Red Japanese Maples in Tropical Countries???

Discussion in 'Maples' started by illidan75, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. illidan75

    illidan75 New Member

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    Hi,
    Anyone has any experience planting Japanese Red Maples in tropical countries? I live in Malaysia where it is hot & sunny the whole year. We get a good amount of rain too.

    I have previously bought a japanese red maple tree. It was around 5' high and red / burgundy at the time of purchase. Soon after planting it, it turned green. I do not know what the species was nor do i think the workers at the nursery. They only sell things at hefty prices but know nothing about them.

    I went back to the nursery and all they say is i should cut off all the leaves and it will turn red again. And this is to be repeated like,,, forever!!! Ofcourse by now I know this is nonsense, and that the species is not suitable for tropical countries.

    I have read that bloodgood, fireglow, crimson queen, inaba shidare (etc, etc) hold good red color even in summer. BUT, will they hold year round? Anyone has experience? Or any advice?
     
  2. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Most of them will green out a bit in summer but that isn't your main problem. Japanese maples need a period of cold when they go dormant, which it sounds like you don't have. I don't believe they can survive without it. I'm not 100 percent sure on this but that's what I would look into before you try to plant another one.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, same as with hardy fruit trees like apples the first main point when attempting trees from temperate regions in tropical areas is whether or not the dormancy requirements of the trees will be met. To grow trees with a need for what are called chilling hours you have to be in a location that experiences 39 degrees F in a seasonal pattern every year. Each kind of tree has a minimum number of these hours it must experience every year after planting or it cannot continue to function.

    I have seen on the internet where people have had peach trees remain alive for more than one year in low elevation Hawaii but photos indicated to me the trees were "confused", with part of the tree in leaf and other parts bare at the same times. And I have not seen it demonstrated that specimens so located were functioning adequately for the 10-20 years said to be the normal productive life of peach trees.
     
  4. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    On the Big Island (Hawaii), I read of an apple grower who had to manually defoliate his trees to fool them into dormant mode. Don't know if the same could apply to Japanese Maples....it is an interesting tale in wanting what you haven't got, though: surrounded by pineapples, cherimoyas, mangos and breadfruit, extraordinary efforts were made to grow an apple.

    This grower was at some elevation, however, so perhaps such efforts would be futile closer to sea level.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It having the world's tallest mountains (when measured from the ocean floor) Hawaii even has snow at the highest elevations - there should be places where apples are being grown without anything other than the temperature regime being adequate.
     
  6. Jeff Chang

    Jeff Chang New Member

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    Hi,

    Can you please share where you bought the Japanese maple from? Which nursery? I wish to purchase one as well. I am located in PJ. Thanks.
     
  7. Jeff Chang

    Jeff Chang New Member

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    Hi,

    Can you please share where you bought the Japanese maple from? Which nursery? I wish to purchase one as well. I am located in PJ near Kota Damansara. Thanks.
     
  8. Joshua C

    Joshua C New Member

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    Hi. I know can be very frustrating not being able to grow some of your favourite dream trees or plants. Maybe Acers can be grown in hillsides which you have that has a cool temperature between 16C to 23C. During rainy season may set things rich. However if you live further down, temperature may hit around 30C. Not sure the Acer can live for a very long time. I would suggest that you grow them by seeds when curiosity hits you with the idea of growing Acer trees. Play save with seeds. From there through trial and errors you will learn and probably satisfied of trying. Wish you all well and experimenting them.
     
  9. Wai

    Wai New Member

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    illidan75, I'm experiencing the same problem as well. Have you found a solution to your tree?
     
  10. Ah Boy

    Ah Boy New Member

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    Hi Wai,
    I bought a pot of maple (~40cm high) with grafted rootstock from a local nursery in Sep 2016. The leaves were initially reddish and rather large (~4cm) but soon turned dark green as the pot was placed in a shady place to prevent sun scorch. By Dec 2016, new leaves were smaller (< 3cm) and fewer. Suspecting the slow growth to be due to winter dormancy requirement, i trimmed the branches and removed all the leaves except for a few healthy ones. The maple remained dormant till Mar this year before new leaves started to grow in vigor again. It was an unexpected surprise for me as i had given up hope on the maple ever recovering. Guess the rootstock may have helped keeping the maple alive in the tropics. Then again, i could be lucky. Only time will tell how long the maple will survive...

    One word of advise, keeping the maple alive as long as possible would be more important than fretting over the leaves turning green. :-)
     

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