Sangu Kaku and sun

cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)July 22, 2005

I have a lovely coral bark maple that was in full sun when I bought it.

Here where I am in MD, I've received 1 thunderstorm in the past 27 days. Yes, despite what my area around DC has received, I have literally driven out of the rain when I turned down my road.

The point here is that it's horribly hot here, with temps in the 90s, 80% humidity, and next week they're talking in the 100s.

Can this beautiful tree actually take full sun or what's anyone's experience with it? It's about 4' tall now and beautiful, although the leaves are browning, which scares me.



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sequoia851(CA z9sunset15)

How long has it been planted in its current location? A more established tree will be able to take more sun. No matter what you should give it a HEAVY mulch during the hot summer months. My experience in CA is that the Sangu Kakus can take a lot of sun if all its other needs are met (not overwatering in particular).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 5:29PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

Well, actually, that's the problem.
I just bought it and haven't planted it yet. I'm afraid to put it in the sun the way I found it at the nursery. If all the leaves brown off, won't it die without them being able to photosynthesise (or however you spell that)?

If so, I'd actually bury it in a pot in a shady spot for this year, and plant it in the fall in the sunny area so it'll be more hardy next year.

I've searched and read everything I could here regarding this beautiful tree, but this particular circumstance hasn't been discussed.

Thanks for your thoughts,

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 9:28PM
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sequoia851(CA z9sunset15)

If I were you I'd keep it in a pot in a shadier spot for the rest of the hot summer months. Not sure about burying the pot though - you don't want to trap water in the root area. Then in late summer or early fall when it's not quite so hot, plant it in the sunnier spot. Give it some root stimulating fertilizer and let it get established before winter. Then just keep an eye on it next summer to make sure it survives. A little leaf burn in the first year or two will probably be expected, but as the tree establishes a solid root system, it will burn less and less.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 4:18PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

That makes sense.
Do you know, though, if my concern about the leaves burning off is valid? Will it die because there's nothing to photosynthsisize? Because in subsequent years, I will want to know if I should worry.

We're getting over 100 degree weather this week here. These 90+ days are more and more common, for more extended periods each year. I'm actually wondering if I'll ever be able to safely plant my maple collection.

Speaking of collection, the pot thing. I have probably 30 small grafts of different maples. What I do is pot them, then bury the pots. I can move them easily until I find a place where the light is good for them. As time passes (and I increase the pot size) I can also check for appropriate location for their size, etc. I am blessed with raised beds and great drainage in the ground level gardens. I'm just not blessed with shade. Can't have everything, I guess!

But I appreciate the advice and will follow it. Thank you for taking the time to write.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 9:46AM
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wwangatwork(7a, VA)

It might burn the first year or two that you have in in ground in full sun, but it should be ok after that. If you get the chance, you should go see the maple nursery, Eastwood Nurseries, out near Shenandoah Valley. They have rows and rows of maples of various types planted in ground in full sunlight. No wind or shade protection, and there is almost no leaf burn.


Here is a link that might be useful: Eastwood Nurseries

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 11:44AM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I noticed they're only a few hours from where I live. I was out at Thanksgiving Farm & Nursery recently and they also had all their maples (in pots) in full sun.

I repotted the Sangu Kaku this morning and buried the pot in an afternoon shaded spot. I hope it recovers from the leaf burn, because it was so lovely and luminescent! I feel bad for it. I almost wish it wouldn't grow more than its current 5' because it's so perfect there in my raised bed! [LOL]

I appreciate all the suggestions and hope. I plan to plant it in the fall.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 1:43PM
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jmwclemson(z7 Ga Hoschton)

I understand your panic, i love my trees also and panic alot also. But you are proably fine. Leaf drop does not automatically mean all is lost. I have recieved small grafts, which did not fair well in there travel. They pretty much didnt have leaves most of the summer. This year, they leafed out fine. Just keep your tree happy with regular water and be gentle this year with it. It should be ready for any sun next year. I have two 'Sangu kaku's in full sun with no problems.
These trees can be quite resilient. They have more buds hopefully growing where your leaves were and some dormant ones, just waiting for thses situations. Let it decide if it wants to leaf out this year or next.

Acer palmatum 'Crazy'

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 6:10PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I really appreciate the encouragement. It was so luminescent there at the nursery -- in the sun! I have created an entire, 75' x about 20' garden with it as the centerpiece. Now I just have to keep that area empty in anticipation.

I have gone nutty on Japanese maples. I have an Atrolineare that is going to compliment this beautifully. It's been several weeks with 90 degree weather, so it's already become gold with its burgundy stems. STUNNING, and a great compliment to the 'Cherokee Sunset' gloriosa daisies and some day, my beautiful 'Sangu Kaku!'

Then, there are the Crape Myrtles, Nandina 'Domestica' and 'Belle Harbor Dwarf,' the Coneflower 'Art's Pride' and for dark accent, common, rich, deep burgundy mums. Anyway, it's my newest garden and so far, the colors just have me mesmerized!

Thanks again for the thoughts. If I can figure out how to use the digital camera I bought 3 years go (Yes, I've read the directions) I'll try to post pictures.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 9:20AM
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tonyb416(z5-6 NJ)

That sounds like a pretty amazing garden you planned. Hopefully you can post pics soon.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 8:58PM
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cfmuehling(7b DC/MD burbs)

I'll try, Tonyb416! It's only 1 of a whole bunch, but I keep getting better at it. It's only my 3rd year gardening, so I learn as I go.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 7:58AM
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Sango Kaku does a tremendous job of taking full sun and its winter color is truly outstanding. On Pacific Coast Maples website they list many maples that do well in full Sun.

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

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 11:49PM
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I have a Sango Kaku in full sun (both south and west exposures) right here in the DC area, that has worked well for me for 4+ years. I've seen a little burning but minimal. I probably should have watered more... First winter after planting I had a neighbor ask why we had "painted" the tree red.

BTW the crape myrtle you provide me is doing well.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:48PM
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I've been with GW for many years and it continues to amaze me how nearly every question I have has been asked and answered before!!

I just saw a striking Sango Kaku at a nursery. It is still leafless in our area. The bark is so gorgeous and matches my front door exactly. (yeah, I'm one of those who likes to match things...)

But my front is south facing and I figured I couldn't put it there. But lo and behold, looks like I can. I am so psyched. Can't wait to go back to the nursery and get it!

THe whole way home, I couldn't wait to go online and search for GW comments cause I couldn't get the tree out of my mind.

Thank you GW-ers!

Any comments on its fall color in full sun?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 8:03PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

The Sango is a crunundrum some folks have great luck with it some don't ...maybe the humidity or soil conditions effect it's viability I am not sure... it, like all the red bark varieties are in fact phenominal but not optimal for everyone IMHO ...I think if it is sheltered and pampered it "can" work most places ...I personally had severe leaf burn in full sun last summer more than most other similarly placed JM's and severe winter kill on it last winter and my prize Japanese sunrise that in an approximate area had NO problems with the sun but just about croaked from this past winters havoc while most of my other JM's in the same general area showed little damage!!...go figure...I know there are 10 others who gush how well theirs done in full sun zone 4a cold ect etc etc.... but my 5 ft'rs ( older established trees) did not fair well at all so be advised ...maybe you will be in the other gushing group??? I personally would not recommend it for my area...
I also think all being equal the Japanese sunrise is by far a superior tree in every aspect including form and color in fact it's year round beauty is truly dramtic it is ( was?) my wifes favorite tree and one of mine too but alas I can't recommend that for here either...Good luck ...David

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 8:48PM
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giboosi_alttara(z6 CT)

MY SK burned a lot in full sun it's first year, less so the 2nd, and not at all in the 3rd. It's grown a lot, and has gorgeous all color.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 9:44AM
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giboosi... what gorgeous all color is it? :-)

I read that the bark does not remain coral when the plant is mature. That's unfortunate, but hopefully that will be many years from now.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 10:57AM
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sorry for all the duplicate messages. When I hit SEND, I get an error and says it didn't submit it, but apparently not so. dang software...

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 11:00AM
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