Reverted Villa Taranto.. What do I have now?!

marchela(Z6, NJ)October 15, 2008

Ordered from Mendocino Maples last fall. Arrived without leaves. This spring only one low branch showed linearilobum leaves.. Was told by Mendocino that the maple probably reverted. What variety of maple do I have now? Thank you

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Did Mendocino explain anything further or offer to replace your plant?

I think that "reverted" means that the plant is expressing characteristics of the species Acer palmatum or characteristics of the rootstock plant.

If those branches are growing above the graft line give the tree some time (a year or 2) and see if it doesn't switch back to the 'Villa Taranto' you ordered.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:52AM
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marchela(Z6, NJ)

I was told that the tree probably reverted, and they cannot control it. The tree they shipped was Villa Taranto - "We don't ship reverted trees" (no replacement). All branches are growing above the gtaft line. What interesting is that the lowest branch is "Villa Taranto" but the rest is something else... :)
Should I contact them for info what did they used as rootstock? Thank you.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Maybe someone with more expertise will speak up.

If it were my plant I would let it grow for a while and see how it develops. It could switch completely back to VT in a season or 2. If it doesn't you could try and encourage the the branch that is correct to become dominant and gradually eliminate the reverted growth.

Since small plants are unpredictable it's wise to just give it some time to express itself. Go easy on fertilizing as rapid, excess nitrogen induced growth can disguise the distinctive leaf characteristics of AP cultivars,

Re: rootstock, it's doubtful that the grower would be able to trace the origin of the rootstock. Because it is seedling rootstock its characteristics could be extremely variable anyway.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:54PM
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It is pretty common for Villa Taranto to throw some reversion, especially with a young, small plant. Mine did, although the foliage didn't look quite like that - more like Bloodgood leaf in shape and coloring. And it did outgrow it....herman's advice to wait is sound :-))

I wouldn't worry about the rootstock - if all the branching and any leaf growth is above the rootstock, it is just a temporary (most likely) situation that is not related to any sort of graft failure.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 7:08PM
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marchela(Z6, NJ)

Thank you!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 8:23PM
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Many Japanese Maples - especially those with unusual leaf forms - have two different kinds of foliage: Juvenile and Adult. The Juvenile foliage tends to be large and look more like a typical palmatum leaf. These leaves appear on brand new growth. The Adult foliage appears on wood that is at least 2 years old, and will display the unusual characteristics that particular cultivar is known for. Villa Taranto is in the linearlobum classification of Japanese Maples, and all linearlobums display large Juvenile leaves like what you see. Second year and older leaves will have the typical ribbon-shaped lobes which you expect to see on this plant. Also, nurseries tend to over-fertilize their stock, and this leads to greater expression of the Juvenile leaf forms. Once your plant settles down you should see less of this, as long as you only fertilize lightly one time in early spring. JMs don't need or like a lot of fertilizer.



    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:48PM
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I took a picture of Adult vs Juvenile leaves from one of my Japanese Maples. This cultivar is A.p. 'Umegae'. The leaf on the right is a Juvenile leaf that grew this summer on new wood. The leaf on the left is an Adult leaf - the normal leaf size for this tree - and grew this summer on old wood. These leaves were taken from the same plant, growing just a few inches from each other!


K4 JM Leaves

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:02PM
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I agree with K4, juvenile foliage can be very different from the leaves of a more mature specimen. Green Trompenburg is one of those whose juvenile leaves are not curled. But with time, the leaves will display the signature curl of a Trompenburg.

Just make sure you prune off foliage growing below the graft. You don't want your maple spending energy growing rootstock and not the cultivar you paid for.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 1:07PM
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