Help me pick a maple

nicholerh(8b)May 3, 2012

I'm looking for a new tree, something different than what I have right now already.

I have:

Pixie - red, small, upright

Aoba Jo - green, small, upright

Inaba Shidare - red, medium, weeping laceleaf

So for this new tree it'll be in a mix of sun and shade, next to a water feature. Looking for a tree that'll get about 8' high. I was thinking maybe Winter Flame for some winter interest. Also thought about Ukigumo because I love the idea of white but I don't like the leaf shape. What trees come to mind for you?

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Neither of those is liable to remain only 8' tall, I wonder if you are making adequate allowances for size potential. I would also avoid planting a Japanese maple where it might get splashed, if your water feature has a fountain that throws water that should be considered.

Maybe discuss further what characters you do like and specific suggestions will be forthcoming.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 2:06PM
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You are right Ukigumo would get too big which is another reason I am not getting it. I like the idea of white leaves as something different but... it's not the right tree for this spot.

I get a lot of conflicting info on tree size. Mendocino maples website has Winter Flame listed as getting 8 feet in 10 yrs which is what I was basing my interest in. That and the red bark providing nice winter interest.

My personal preference is an 8' tall tree, and I'd guess maybe 5' in diameter. I have your typical smaller city yard. I had it professionally planned because I didn't know enough to know my limits so this space is tagged for a tree with those measurements.

I want something different than the red and green maples I already. I enjoy the variegated varieties, thinking about some of the oranged leaf varieties, just needs to be able to fit the spot. The water feature is pretty clean splash wise.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:11PM
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The guy who did the plans for my yard had Katsura down for this spot but I'm not sure I want a tree that big here. Again sites have it down as varying sizes but I think he was working under the assumption it would get 10-12 feet. IMO that's too much tree for this spot.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:47PM
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You might want to consider 'Akane' as a possible substitute for the Katsura - similar intensely colored early spring foliage but on a much more compact perhaps 10' in many years and around 5' wide.

I'd also consider one of the very congested dwarf cultivars like 'Mikawa Yatsubusa' or 'Hupp's Dwarf'. Both can get much larger than tag info indicates but over a very extended time period. And then there is something like 'Baldsmith', which is a multicolored dissectum.....reddish pink, green and bronze-orange.

None of these are your typical garden center JM' might have to do a bit of hunting.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 4:31PM
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I am lucky to be surrounded by several nurseries with good selection of JM's. I'll likely go in with a list and hopefully come out with a winner.

Baldsmith is very pretty. I have thought about the more congested style of JM - in fact I know one nursery has a few different kinds on pretty good sized (4' approx) trees.

On the same note as winter flame, Mendocino Maples has a tree called Fjellheim which also gives the winter interest of red bark. I passed it over because it lists the tree as only growing 4-5 feet. Does anyone think that is false?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 5:22PM
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It could get taller - some sources list 6' as a 10 year inground height, 4' in a container. And then age as well as a very suitable location will encourage continued growth. Another similar choice would be 'Beni Kawa' or 'Bihou'. Both may eventually hit 10' but with a pretty narrow, vase-shaped profile.

I'd focus on the look and habit of the tree rather than an 'ultimate' can take a long time for a Japanese maple to reach its mature size and outgrow a place in the garden and you could be missing a lot of enjoyment worrying about that eventual day to come :-)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 6:52PM
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I agree. If I find a tree I like the look and shape of but is ultimately a little bigger than hoped (maybe up to 10 ft) then I'd get it. I just don't want it to be so big it competes with the nearby plum tree. The plum will get a little bigger and will maintain the 'partial shade' for the JM.

The thing I hate is not really being able to fully trust the size limits on the tags.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Even though the tree is a little bigger than I wanted, I admit to eying Eskimo Sunset. Taller, but not super wide so it might work. Love the coloring. Oh, choices.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Sorry I guess it's really called "Esk Sunset"

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:10PM
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This may sound a little off but maybe a good reliable bloodgood would set off the selections you already listed in your post. It would add color without taking away from what is already there.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I finally managed to narrow down my interests - I like variegated JM's but don't have one in my yard. I like the looks of Karasugawa. I called around and finally found one - I'm going to swing by the nursery tomorrow. Hopefully I will be home with a tree!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:20AM
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Well I went to the nursery today. They had the Karasugawa set aside for me but I wasn't really wowed by it in person. It was my first time at this particular nursery and the gal I spoke with actually knew maples beyond what was on the tag. She helped me out quite a bit and with her help I had it narrowed down to three: Ukigumo (which surprised me but they had a beautiful one), Peaches and Cream, and Villa Taranto. I narrowed it down to PnC and VT based on tree shape/form preference and from there I was hedging. So I texted my husband a picture of both trees and said "Pick one!"

He picked Taranto Villa.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 5:29PM
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WOW.....What a great photo ! It makes me smile!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:04PM
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Nice pick on the villa Taranto, and great picture. One of my favorites, but in spring my favorite japanese maple is my Baldsmith. Happy Spring!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:02PM
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