Maple for Patio

marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)June 3, 2008

Hey everyone - I have been reading through a lot of postings in the last couple weeks, but I think I still could use some help and friendly advice. Instead of just annuals for my deck I would like to add a couple of maples in pots (the upside is I get to enjoy more varieties for a couple of years before I can move some larger specimen to the yard) as a more permanent element. I have been reading through the forum postings on here and a couple of books to narrow down my choices, but I feel like I haven't found the "perfect" maple(s) yet.

I live just north of Indianapolis, zone 5b. My backyard is in an older established neighborhood. My wooden deck is in full sun from about 10am to about 7pm. My one story ranch style house has dark brown brick walls, with lot's of different colors, all in the orangy/brownish category. Flowers in the cool pinkish shades look pretty much out of place when placed close to the walls.

In terms of maples, I am not looking for dwarfs (ok, maybe one or two), but primarily for more taller growing maples that have "presence" With that I mean an elegance or poise that makes them look good as focal points on the deck. Typically, I am more drawn to trees that have a few gentle curves in their trunks and branches floating around them like clouds. I like leaves that spread flat. It's kind of hard to describe. In any case, I am not sure if I want another red leaved maple, because up close you can really see how the beautiful red color of spring changes in summer (unless there are varieties out there that keep that lighter spring color, Bloodgood is one example that darkens a lot). Dissectum varieties may be too sensitive to leave scorch in the full sun condition. Although I am tempted to try Seiryu, since my other one was killed in the late killing frosts of 2007. In my yard I am growing shiraswanum 'Aureum' and 'Autumn Moon', A. palmatum 'Katsura', 'Beni Kawa', 'Beni tsugata', 'Inazuma', 'Aureum', 'Tamukeyama', 'Ever Red', 'Viridis', and Kihachiro'. I also have young plants of acer griseum.

I guess this leaves me with maples that are upright growing, with leaves strong enough to not scorch in the full sun situation, can take some wind, have interesting shape and interest throughout the season. A couple of varieties I am considering are A. shirasawanum 'Palmatifolium' and 'Autumn Moon' (although I have that one already planted nearby), A. palmatum 'Fjellheim' or 'Winter Flame', 'Seiryu', 'Fireglow' (breaking with my no-red rule), and 'Beni Otake'. I am sure there are many others

I hope I don't come across as picky or difficult, I really love most maples I have seen, I am just looking for the few "perfect" ones for this Please share your thoughts and ideas with me. I will appreciate any comment.

And finally, I am sorry this has turned into such a long message.

Thanks in advance.


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I have one I really like. Its smaller (7 to 9 feet) but elegant, tough, and has bright green stems, even in the winter, which should look good with your brick. The limbs and leaves have a nice layered look.

A.p. 'Aocha nishiki'

Here's a description from a nursery:

Add new shades of green to your landscape with this cultivar. It is quite a bright yellow green in spring and stays lighter than others throughout the summer. Small amounts of cream variegation are barely noticeable but the luminous green branches stand out all year. Fall colors are gold and amber.

I've included a link to pictures of some of my maples, and you can see a picture of this one there. I bought mine from Eastwoods nursery.


K4 Japanese Maples - Spring '08

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:22PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

K4, wow those pictures are great. Thank you for sharing them here. Of course, going through them I found two more that I could add to my list, Hogyoku and Kasagi yama. The latter probably won't work for my full-sun situation, but I am sure I can find a spot in my yard. What about Hogyoku. I really like the shape of the leaves, great fall color too. How is the growth habit for you?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 12:59PM
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Hogyoku is similar in habit to Aocha Nishiki, but it gets twice as large. Leaves are thick in texture and limbs are sturdy. This is not a twiggy tree. In full sun the leaves get a slightly orange tint at the tips and edges, which I like.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 2:10PM
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