Bloodgood maple turning green - can I get it replaced?

homeownermvAugust 3, 2012

We live in the SF Bay Area and I've read up on postings regarding many suppliers selling bloodgood maples that are not the true variety which can turn green during the summer. My landscaper planted 3 such bloodgood maples and all 3 have turned into various shades of green.

Here are the photos:

Tree 1:

closeup of leaves on tree 1:

Tree 2:

Leaves on tree 2:

Tree 3:

Leaves on tree 3:

label of name on the tree

It also appears that the leaves aren't completely identical from tree to tree, which suggests that they're not all the same kind of maple. I don't know if bloodgood maples should all have matching leaves.

I complained to the landscaper and the response was that maples turning green is normal due to level of sun, temperature, etc. Can I challenge this claim and note that the trees aren't true bloodgoods and make him replace them? Is it considered deceptive to sell trees marked as bloodgoods that aren't of the type that will retain its color year round?

Note: our nextdoor neighbor's maples still appear red, so I suspect it's not due to weather that ours have turned green.

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They tend to do that. I say there is noting wrong with your trees. I have 2 bloodgoods and they tend to turn greenish this time of the year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:39AM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Level of sun does make a difference, as does the first two years while trying to establish. The first couple years, which I think I'm seeing from the tag that yours are new, this is automatic as far as I'm concerned. After a couple years - after they are established, they will do much better handling the sun except in extreme years of drought and high temperature.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:09AM
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The first two trees look like bloodgoods to me. Mine turn an olive/purple color in the summer. They stay more purple as they get older, but the leaves will still have an olive/dark green component to them late in the season.

The last tree looks different. Does it get more sun? The leaves look a lot like Oshio Beni later in the season.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:30AM
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They don't do that!! At most, in full sun and hot climates (the southern most part of its climate range), the leaves will bronze rather than remaining a true wine red. But those photos are well beyond bronze and into the downright green category, which is NOT characteristic of this cultivar.

'Bloodgood' is the most widely propagated and sold cultivar of Japanese maple. Unfortunately, to take advantage of its popularity, less than scrupulous growers frequently sell seed-grown forms as 'Bloodgood'. These are at best just Acer palmatum var. atropurpurea and leaf color (and shape) can and often does vary widely. 'Bloodgood' can only be sold as a grafted - never seed-grown - form.

There are literally thousands of these phony "bloodgoods" on the market....virtually any found at the box stores and home improvement centers will be imposters. To insure you are getting the real deal buy only from known growers or reputable garden centers.

FWIW, those three trees look nothing like the 'Bloodgood's sold at our nursery. Personally, I would not be satisfied with them if that's what you were told you were getting.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:43PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

One thing to consider is that purple leaf plants will tend to green/bronze a bit more in extreme heat.

But to GG's point yours are exceptionally green.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:55PM
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It is impossible to generalize a bloodgood's summer leaf color in such different climates, particularly in comparing the Pacific northwest to northern California which gets a LOT more direct sun. I purchased my bloodgood from a very reputable dealer who does their own grafting and it looks exactly like the first two trees you have pictured. That is perfectly compatible with bloodgood in a sunny bay area microclimate.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:59PM
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