green bloodgood?

two_munkeys(z6 ON)September 6, 2009

I already have a stellar 8 year old bloodgood (in full sun and doing great!) and have the perfect spot for another, also in mostly sun (shaded just an hour before the sun goes down).

I was just at a local box store and they've got HUGE bloodgoods on clearance for a ridiculously low price. Cheap enough enough to find another home in my garden for one.

However, I know how questionable the labels can be on big box nursery stock. My concern with the specimens they had is that the leaves are greenish with only a hint of red. Some specimens have tiny new growth that is the brilliant red of a "typical" [true] bloodgood. The trunk is green and the leaves look like bloodgood leaves. If the leaves were red, I would not hesitate to believe the trees are indeed bloodgoods, but because the leaves are so green, I wonder.

Could the green leaves be due to where they were grown (shade) or is there a green(er) variety? I'm hoping if I buy one and put it in a sunnier spot that the brilliant red colour comes out (will judge next year, obviously), but the woman I spoke with said the bloodgoods have been in that very spot since early summer - pretty much full sun - so I'm not sure why they're so green. Would stress cause them to be more green? (they're potted, probably not well watered/fed).

TIA!

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brettay

My 2 Bloodgoods get full sun all summer. When the leaves emerge in spring, they have a bright red/purple color. In late spring/early summer, the leaves darken to a purple/maroon color. As the summer progresses, they develop olive/green colors and loose some, but not all, of the purple overtones. I think these seasonal differences add a lot more interest than if they were the same color all year long.

-Brett

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 11:15PM
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gardengal48

They could very well be seed-grown 'Bloodgood's, in which case they are not true 'Bloodgood's at all - that cultivar name can only be applied to grafted forms from known stock. Seed produced trees sold under a specific cultivar name are unfortunately becoming more common - they are cheaper and easier to grow and unscrupulous growers market them to places like HD and other discounters for unsuspecting consumers to buy, thinking they are the real thing and a good deal (the "ridculously low price"!). The exact genetics of 'Bloodgood' has been diluted over the years by this kind of practice so that many JM's sold as 'Bloodgood's are not.

These trees are most likely seed-grown varieties and legitimately considered or recognized to be only Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum or a red leaved form of the species. Not true 'Bloodgood's at all. Coloring will be be variable. A true 'Bloodgood' should hold its color very well, even in the heat of summer and in full sun.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 9:52AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

When a cultivar is widely known and grown found seedlings may also be used as vegetative propagation source material by growers who apparently don't know the difference. There might be purple-leaved plum clones on the market as 'Thundercloud' that started with scions being taken from a spontaneous seedling growing beside a road somewhere, or 'Bloodgood' maples that trace their origins to a seedling that popped up in a nursery. A specific, documented example is the 'Hollywood' plum currently on the general market. The wholesale grower who built it up put it out originally based it on a tree found in a garden in Oregon. Later he realized his error but the horse was out of the barn. The plant should properly be called 'Spencer Hollywood', after the name of the party occupying the property where the Oregon tree was first discovered.

The true 'Hollywood' originated much earlier, in California, and now may be offered by one California wholesale nursery at most.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 1:49PM
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houstontexas123(z9a)

my emperor 1 does the same thing as Brettay's bloodgoods. starts out purple/black then turns a dark green in the summer. ive had mine 3 years.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 4:12PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Don't hold up as well in hot climates (and planting sites) as in cool. Hot and dry conditions cause fading and burning, even in cool climates. Full shade causes mostly purple to be replaced by mostly green, you can see this right on the tree even when in sun, the inner foliage becoming less purple than the outer.

I'd rather look at purple-and-green than brownish and crispy.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 11:52AM
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