Recommend a zone 5 Jap. Maple....maybe EMPEROR I?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)September 23, 2009

Anyone able to suggest a small scale Jap. maple that is zone 5 hardy?

From what I can tell EMPEROR I seems to be a good cultivar.

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It is a fine choice for a zone 5 garden but I'd not exactly call 'Emperor I' a "small scale" J. maple. It will eventualy attain the same mature size as 'Bloodgood', which generally is considered one of the larger (and faster) growing JM's. If you are looking for something similar but on the smaller size, get a 'Fireglow'. Or 'Shaina'.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:33AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Thanks I'll try to hunt those down...I have very little knowledge on the Jap. malples so I want to make sure I select a superior cultivar.

Emperor I is listed in my area as 12'-20'...I'd expect 12-15' in a heavier soil.

If I want to contain the Emperor I to 10'-12', would that be as issue? Or am I just better off seeking the other cultivars you listed?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:53AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Here are a few others I found. I would go for a green leaf jap. maple as well.

What I really want is a true zone 5 hardiness or better and then if it exists...a reliable long lasting vibrant orange fall color. I have not seen that fall color before in my area except for a Sugar Maple.





    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Acer japonicum and shirasawanum are generally considered more cold hardy but most Acer palmatums should be hardy to zone 5. I myself would steer away from the 'Ghost' series......these are reticulated forms and tend to be a bit more delicate than other choices. One of the best JM's for fall color is the straight species, which also has the benefit of superior cold hardiness as well. But this can get to be a largish tree in time.......quite a lot of time, all things considered :-) And I would NEVER recommend pruning a JM to control or limit size.

And it is not considered correct/polite to refer to these as "jap" maples. It is offensive to many. Please either spell out the word fully or abbreviate by initials.

Here is a link that might be useful: Asian maples for colder climates

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:41AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Why would you not recommend pruning a JM to contain its size? Bonasi is just the art of doing so.

I came across a Korean Maple locally, but as you stated many of these get to be quite large over time. The horticulturist I spoke to said it could get about 20' in our area, but not in our lifetime...slightly naive, but true.

"And it is not considered correct/polite to refer to these as "jap" maples."

Well I don't want to hurt the trees feelings! lol. I get your point though.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:57AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I'm in Illinois. Successful plantings of:
Acer palmatum 'Seiryu'
Acer japonicum 'Ogurayama'
Acer japonicum 'Acontifolium'

The species japonicum does best for winter-hardiness.
You should be very good with species:

Others for thought:
Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' -- quite a hardy tree.
Acer palmatum 'Skeeter's Broom'
All japonicums but not all shirasawanum's.
Acer palmatum 'Orido Nishiki'


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 10:38AM
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Bonsai is an entirely different set of circumstances and cannot be compared to growing trees in the ground. FWIW, I do not recommend pruning ANY tree solely to maintain a set size, nor do most certified arborists - for one, pruning encourages growth so once started it becomes an increasingly high maintenance chore. It is also well down on the list - if included at all - for reasons to prune. Excessive pruning, as in to control size, generally results in profuse sprouting (epicormic) along the remaining or denuded branches. This is an attempt to restore lost foliage. For this to occur, the tree must shift resources from other essential functions, e.g., root growth and defense, etc., to repair "damage" and restore "balance". This eventually weakens the tree and results in energy depletition, dieback, increased susceptibility to secondary pests, or decline. Not to mention that unless one knows what they are doing, too frequent pruning of Japanese maples destroys the growth habit that provides much of their character and generally results in ball-shaped mess.

It is a far better idea to pick a tree that can be allowed to grow to the desired size without restriction or limitation and leave pruning chores to those reasons most often stated - removing damaged, diseased or dead wood, thinning or lifting the canopy and enhancing growth habit.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 12:36PM
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