Largest Japanese Maple

Discussion in 'Maples' started by timnichols, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. timnichols

    timnichols Active Member Maple Society

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    So many people have claimed that a 35 ft tall Japanese Maple is the largest JM that you'll ever see. The first two maples are 35 ft tall. The red is from my yard. The green one we spotted locally on the side of the street.

    The last photo is a picture of a 45-50 ft Japanese maple that I spotted at a customer's house. From the description of its size, I thought for sure that it was going to end up being a silver-leaf maple or a sugar maple, or that it's size had been overestimated. This wasn't the case. It is clearly Acer palmatum. My brother is in the photo with arm up at the base of the tree. This reach is an 8 ft 3inch reach. You can see that this maple is gigantic.

    Has anyone spotted a Japanese maple larger than the tree in the picture on the far right?

    All these trees are located in Western North Carolina.
     

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  2. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Nice tree. There are some large ones around here. I'd have to do a survey walking to see just how large--it might take some time, but I'll look. A lot are 35' or so. Old coastal communities probably have a few big ones.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    UK champion Japanese Maple is 16 metres tall.

    I'd not be in the least surprised if there are some far larger in Japan.
     
  4. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Some in Japan have a 500 year head start on the oldest palmatums in Europe and North America. A website with pictures of larger Japanese Irohamomiji up to 27m (90 feet) tall (and also other Japanese maple species): Gigantic & Noted Maple trees in Japan.

    Not the biggest, but I like the last one featured on that page, with the almost horizontal trunk with ferns and plants growing out of it. The phrase "mature Japanese maple" might have been invented for that tree. More pictures here: "Glowing maple in the evening sun" at Enmeiji temple in Kawachi-nagano City Osaka Pref.
     
  5. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks Maf for these wonderful links. It is truly awesome to contemplate the history of these Japanese trees.

    -E
     
  6. timnichols

    timnichols Active Member Maple Society

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    As always, Great links Maf! Thanks a lot for sharing those!

    Has anyone spotted a Japanese Maple 45-50ft (14-15meters) tall outside of Japan? Honestly, I love looking at gigantic Japanese maples. I would love to see pictures, even if the trees are only 35 ft tall (10m).


    Michael F,

    Do you have a photo of the UK champion maple that is 16 m tall?

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sorry, no - I haven't seen it myself, just got the details from a UK Champion Trees listing.
     
  8. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    There is one at Westonbirt supposed to be 19m (62 feet) and 3 more of 18m, if I visit there this autumn I will take some photos to post in this thread.

    P.S. Their database also lists a 'Higasayama' of 11m and a 'Hagoromo' of 15m.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Jacobson, North American Landscape Trees (1996, Ten Speed, Berkeley):

    A. palmatum

    50' Seattle, WA (1988; now dead); 45' Riverside, CT (1987)
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Isn't this a Japanese Maple? The corner stack of windows starts at the third floor, so this seems to be about 5th floor height. Would that be about 45 feet? I think these are Park Board trees - one of the three of them is right next to a Cappadocian maple that I'm sure is a street tree. They're across the path from the edge of Stanley Park at Comox St in Vancouver.
     

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  11. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, Japanese Maple. Going by the general scale of its surroundings, I'd guess it is about 8-9m tall.
     
  12. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I know of a very large japanese maple in Seattle which is probably around 40' tall. I will try to get down there and get a photo of it. I know another one which is around 30' tall but I bet it is 50' to 60' wide.
     
  13. timnichols

    timnichols Active Member Maple Society

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    Charlie,

    If you're headed that way, I would love to see some photos. It's amazing what these trees can do over time.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    >I know of a very large japanese maple in Seattle which is probably around 40' tall<

    - 2015 29th Ave W (at W Crockett St): one 41' tall, wider still, its trunk over 8'0"
    - 601 36th Ave E: 40 1/2' tall


    --A.L. Jacobson, Trees of Seattle - Second Edition (2006, Seattle)
     
  15. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    Neither tree I know of are at those addresses. I will try and get photos of all four trees in the next week. One of my favorite large japanese maples is at the Kubota Garden. It is hidden a bit by huge rhodies next to it but it has and outstanding open structure. Kubota Garden also has some giant weepers.
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Jacobson uses an instrument to measure tree heights and gives (2006) a full page of Japanese maple locations, although most are not with measurements. Purple cut-leaved types listed include one 12' tall and another 12 1/2' tall.
     
  17. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I have not measured the height of some of the big red leaf dissectums in Seattle but I would think I have seen a few taller than 12'. There are a few down in south Seattle near or now at the Kubota Garden which are huge. There is one on Mercer Island which I have not seen but heard about which is very large. One of them in Kirkland Wa is easily 12 plus feet tall, this tree came over from Korea in the 1950's and at that time the tree was over 80 years old.
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  19. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Easily have 8-10 ft lace leaf maples here, in a community that has been around since the mid 20's, there's a gorgeous one around the corner from me.
     
  20. wcutler

    wcutler Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I checked today - there are three of these and they're private trees, on the corner of the highrise property.

    While I'm at it:
    According to this highrise height calculator, I can assume 4.65m for the lobby level of the building next to the tree in posting #10, and 3.1m for each of at least two floors above the lobby, so that totals at least 10.8m, or 35 feet. I think it's the height of three floors, but I won't press it. Today I talked a passerby into posing next to one of the trees. She said she's 175cm tall, and in the photo she fits at least six times along the tree she's standing next to, so that's 10.5m, similar to the other calculation.
     

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  21. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I checked out some of the taller palmatums at Westonbirt Arboretum the other day, many of which were planted in the 1800's. Unfortunately the one listed in the database as 19m tall is no more! It was part of a group of palmatums close together listed at 19m, 18m and 16m. I found the 16m tree very easily and identified it from the tag number, but the other two were nowhere to be found. I widened and widened my search area to no avail, and eventually returning to the area immediately around the 16m tree I noticed that on the ground there were several logs, and sections of trunk, from Acer palmatum, some still with dried up leaves attatched. Checking the ground it was clear that a stump or stumps had recently been ground out also. One of the cut-off branches had fruiting bodies of some kind of bracket fungi suggesting a possible reason why they were cut down. Also, they would have been overcrowded so it is perhaps no surprise they needed thinning. Here are photo's of the remaining tree from the group (13.0477):

    tall1.jpg tall2.jpg tall3.jpg

    I found another group of trees labelled as Acer palmatum ssp. palmatum, listed in the database as 17m, 18m and 18m. They were literally only a couple of metres away from each other and the surrounding area had many larger trees making the whole area very crowded and it was difficult to get a good photograph of them. The first photograph shows them looking northwards from the nearby path, (ignore the tree trunk to the left of the picture). The other two pictures show the view from the other side, it is easy to pick out the branching structure backlit by the sun and you can see how close together they are planted. The tree to the far right in the second picture of this group is in poor health with some major limb dieback and a large fruiting body of a fungus visible on the trunk - maybe this one also will have to be removed in the near future.

    tall4.jpg tall5.jpg tall6.jpg

    There was also a 15m tall Acer palmatum 'Hagoromo' that was in a more open aspect allowing for a photograph that more easily shows the size of the tree. (This is the British champion tree for Acer palmatum 'Hagoromo' listed at 15m height and 42cm stem diameter in 2009):

    hagoromo1.jpg
     

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