A. shirasawanum 'Palmatifolium'

kvolk(5aUt)October 10, 2005

The pictures that I have seen of the Acer shirasawanum 'Palmatifolium' are beautiful. I have been considering this tree but would be buying it largely becasue of it's fall folliage. Frank Byles site at mapletrees.net says that they leaves turn early and drop quickly. Has anyone had the same or a different experience with this tree? I am thinking that I will look at another one of the shirasawanums. I have 'Autumn Moon' and 'Aureum' sounds a little too fussy.

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wwangatwork(7a, VA)

I just planted one this year. It hasn't really changed color yet here in Z7. I'd be more concerned bout hardiness than fall colors in your zone.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 1:05PM
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I am actually in z5a. I need to change my profile.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 1:16PM
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My potted plant, about 7ft tall, but very young is one of the first to turn this year. It will be a very poor year for color by my early observations, the palmatifolium showing primarily yellow. Most of the leaves on my plant are a little crispy around the edges which will further the early drop. A healthy tree will hold its leaves longer.

For a truly spectactuar japonicum, try O'taki or O'isami. Vitifolium and Attaryi to a lesser degree and of course Aconitifolium is always good, but the dissected leaf never holds out well for me in our climate. Many of the above tree have larger leaves than Palmatifolium (similar leaf size to Autum Moon) which I think makes them more desireable.

Keep in mind that cultural and climatactic conditions GREATLY effect fall color and duration. All of the trees listed have more bad years in my climate then good ones, but the good ones are outstanding.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2005 at 5:54PM
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Thanks MJH. This one has got me confused. Vertrees describes Palmatifolium as holding it's leaves a long time. Yet Frank Byles' website describes it as dropping them quickly. From what I understand Frank ended up with the Vertrees maple collection through his father-in-law. He also really knows his maples. I've got a couple of really nice trees from him. I will ask him when I get a chance.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 2:24AM
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I am not sure about the validity of how Frank got his maples. I know that Vertrees gave plants to many people, some of whom started nurseries, but I thought his collection was still at Maplewood Nursery in Roseburg, Oregon about 90 miles north of me. The Nursery is still open there and I have plans to go in the next few weeks.

I tried to work out a deal with Byles once for a number of trees, but it fell apart somehow. It just seemed as though he didn't have the plants I wanted or many of the ones he lists on his site. I know he has the stock plants, but not many for sale. I got the impression that the best way to get plants from him was to got to one of his retail sites which is too far for me to drive. I am glad your experience was different and that his trees are nice.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 11:37AM
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Surfing the net I came across a newspaper article that described how Frank's father-in-law ended up with the Vertrees collection (apparently just part of it) and that Frank took it over when his father-in-law was ready to retire. HOw much is part truth I don't know. Frank is old enough to be close to retirement and I don't think that he propagates a lot of the unusal cultivars to have in stock. A lot of the cultivars on his sited are listed as "will graft". I was looking for a low grafted 'Orangeola' this fall and all he had was a little 1 gal tree. Last spring though he did go out of his way to help me out and get me nice trees.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 1:11PM
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For my garden, this cultivar has a rather sudden drop of leaves also...

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 8:23PM
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commenting sooooo long after last post but felt like i had to chime in about palmatifolium. I have a potted tree about 5-6 years. It is dramatically beautiful in spring leafing out. it stays bright and fresh looking through most of the summer. In autumn ususally it holds it leaves with a spectacular fiery display. It is a top pick for me. Grows in 5-6 hours afternoon sun, windy deck.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2007 at 12:13AM
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Planted 5' tall shirasawanum 'Palmatifolium' Full Moon Maple Nov '09 while it was in its Autumn glory. Coupl'a days later (after taking beautiful pictures of the blazing crown) the leaves turned brown and dropped off in a matter of two days. Thought I killed the tree planting it! Today, early Spring '10, the tree is leafing out and I anticipate the money spent for the specimen (it weren't cheap!!) will return in full with a blazing bonus! This eye-catcher is the most beautiful of all my Japanese maples.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 6:21PM
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My meager experience says shirasawanum's leaf out a little later and drop leaves a slightly earlier than palmatums.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:16PM
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