Upright Red Japanese Maple Suggestions

kallinanOctober 5, 2010

Hello! My wife and I intend to plant a Japanese Maple tree in our yard this year, and I was hoping to find some suggestions on cultivars. Below are our criteria in order of priority:

1. Upright! The taller the better, we want a plant that will mature into a tree.

2. Red. To contrast with our oaks & norway maples, we would like a cultivar with red leaves. However, we'd like to avoid dark crimson.

With those three criteria in mind, can anyone recommend some cultivars for us? We live in the 6b Hardiness Zone.

So far I've only found "Bloodgood" and "Fireglow." Both are intriguing. I really am drawn to Bloodgood's height, but I'm a bit concerned that it could be a deep purple for most of the year. Also, there seems to be a wide variety of Bloodgood trees in the area - some appear to be deep purple, while some appear to have green leaves with red tones on the edges. Is this natural variation, or due to sunlight? Or is the cultivar just a bit watered down? Fireglow has a really nice red color in summer, but I was discouraged by its 12-16 ft projected height.

Thanks in advance.

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'Bloodgood' is the standard by which all other red leaved upright Japanese maples are measured :-) Dark crimson or even maroon-hued foliage is going to be pretty much standard for most red leaved cultivars (that reach the size you want) but exact coloring will depend somewhat on siting - more sun might lighten or green out the coloring, less sun might darken it. 'Emperor I' is another excellent choice.

And you are correct, the cultivar 'Bloodgood' has become a bit watered down over the years, primarily due to its extreme popularity and a few less than highly disciplined growers. Some BG's are being sold that are even seed grown and are therefore NOT technically BG's at all! Make sure you are selecting from an experienced and reputable grower who is using quality grafting stock, not from a box store or other mass marketer.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 2:26PM
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I've planted some 'Twombly's red senntinel'. They top out at about 15'tall by 6'-8' wide. Nice red color. Heritage seedlings has small ones. I'm sure some jm specialty nurseries have them also.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:31PM
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