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Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

Posted by slugugh z8 WA (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 1, 07 at 12:36

We are about to move from Seattle to Spokane...I have 23 Japanese Maples, of which I will only take 12. (The other 12 are planted in the ground, and I will leave them with the new owners of my garden)...

Can other Spokane gardeners tell me how JM do in Spokane? If they will not do well, I will give them away.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 1, 07 at 16:37

Heat, spring frosts and alkaline soils or irrigation water could all be problems. A heavily irrigated, humid yard would get better results than one that is not, you see marked differences in summer condition of Japanese maples due to watering practices even here on this side of the Cascades.

When I was at Washington State University in Pullman, south of Spokane the only Cornus florida - another rainy summer climate tree - I saw was in a planter surrounded by water and walls.

RE: Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

Thanks for your response bboy!

RE: Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 6, 07 at 10:40

My mother grew a few Japanese Maples in Millwood, just east of Spokane. They grew alright, but not as nice as they would have here.
Acid fertilizer and rainwater might improve their growing a bit. Prune for heavy ice and snowloads. Cold might be an issue with some, so a protected spot might be preferred.

RE: Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

> Heat, spring frosts and alkaline soils or irrigation water could all be problems. <

In Central Texas we experience 3 of the 4 (I'll let you guess ;-) , and prob to greater extremes than Spokane. With care most JM cultivars survive, granted most don't thrive like they would in Seattle.

Can't imagine giving up on JMs, though. :-)

RE: Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 7, 07 at 11:23

Sunset Western Garden Book (Sunset Publishing, 2001), which has Japanese maple zoned for the area including Spokane, provides this discussion:

"Grafted garden varieties are popular, but common seedlings have uncommon grace and usefulness; they are more rugged, faster growing, more drought tolerant, and they stand more sun and wind than named forms do. Japanese maples thrive everywhere in the Northwest, where they make good small street trees. They can be grown with success in California if given shelter from hot, dry or constant winds. Filtered shade is best, but full sun can be satisfactory. In California, consider the local soil and water; wherever azaleas are difficult to grow and suffer from salt buildup in the soil, Japanese maples will show burn on leaf edges. Give same watering treatment as azaleas--flood occasionally to leach out salts."

RE: Japanese Maples and Spokane WA (z-5)

I gave my aunt a seedling of 'Sango Kaku' the red twigged JM.
She lives in Spangle just south of Spokane. I worried about winter-kill as this area may experience strong wind and subzero temperatures.
The first year it lost significant wood but it came back strong and is now doing well. I would recommend mulch and perhaps a burlap wrap for the first winter. Planting near mature trees to shelter may help as well. Good luck.

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