different occasionally.

Thanks for all your suggestions and ideas.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 8:41PM
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What are you seeking that's different from the Bloodgood? If A Fireglow basically stays smaller; an Emperor I leafs out later to avoid late frosts, from what I've read on this forum. I have a Bloodgood & an Emperor I & while both are young, they look a lot alike.

If you like a red Japanese maple that's got 'dissectum' style leaves, perhaps a high graft Tamukeyama or Crimson Queen could serve? It will look like a shrub on a trunk, granted.

Have you see Sango Kaku Coral Bark Japanese Maples? They have more of a red trunk & branches (at least fairly newer growth) with green leaves; almost a 'reverse' of the Bloodgood look, and while it's my understanding they're seen as less hardy than Bloodgood and might not be as long-lived, it might be interesting for you. My wife has one; we're trying it out. Here's a thread elsewhere on this forum, where there's a source indicating they're fairly sun-hardy.


Here is a link that might be useful: That link to the other thread

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:10PM
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Nice red JMs:

A.p. 'Fireglow', as already mentioned
A.p. 'Moonfire'
A.p. 'Yasemin' - very reliable
A.p. 'Cindy' - Doesn't grow as high
A.p. 'Crimson Prince' - new - supposed to be the best

Might I suggest a weeping variety for interest?

A.p. 'Tamukeyama'
A.p. 'Red Dragon'
A.p. 'Orangeola' - a little different

Good sources on-line - Topiary Gardens, Eastwoods Nursery, East Fork nursery.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 2:28PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Thanks again for your suggestions. I am looking for some red leaved JM that is not a Bloodgood, because the Bloodgoods are all over the place. I am looking to plant something a little different, if for no other reason as to show people that JM are not identical to Bloodgood. It's amazing how many folks thinks that's all there is.

I have Tamukeyama in my yard, it's one of my favorite red-leaved dissectums, but it doesn't grow tall enough for the situation I have in mind. I looked into Yasemin, and I like it alot from what I read and saw online. I also found Johin, which might work for me as well.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Look up 'Nuresagi' ...'Nuresagi' is suppossed to be a very nice old upright variety that is a little different (but most may not notice any difference from a standar 'Bloodgood')...

'Nuresagi' starts out dark, not much different from 'Emperor 1', leaves are a little more cut and delicate than a standard, may turn somewhat dark purple-green by full summer but turns back red in autumn. Bark is supppossed to look better than average, dark with white striations.

I got a little 'Nuresagi' last year based on what I read, because I also wanted something a little different, not grown much yet to make a judgement.

'Fireglow' does okay in 5b Ohio. Personally I am not that impressed as it is rather short and twiggy, I personally like the small tree look better than the large bush look.

Have you considered a Paperbark Maple? Classy understated tree that does well in 5b, forms a very nice medium small tree shape that never gets very big. Known for the peeling bark. Sometimes gets a nice red in autumn, but not always.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 3:04PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Noki - thanks for recommending Nuresagi...I like the descriptions of it. Plus I like older varieties that often get pushed aside by newer and supposedly "better" varieties. I very much agree with you in that I like the small tree look in a maple more than the large shrub look.

I grow both Acer griseum and Acer triflorum. They are both great trees. Maybe I am lucky, but I do get consistently good fall color on both trees...deep reddish brown on griseum and glowing orange brown on triflorum.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 8:17AM
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jayco(5b NY)

I have a green Trompenburg which I like a lot -- nice leaf shape. The original Trompenburg has dark red leaves.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:01AM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

I love, Love, LOVE my's a weeper, though. Emperor I is a nice tree...What about Oshio Beni? I've heard they stay fairly red if they get a little shade...I don't have one, so I am not speaking from experience.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 5:49PM
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