Need a Zone 4 JM for Father's Day Help!

traceynyJune 8, 2007


I need a JM that will survive a zone 4 winter. It is for Warrensburg, NY 12885 (my father). They have abundant snowcover, but also have late frosts. I know that a weeping sweet pea is surviving in their yard, as well as a red twig dogwood, if that helps.

He covets a red, dwarf, weeping or mounding JM. Is there one out there that fits the bill? If so, do you recommend any particular winter protection.

Thanks so much,


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staceybeth(7 MA)

The only ones that I can think of that may do well in that zone would be a Van Den Akker or a Red Maple (acer rubrum)(red sunset)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:52AM
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Zone 4 climate + Acer palmatum = Heartbreak

Many have tried; most have failed. The two hardiest JM's I know of are Emperor I and Robinson's Red. Hopefully Mike from Minnesota will check in and give us an update on his Robinson's Red. There's also a nursery up in Duluth that has been growing Emperor I for several years in a protected site. Its now about 6' tall and was doing well the last time I was up there (last summer). It can be done, but I wouldn't get too attached to it. Good luck--he'll need it!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 6:41PM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

In zone 4 your best bet would be to grow in a pot and move it to a garage or basement for the winter. David

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 10:29PM
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You could substitute the hardier A. japonicum for A. palmatum. I've got one planted on east side of house and have had no winter die back. However, its only been through two winters and this is hardly enough time to declare it fully z4 hardy. Its generally listed as a z5 plant. There are several nice cultivars, including 'Aconitifolium', which has great fall color and monkshood-like leaves. It supposedly tops out at 8'-10' tall. I thought I was buying this one, but it was mislabeled and I've got what I think is 'Meigetsu'. You'd still want to find a protected site for it.

Another option would be A. pseudosieboldianum (Korean or Purplebloom Maple). It has palmate leaves like Japanese Maple, but is hardy through z4(maybe z3). The fall color can be spectacular. I've got a single stem tree that is now about 10' tall and doing superb.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:47AM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

Both David's and Bobs suggestions are good ones ..I would say and I think Bob would agree David's is the safest and would offer a virtually unlimited selection of varias cultivars. I personally , after this spring have started doing 90% of mine in containers ...In zone 4 almost every winter Can ( although of late it has not as I understand it )be like this last spring for us..So if you really want to put them in the ground and like those cultivars which are nice but limited...go Bob's way otherwise it might be wiser to go David's ..;>) David ( M )

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:38AM
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picea(6A Cinci- Oh)

One other option is Acer Japonicum 'Green Cascade' I have it and it is my favorite Dissectum type. I has green leaves that have great fall color. The only issue I noticed with it was that it pushed earlier than most of my Palmatums and definately earlier than my Shirashawanums and Sieboldianum.

If you are considering pot culture two nice japanese maple would be 'Filigree' and 'Red Filigree Lace'. Both are weeping types but grow slower than some other selections.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 6:05PM
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