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Japanese Maple Sango Kaku Question

Posted by ikea_gw 7 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 28, 10 at 16:16

I got a fairly young Japanese maple marked as Sango Kaku last fall. It had bright red stems and yellow leaves when I bought it since it was October. This year though, no color yet on the new stems that grew this spring/summer. The tree is still in a pot in open shade with one hour of direct sun. What is your experience with this maple in terms of when the red coloring show up on stems?

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RE: Japanese Maple Sango Kaku Question

Sango Kaku is an enormously popular cultivar and much like 'Bloodgood', suffers a bit from overproduction as well in that it is often grafted from inferior stock. It is also more vulnerable to some common J. maple diseases as well.

But having said that, if yours is from quality stock, the reddest stems will be the newest growth but that is sometimes not very apparent during the growing season -- colder weather seems to bring out the best coloring and winter is the time these trees really glow. Older growth and especially the trunk will fade to a more greenish brown in time but the upper stems and smaller branches should be a bright coral red. The foliage tends to be a grassy, almost chartreuse green during the season but then takes on a peachy golden color in fall. Depending on your specific location, SK can take a lot of sun as well. In my area it grows happily in full sun (with adequate summer watering) and that exposure also seems to intensify the coloring. Since it is still in a container, you might want to try it out in a variety of sitings before planting it permanently to see what works best for the stem coloring.

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