Acer palmatum and wind tolerance

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Kev D., Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Hi from Ireland
    I have a question regarding Acer palmatum and wind tolerance. I have started a small collection but some of our garden is open to prevailing south westerly winds.We are inland so no salt and our climate is fairly moist, little or no hot dry breezes. Winters are mild rarely below -5.we can get late frost however. I have read mostly that they don't like wind but one noted grower from England says otherwise. My question is out of the following which, if any, can tolerate an open situation:
    Trompenberg
    Seiryu
    Emperor 1
    Katsura
    Yezo nishiki
    Mirte
    Kinran
    Ozakazuki
    Desojo
    I have some in sheltered positions but have to move some into open areas. Any advice greatly appreciated
    Regards
    Kev D.
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Hi Kev, firstly JM's prefer to be underplanted so they get protection from direct sun, but I have many that have adapted to an open position, although some seasons of exceptional heat they do suffer. The red leaf maples can cope a lot better than the greens and reticulated varieties. Your Emperor 1 is a strong maple that leafs out later than others and does not get the problems late rogue frosts cause, I think this one could also cope in a more open position. Also Desojo is happy in a open position with direct sunlight. If you have the room to plant shade giving trees for your maples that would be best tbh.
     
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  3. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks for your reply Acerholic,
    I think heat where we are (Donegal, Ireland) shouldn't be a problem, it rarely gets to the mid to high 20s c even in mid summer and normally a humid atmosphere. It is wind would be more of a issue here, with our damp and breezy climate. Do you think they would be ok in this type of open position?
    Again thanks for your reply.
     
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  4. Michigander

    Michigander Active Member

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    Specific exposure is more important than general conditions. What's your micro-climate? Dry winds and hot sun are problematic for JM. Mid-day sun is worst (11am to 2 pm), East is best (6am to noon), and west is 2nd best (2pm to 8pm). In the middle of a yard where it gets morning and afternoon sun, but is shielded from mid-day sun is ideal (and rare). Humidity levels are part of the mix, too. A 20 mph on-shore wind won't dry anything out. A 10 mile an hour Chinook will dry your laundry almost as soon as you put it on the line. When you combine the type of wind, the exposure direction and the time of day of the site you get a micro-climate that can differ greatly from front yard to back yard. Stand at each prospective site and look around. What's now, and what shall be 10 or 20 years hence?
     
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  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    In UK late spring frosts, associated cold winds might be the most particular problem for these - although where you are over on the west side maybe not so much. If such damage is seen sometimes in your district I would think an eastern exposure less favorable. Otherwise the two main points should be that Japanese maple is a woodland tree in nature and the cut leaved cultivars are more prone to damage to the new growth than those with normally shaped leaves.

    The Emperor 1 ('Wolff') leafing out later is repeatedly stated to avoid spring frost damage in doing so yet part of the mantra is that it emerges two weeks later than others. To me this doesn't seem like enough of a difference to be that significant, in any area where frosts might continue into May some years, as be can be the case in at least the eastern half of Britain for instance.
     
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  6. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks for your reply Michigander
    Our garden has lots of young trees planted, (birches and larger ornamentals) so in ten to twenty years will be a mini woodland! It already is becoming sheltered from the NW, W and SW (prevailing wind) but exposed to the S,E and NE. Our house would be sheltering one of the positions I was planning on planting seiryu from the SW wind. We rarely get hot dry winds. There is a very impressive specimen of Acer cappadocicum aureum growing in an open position near here although iv read they like shelter too.
     
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  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Eastern exposures are those where kinds of plants subject to early spring damage - scorching of flowers or new leaf growth - are most affected. Regarding Japanese maples specifically the one time I have seen new spring growth go black in my area -which is the one part of the US Lower 48 that is comparatively similar climatologically to Zone 8 sections of the British Isles - was with lace-leaf maples on an open east facing hillside, in an exposed nursery setting.
     
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  8. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks for your points Ron B. We used to rarely ever get late frosts here but in the last few years have had them. We had a lot of plants, even in a Western aspect browned, they all recovered, except for one very young A.P. pheonix. Actually our emperor 1 also got scorched, proving your suspicion! This could be beyond my control though, unless covering young ones with insulating fabric may help. Does the occasional frost burning on Japanese maples act like nature's way of pruning?
     
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  9. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    From my experience with 8-foot tall Seiryu and Osakazuki in a very windy area where they get little protection, is that they handle wind very well. Even in a terrible December 21, 2018 storm that brought down huge trees, not one branch was damaged on those 2 maples or others not on your list.
     
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  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    'Seiryu' of some size are seen repeatedly in my area, as though this is an easily grown selection.
     
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  11. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks Margot. It's great to hear from growers with experience of growing A.Ps.
    The reason I joined the forum was because you can read on websites as to the Maples dislike of wind, full sun etc but generally not explaining why? So my theory is you need to get advice from actual growers. I noticed last year my seiryu was a little exposed and had less aphids than ones in very sheltered positions. I think I'll chance placing it in an open position given your advice
     
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  12. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Kev, quick reply from Normandie. We're at nearly the highest point here, around 350m and on a crest. So really a lot of wind, "fairly moist" (well flipping wet, though perhaps less than yourself), also a little inland so no salt. Winters are traditionally a little colder but not so the last decade or so, although we have terrible problems now with late frosts.

    I successfully grow all of those you mention excepting 'Yezo nishiki' which I don't know, and 'Katsura' where I favor more the less precocious but otherwise similar 'Orange Dream', which leafs out 2-3 weeks later. No particular problems with any of them and we have very little shelter.

    Blowing with quite a force out there at the moment!

    Drainage is the most important thing, and regular watering during the summer months if there's drought as we've had the last few years.

    Best of luck, -E
     
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  13. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks for your reply Emery,
    I think we're getting battered by the same storm at the minute here. It's great to hear they can be grown on open sites contrary to common belief.
    I understand some of the variegated ones may need some shade but I know a lot of people put of growing any of them because they feel they are delicate and wouldn't grow for them.
    Late frost is tricky, as I said we used to never get it , maybe a year in ten but have had it and more rain and wind this last few years.
    I plant most of them above the level of the surrounding soil to aid drainage as one of the first I planted showed signs of stress and when I discovered that the roots were to wet it was too late for the tree.
    Yezo nishiki is a very nice maple,I'll post some pictures of it later in the year when it's in leaf. Katsura is nice but to early into leaf, I have it in a sheltered position so hopefully it will thrive.
    Thanks again Emery
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2020
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  14. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Well-Known Member

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    Kev,

    If you’re happy to grow variegated, cut-leaf or more delicate JM varieties in pots they might fair better given the flexibility of location, sacrificing the fact that they may not develop the very same habits of a ground planted tree in the very long term. You could try that for 10 years whilst your shade/shelter providing trees grow out.

    Also given the very beautiful and very green Island of Ireland tends to get more than its fair share of rain than many parts of England I would have expected the issues with drainage you mention with ground planted JM, unless you have exceptional drainage at your plot..I read in your last post you have experienced some issues with this already, pots are not everyone’s cup of tea..but I have a fairy reasonably sized heathy collection (80 odd now) that I’ve been growing in pots for the last 20 years...appreciating that some really need to go in the ground now and will do when I move to my forever house! For now the largest live happily in 150-250 ltr pots. Just a thought..
     
  15. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks for your advise Dicky5ash,
    I hadn't considered growing in pots but I think I'll try some of the younger ones and maybe grow them on a few years. Watering them properly could be tricky but the fact you can move them and no problem with water logging would be two benefits. 80 J Ms in pots over a twenty year period is an achievement, must be spectacular in autumn. The clips from Amazing Maples and Crazy Conifers on you tube gave me the bug and they're mostly in pots.
     
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  16. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wandering around the garden I thought this might be useful for the OP: a view of a wind-blown 'Sango kaku' on the windy and protected side.

    I took these yesterday, 23/2. Now this tree is perfectly happy, lovely autumn colors, looks great in spring and summer. It is in full sun, and perhaps more germane to the conversation, full wind. Not salt wind, but regular 70km/h +, with 120 km/h + probably about once a month, due to our altitude here. Wind is prevailing S to W, this JM is exposed from both sides.

    So everything gets covered with lots of lichen, which is fine. But the main thing is that the exposed side, which also gets the sun, matures faster and so loses the red bark. This always happens after time, with the coral barked cultivars, but the exposure hastens the effect as you can see:

    Exposed side:
    IMG_20200219_180232.jpg
    Protected side:
    IMG_20200219_180213.jpg
    I took these at the same height, so the bark is the same age.

    Hope that's useful, -E
     
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  17. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to post the photos and reply Emery. We had an extremely windy period lately, thankfully the trees aren't in leaf.
    The lichen adds character to the trunk of your sango kaku and would probably indicate that you get plenty of rain (we associate France with sun and fine weather) Would the bark maturing quicker be a benefit to harden it of before winter? It's great to hear they can cope on a windy site. I have placed a couple in more exposed positions hopefully they too thrive. I'll post pictures later in the year when they're in leaf.
    Thanks again
     
  18. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Ha, well for parts of France that's true, not so much here though! The last few years we have had some awful summer droughts, but it certainly hasn't stopped raining since September. Indeed lots of lichen, wind, rain and good clean air.

    I don't think the wind is of any benefit to the bark, on the contrary it can scald and cause some extra die back. And of course, since 'Sango kaku' is planted for the red bark, not having it stay red is hardly a benefit! But once established it is a reasonably tough customer.

    Here are a couple of pictures of this same tree, one in full summer (26/8)
    IMG_20190826_164102.jpg
    and again in autumn regalia, on 8/10.
    IMG_20191008_155153.jpg
    Both these taken around 16h30. Cheers, -E
     
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  19. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Well-Known Member

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    Hi emery,

    Can you explain why you get so much lichen?

    Kind regards
    Rich
     
  20. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Rich, it's really just the constant wind and wet. We're at nearly the highest point in Normandie, with the actual highest point on the next ridge over the valley. On the crest of the hill, pretty much a constant breeze, but the air is very clean which apparently encourages lichen. Also I suppose the climate is relatively mild.
     
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  21. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    There's lots of clean air and lichen where I live too . . . I guess you could say that polluted air discourages lichen.
     
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  22. Kev D.

    Kev D. New Member

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    Our Donegal air is clean, fresh of the Atlantic... Unfortunately it's the speed it's moving at that's the problem! Sounds similar to your situation Emery but we don't really get droughts. Really like your sango kaku, I had one but it got stem canker. I might try one again, had forgotten that brilliant autumn colour.
     

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