Acer for full sun in zone 7

danell(7)August 23, 2010

I posted this as a response to a similar post for zone 9 but thought I'd try a separate one too given I'm in a different zone and that post was old.

I live in zone 7, in Sams Valley Oregon. My back yard is West facing with lots of sun, clay soil with Ph of 7 to 7.5. I lost a Bloodgood, it was in the ground only 1 year - who knows what happened; I'm willing to try again. I like the canopy on the green leaf Japanese Maples and the one I have in the front yard is doing okay after 1 year.

So, maybe a green leaf Jap. Maple in the back yard too. Yet I love the Coral bark even though it is more vase shaped, will it tolerate these conditions? Perhaps an Emperor? The forest service states Acer tataricum ginnala and Acer truncatum do well here in the valley - again these are vase shaped but that may be okay.

I would like the canopy to be high enough that it will not get in the way when playing ball with the dogs or mowing, moderate to fast growth rate, shade and ornamental value, little to moderate litter and at least 3 seasons of interest.

These (I plan to get two) will be planted in each corner of the yard with a triad of Juniperius V. Monbells (blue-green, tall & narrow) and two Dwarf Golden Mops in the center along with ornamental grasses and perennianls.

Any suggestions?

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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Zone 7 simply means how cold it'd get in your area. What matters more is how hot it gets. Green Japanese maples tend to do better in full sun as long as it doesn't get hotter than 85 degrees (maybe 90*? I forget). Does your clay soil drain well? Japanese maple does not like very wet feet.

A. truncatum (Shantung Maple) is much tougher than Japanese maple in very hot weather in full sun in Texas. It grows faster and will get bigger than Japanese maple.

This is from in Ft Worth, Texas-

Most Sun Tolerant - Upright: Acer palmatum, Sango Kaku (Coral bark), Seiryu, Omureyama, Osakasuki

You could look at Trident maple. Maybe Paperbark maple but it's a slow grower.

By the way, if you're interested in 'Fire Dragon' shantung maple, the only way to get it is to drive all the way to Ft Worth. Not yet widely available unfortunately. It's a nice tree and easy to grow in full sun in hot weather.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 12:36PM
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Thanks Lou. I don't know how well the clay drains but is something I had considered because I know Japanese Maples don't like wet feet - guess I'll have to dig a hole, grab the garden hose and find out.

Our summers can get up into the mid 90's with some days in triple digits yet I've heard the Emperor, Boskoop and Fireglow do well in sun and now I hear Sango Kaku does too. Augh my conditions may be too much for any of these, yes?

I had thought of the Trident but cannot seem to find a reliable picture of one so I don't really know what it looks like. Does anyone have a link or photo they can share?

Now Lou, you tease, tell me about a great possible but then add that I have to drive to Texas to get it. I spent 10 years too long in Texas and was glad to see it "in the rear view mirror" LOL. Thanks appreciate you!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:40PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

USDA 7 or Sunset 7? (Sometimes people in the western states post Sunset Climate Zones here, not realizing that the others are using USDA Hardiness Zones).

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:20AM
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Sorry bboy, I'm on the low end of the learning curve, I've never had a garden or yard before. I checked and it seems both USDA and Sunset Zones in my case are 7. Forgive my ignorance but what do these two different Zones mean and how does one use them?

I have taken some landscaping courses and this never up.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:22AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

USDA system in general use but is based only on average annual minimum temperatures recorded over a specific 15 year period. Hence "hardiness zones". Sunset maps show distribution of complete climates rather than low temperatures, but are not in general use - most people not familiar with the Sunset system will not have any idea what areas and conditions these refer to.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:48PM
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Thanks bboy. Sounds like the Sunset would be the better one to use. I'll do more research and be sure to ask about it in the tree course I've signed up for. Much appreciate your feedback.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 3:54PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Your location puts you in the vicinity of forestfarm, one of the most important retail nurseries in the country. The Siskiyou-Klamath ecoregion is also the western analog to the Southern Appalachians in terms of wild plant diversity, with a concentration of ancient species predating the last continental ice sheet and inhabiting a maize of different soils. If you get bored or frustrated with your yard you still have wonderful plant-related outdoor recreational opportunities in nearby mountains!

Forestfarm is participating in the development of the Cascadia Botanical Garden, a slowly unfolding long-term project on the former Steve Miller estate not far from the existing nursery site. Thousands of kinds of plants, based on the collections of the nursery will be grown and displayed there.

At present the nursery houses and sells a large assortment of Japanese maples. Where they are the vegetation is primarily chaparral and small thin pines etc. If you are out near Medford you could be in a drier grassland area, where Japanese maples may need the humidity (and perhaps leaching of mineral salts in the soil) of a heavily irrigated site (with good drainage).

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 12:33PM
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Frustrated? Me? No! Is it that evident? LOL. Your right though there is plenty of outdoor activity here and seldom a weekend goes by that I and the dogs are not on one trail or another.

I know about Forest Farms, stellar reputation. However, they are mainly mail order and do not encourage the public to come visit. I did send an email though and was told if they have something that may work for me they could set up a preview.

Yep, grassland area and possible need to leach the soil - spot on bboy.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 11:59PM
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