What Japanese Maples do you grow? Fall color?

mrtulinOctober 8, 2010

I hope we haven't covered this too recently.

Besides Bloodgood, Crimson King what japanese maples do you grow?

Which have thrived?

Tell me about fall colors.



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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

I have several that I'll comment on:

Suminigashi - medium growth rate, mine is in full sun, spring foliage is a dull red, turns green in the summer, prolifically forms nice bright red keys that contrast the green leaves, turns a fiery bright red in the fall that is simply stunning.

Fireglow - slow growth rate, mine is in full sun, Spring is this cultivar's best season, the Spring foliage is fiery red that is absolutely breathtaking. It looks particularly spectacular when backlit by the sun. It holds its red color very well thoughout the season although it's not quite as fiery throughout the summer. Fall foliage is not much different than the way it looks through the seasons.

Hogyoku - fast growth rate, mine only gets direct sun in the early morning and late afternoon. The leaves are somewhat star-shaped and the young bark and branches are bright green. The leaves are dark green in the Spring and Summer. In the fall, the leaves turn bright yellow although in a couple of years they have turned bright pumpkin orange. This tree is known for that orange fall color. I absolutely love this tree.

I have a few others but they are small and I really haven't had them long enough to comment on them.

I'll try to post some pictures of the ones that I've mentioned when their foliage turns in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:32PM
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Another maple I find absolutely stunning in Fall is Sango Kaku - it very slowly turns from chartruese to golden yellow - and doesn't lose leaves as it turns. It is a real focal point over a long time.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 7:34AM
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I have a few bloodgoods that are doing great- one I had to take down- I think it was in a tough location with wind etc. I've tried to grow sango maples (nice red bark) twice but the locations were just too windy I think and they both ended up dying (that was expensive). I planted some red sunsets this spring also. It seems the maples that were purchased in containers are really out-doing the B&B's maples I planted in terms of fullness and growth height. might mean nothing but just an observation on my part.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 6:48AM
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This is my first year with 'Sango Kaku' (Coral bark Maple) and so far I can't find enough good words to describe its performance :-)
Actualy I have two of them, one is in a well watered bed in full sun and another in a very shady non-watered location. Both doing equally well.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Hi George,
I bought two small ones and try as I might it was difficult to keep them watered this summer. The top two inches of twigs died back, but they'll live.

What did you like about their "performance"? Where do you have them sited and who keeps them company?

I saw a half priced viridis which is sort of say "green maple" but it is not a named variety.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Hi Marie,

For green laceleaf maples I have 'Viridis' and 'Waterfall'. They both get exceptional orange fall color. If you can get a 'Viridis' for a decent price I'd recommend it.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:09PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm still looking for a Coral Bark Maple. I think I will wait until the spring since it is so late. I looked for one at a couple of places and didn't see a good specimen and I didn't have time to look any more. It sounds like you bought a smaller one in a container, George, would you mind if I asked where you bought it?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 3:58AM
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I got my Sango Kaku at Mahoney's about 7 years ago - it was a decent price and a decent size - in fact I didn't know much about Japanese Maples at the time and it was the cheapest one for the biggest size there. It is growing in a fair amount of high shade - South-West expsoure and has done very well.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mine would be going in a Southeast exposure with some further shade from a maple on the eastern side. I already have one Bloodgood growing there and it does fairly well, although I think it could be bushier. I'll check out Mahoney's in the spring, when I'm looking. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:29AM
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IMO, Sango Kaku will grow equally well in any exposure, but in a full shade fall color could be duller.
It's a realatively fast growing cultivar, so price shouldn't be astronomical.
I bought both of mine from HD, 7'=$79 and 5'=$49.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 5:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Nice to know it is also fast growing. I keep looking at different cultivars but keep coming back to the Coral Bark. I love the color of the bark and everything else about it too. Wow, that really surprises me you found one at HD. I would not have thought to look there. I will have to keep my eyes out and call around in the spring to see if they can tell me whether they are planning on stocking it anywhere near me. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 8:26PM
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PM2, problem with HD is that individual stores don't know what they'll receive untill truck will be there. Even when they got their shipment invoice will say something like 'Assorted japanese Maples' and someone has to go out and physically check what tags on a plants says. Which is not going to happen, as you may guess :-)
In my neck of the woods the following cultivars are pretty much common parts of the mix: 'Inaba Shidare', 'Tamukeyama', 'Red Select', 'Viridis', 'Butterfly' and 'Sango Kaku'. However, when grower for whatever reason can't fullfill order's quantity with 'common' plants it will throw in something from his 'premium' stock...but to get them you should be lucky to be the one of the first who sees them...and know what you are looking at :-)
That's is how I got my 'Koto Hime' and 'Oridono Nishiki' (which at first glance looks like a 'Butterfly' reverting to original green form).

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I think about the best I can do, is find out when their shipments come in and be one of the first to see it. Thanks for clarifying that. Sounds like you have picked up a few nice trees. I have seen a lot of 'Bloodgood' at our local Lowe's but that's about it and I haven't made regular trips to HD because it's a little further away, but I am going to have to put more effort into it.

Any time you want to post some photos of your garden, I haven't seen any for awhile and would enjoy it. :-) Our fall color is still developing here.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 2:37PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

Now that my Japanese maples are turning, I can finally post some pics to go along with my descriptions that I posted a few weeks ago.

First up is Hogyoku. The first two pics are backlit and the foliage looks more yellowish in color.

I took another picture today from a different angle where my Paperbark maple behind the Hogyoku is just starting to turn and my Green Giant arborvitae make a nice green backdrop. The orange color of Hogyoku is more evident in this picture. The Paperbark maple is always the last tree to turn for me.

Speaking of the Paperbark maple, check out the trunk

Now for the Suminigashi. This tree has never disappointed since I've had it. This first picture shows the neon red color that it always displays in the fall.

Close-up of the foliage. A much different shape than Hogyoku

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 10:22PM
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tree oracle, thanks for reviving this thread with such beautiful photos. That suminigashi is to die for. Next year.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 11:38PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Beautiful pics! I noticed this past weekend that the japanese maples were particularly beautiful - all of them: red, orange, yellow... I don't know if it's because they are, in general, slower to lose their leaves, so they were standing out more against the more-bare trees, or maybe it was the absolutely gorgeous weather with brilliant sunshine, but it seemed everywhere I drove the japanese maples caught my eye. Although, they looked pretty darn nice today even in the rain.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 11:45PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

It's because they turn late. Most trees that turn late have better fall foliage in the South because the nights are starting to cool down there and the conditions are perfect for a good foliage show. The frosts that we usually get around here at the same time tends to zap the foliage on those trees that turn late. However, the weather has stayed relatively warm this year and allowed the late ones a chance to put on a good show.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 9:26PM
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