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Can I grow an Emperor in a pot?

Posted by butterfly4u 6 SE PA (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 10, 07 at 22:49

I bought a 4 inch stick of Japanese Maple Emperor last summer. By fall, it had many little leaves and was starting to grow pretty good.
It is in a glazed pot buried in the ground with mulch and leaves for protection for the winter.
My problem is, my back yard is full sun all day.
I can't plant it in the ground, because it can't take full sun all day.
Can I keep it in a pot for the next couple of years at least so that I can move it to the front of my house on the porch?
Mabey an arbor with a vine cover will provide some shade so that I can plant it in the yard? But it will outgrow the arbor eventually, right?
Is there a fast growing tree that I can plant to provide shade for it?
Appreciate any suggestions. I love Japanese Maples and I don't want to kill it.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I grow an Emperor in a pot?

You can grow it in a pot...for a while. Since japanese maples easily adapt to bonsai, they make natural container plants if cared for properly. However, Emperor 1 is a large cultivar with a fairly fast growth rate. If you are to keep it in a pot, you will have to take out the root ball every couple of years and re-pot it. Even then, I doubt it can be contained forever.

Secondly, I've seen Emperor 1 growing in nearly full sun here in SC. And there are hundreds of Bloodgoods growing in full sun; my mother has one planted in the middle of the yard with absolutely no shade. Granted they get some leaf burn in August, but they look quite healthy to me. So I would say that if you could find a spot near the house on the north or east side the Emperor should be fine. However, I would wait a few years until it is about 6 ft tall or so before I planted it in the sun.

As far as trees that grow fast, I'm not sure I can help you too much there. Most trees that grow fast have weak wood and they end up either splitting or falling on things (and you don't want limbs falling on your Emperor or house).

RE: Can I grow an Emperor in a pot?

As stated above, you can grow your Emperor 1 in a pot for quite a few years without problems. I have been growing Emoeror 1 in full sun in NJ since 1995 and do not get any leaf burn.

RE: Can I grow an Emperor in a pot?

With my very cold winters, Japanese maples don't stand a chance outside without somehow being protected. Last spring, I purchased Emperor1, and indeed it's a fast grower. As it gets larger, I intend to have it within a very big container. For winter I'll place it upon a trolley cart and simply wheel it into my large cold storage room. Despite the potential large size of Emperor1, I think I'll be able to keep this one happy for many years ... and later, I'll simply plant it directly in the yard ... and for winter lift and lean the tree toward the ground and protect, as people do so with figs in cold climates.


RE: Can I grow an Emperor in a pot?

Terry, I've had a couple of Japanese maples for a few years now and winter protect them. One is growing in a pot and in the past I sunk the pot into the ground, surrounded the small tree with a cardboard box (bottom flaps removed) and then filled in and around the tree with peat moss and then leaves. I also have a full moon Japanese maple that is planted in the ground and I do a similar method of winter protection. This works extremely well, though I realize as the tree gets bigger it's harder to protect the entire tree.

So, after getting tired of hauling peat moss this year I just wrapped the tree with quilt batting, then placed a rubbermaid type garbage can over it, then piled snow up and around the garbage can. We'll see how it survives. I have no expectations of it ever being a huge tree in this zone (it would be impossible to winter protect) but to be honest they are kind of neat looking as small shrub-sized trees as well.


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