Maples for my area

laila_2009June 18, 2012

Has anyone in my area bought and successfully grown a maple from my area. The colors are not too important to me but I do not want the same red shades as my cherry tree that it will be next to. One that leans towards keeping its leaves all year would be preferable, and hearty, not too delicate.

It will be in a raised, opened bottom, 2 foot wide planter against the west side of a fence.

I want it about 15 feet tall, with a 5 ft wide canopy if possible.

I would like to try an online vendor and am wondering if anyone knows of a good reputable one in California, local? Thanks in advance

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gardengal48

California is a BIG state with a lot of different growing conditions......where are you located? Maples can be grown in virtually any climate, but I'm getting the impression you are looking for a Japanese or other Asian maple, which offer less versatility. Especially in SoCal with pretty intense summer heat, drought and more alkaline growing conditions.

One sign that these types of trees will do well for you is to see if they are being sold at your local retail nursery or garden center (not the box store!). I've attached link for one of the better mail order sources for your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pacific Coast Maples

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:49PM
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laila_2009

Thanks for getting back to me. I am located in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula, where we have foggy summers, that go long to indian summers, a week or two of 90's, dew almost every morning, and it drops down to 20 F on the coldest winter night, a rare temperature.

The tree will have morning shade/afternoon sun due to the fence.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 11:06PM
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laila_2009

I have narrowed it down to some I found on a site. I am also posting this in the California forum. I have heard fall colors are rare in mild climates. Any experience on that? Are these authentic names, or varieties created by this specific grower? Do the uprights I have listed spread wide, prunable?
Any experience with these in California?

ACER japonicum Vitifolium
ACER palmatum Beni kawa; is this tree upright?
ACER palmatum Katsura; looks a bit bushy in pictures. Easy to prune?
ACER palmatum Ki hachijo; is it a canopy tree?
ACER palmatum Osakazuki
ACER palmatum Sango kaku
ACER palmatum Seiryu
Acer palmatum Summer Gold
ACER shirasawanum Autumn Moon
Acer Shirasawanum Moonrise

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 1:49AM
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gardengal48

Those are all real trees with real names :-)

If you are new to JM's, I'd avoid Beni Kawa and Sango Kaku. The red barked maples tend to be on the higher end of disease issues (especially in damp and/or humid climates) and maybe not the best choices for beginners. Katsura, Ki Hachijo, and Seiryu all have a more shrubby or bushy growth habit. I'd not recommend pruning necessarily to alter that - it's just the way they are. Osakazuki is an excellent canopy tree and with the best fall color of just about any JM. Not grown Summer Gold myself but it should be a scaled down version of Osakazuki, at least in form.

The two shirasawanums may experience leaf scorch in much afternoon sun. Ideally, all of these trees would prefer the opposite siting - morning sun/afternoon shade - especially in CA, but the deeper green or red leaved choices should be OK with adequate irrigation.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:54PM
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laila_2009

Thanks for the reply garden gal. I will look for a good Osakazuki. I have found a site with grafts for sale. Is it better to get one from seed? Then I read it is better to plant in the fall?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 11:51PM
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gardengal48

ALL named Japanese maples are grafted. Seedlings can only be just the straight Acer palmatum or Acer palmatum var. dissectum but never a named form (or cultivar like 'Osakazuki'). As a result, their size, leaf shape and leaf coloring is undetermined. If you want Osakazuki, look for a grafted tree only.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 1:54PM
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