Acer palmatum 'Koto ito komachi'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by hayrideman, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    I just received a KIK from hayrideman today (thank you Perry!!!!!) and I can say now with confidence that it is the most dwarf maple that I have ever seen! It is about 6 inches tall, and is three years old...and grafted at about 3 inches! SO ALL OF YOU WHO THINK THAT IT IS JUST A FAKE, YOU'RE WRONG! Order one from hayrideman if you want the real thing!

    Regards,
    David
     
  2. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Here is a close-up picture of my KIK taken today (6-5). It is not showing a lot of red tones yet, but I think that it will as summer progresses. David
     

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  3. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    My Koto Ito Komachi that I received earlier in the year is looking fabulous. It is from Perry who, as you know, has direct progeny of the ORIGINAL Vertrees plant. It is definitely more dwarf and slower-growing than Koto no Ito and shows twisted lobes. As well as that, it is very interesting to see that the leaves are only about an inch long! Overall showing a bit wider lobes this year, but it is young and should correct itself. A beautiful, rare, and different tree!

    David
     
  4. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well I've been reading and I think I got the real thing, but I'm not sure. I would really love to hear some opinions.

    And I have some questions. First, does Koto no ito ever curl? Second, does Koto ito komachi, like Koto no ito, sometimes have larger (wider) leaves on new growth?
     

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  5. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Winter,

    I don't grow KIK but there is plenty of discussion about it's identity in the forum here and at The Maple Forum.

    That is quite a good size KIK is that a 3gal pot?
     
  6. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks, I read the discussion in the two threads I found, but it seemed inconclusive to me. 1. They talk about the curl in Koto it komachi's leaves (check) but do not say that it definitely excludes Koto no ito. 2. They talk about Koto no ito's leaves being sometimes larger on the new growth (exhibited by this plant) but do not say if that excludes Koto it komachi. 3. This tree should be full grown or close to it. It's about 3.5 feet tall. The person I bought it from bought it at good size and has had it for a few years and has fertilized regularly.

    So I'm pretty sure I've got a Koto ito komachi, but apparently there are two forms... maybe. I'm curious to know if others see it as Koto ito komachi and if so which form (if there are two).
     
  7. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Very interesting Winter.

    Was it grown in that pot from the time it was first acquired? I think there is a consensus that KIK is far slower than KNI. In any case it's remarkable to see a KIK of that size, congrats.
     
  8. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I've yet to obtain all of these linearilobums and I wasn't around during their importation, so I'm no expert on them. However, to me your tree looks like one of the japanese form of Koto ito komachi].

    True koto no ito forms should rarely show the curled lobes, and will show some palmate leaves at some point. And by palmate I am implying something that resembles the leaf of lets say... mikawa yatsubusa or something similar, not this slightly larger lobe that you have on your plant.

    I am not as familiar with Vertrees' form of Koto ito komachi as I am of the Japanese form, but I would not expect to see the amount of new growth (about 6 inches from what I can tell) in 3 years on Vertrees' form, much less in one season.

    In the japanese form of Koto ito komachi we see lots of thin (often twisted) lobes ranging from about 1 mm to a bit less than 1 cm. The newest growth will have wider lobes, often shaped somewhat like an elongated diamond. 4 to 6 inches of growth in the spring is common in a healthy tree, and I haven't seen much summer growth on the ones I've observed.

    I think your tree is often (incorrectly) sold as koto no ito in North America, and possibly Europe but I cannot confirm this. There is one labeled as koto no ito at the botanical gardens near my home, right next to a higasayama that is labeled butterfly (if this gives any indication of validity). But I do believe it is one of the japanese forms of Koto ito komachi.

    We should also keep in mind that the "real" form of Koto ito komachi should probably be the japanese form since by most accounts it was named before Vertrees' Koto ito komachi. Unfortunately Vertrees had already shared his form (and likely written the book) with that name before coming upon the japanese form. It was probably rather obscure at the time, but it has become the standard because it is much faster growing and relatively easy to grow (I suppose). Vertrees' form is indeed more elusive than the japanese form these days (especially if we include all of the specimens being sold as koto no ito, but you have yourself a rare and exceptional tree there. In some ways I prefer this form: it is hardy, it is fast enough that you can enjoy it before your death bed, and the lobes are nearly as thin as Vertrees' tree.

    The only thing that would make me question my inclination would be that fall color. The japanese form of Koto ito komachi that I am familiar with shows less deep orange and more gold tones than your tree. Technically there are a couple of forms that exist from this original form (probably due to some minor mutations/reversions), but for simplicity I think you can lump them together since they at least originated from the same place (maybe).
     
  9. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Poetry, my understanding is that it has been in that pot for quite a few years. Thanks for the congrats. I don't have words to describe how excited I am about this tree.

    Matt, OMG, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. That was a beautiful explanation and filled in holes in my understanding quite nicely.
     
  10. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Hi Winterhaven,

    I have to pop your bubble... :) I think that you probably have the JAPANESE form of KIK. I have the VERTREES form of KIK. This jewel took me 3 long years to find. I ended up having it special ordered. It's direct progeny from a tree that was direct progeny of the ORIGINAL Vertrees plant. I'll post a picture. This one's leading shoots were only one inch long. And the leaves? 1 mm wide or less. If you want an easier to find linearilobum like this one (except a little more vigorous) I'd go with a Fairyhair, which I also have. This one comes from Buchholz and has bigger leaves, but about the same thickness. But, they don't curl like my KIK does. Both are beautiful and I find myself very fortunate to have the "true" forms of both, as the Fairyhair can be a little difficult to get as well. Still, it's easier than the Vertrees KIK. By the way, this one is 2 or 3 years old and only 7 inches tall.

    Hope that helps,
    David
     

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  11. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mapleman77,

    Thanks for the info. I've put the KIK Vertrees on my wishilist.

    This KIK Japanese was a spontaneous purchase that I will enjoy for what it is.

    And after my wallet recovers from this year's extravaganza of purchases, I'll be hitting up Hayrideman to sell me one. But that will be next year or the year after. :)
     
  12. mapleman77

    mapleman77 Active Member

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    Ok! Sounds like a plan to me. I know that my wallet is suffering a bit too...

    Cheers!
    David
     
  13. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    It's spring and the slow teasing development of my maples is driving me crazy! But, at last, I'm seeing some progress.

    Added third photo 4/21/09

    Added photos taken on 4/23/09
     

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  14. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I was walking around a local gardens and stumbled across a very large Koto no ito and immediately thought - that's my tree. So it really makes me wonder what I've got. It looks very much like what I purchased as KIK, although at a glance the leaves looked longer (darn it, should have measured).

    Here is a recent photo of my tree's leaves. Can you see that they're starting to twist? Maybe the twist develops as the leaves get older?

    I'll have to go back to the nursery and see what their tree is now doing (and measure!).
     

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  15. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, I went back to the nursery and looked at their "Koto no ito". Their large and tall one looks very similar to my tree. It even has some leaves with twists. Which reminds me of mattlwfowler said, "I think your tree is often (incorrectly) sold as koto no ito in North America, and possibly Europe but I cannot confirm this."

    The nursery tree is listed for $350. I paid $300 for mine. The nursery tree is twice as big (both girth and height) as mine. Sigh.
     

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  16. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Looks like a Japanese form of koto ito komachi to me :).

    I now have two of these trees and am looking for the "real" koto no ito. Will also need to get one of the "real" koto ito komachi as well.
     
  17. hayrideman

    hayrideman Member

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    Just an update on my original Koto ito komachi. This tree is now 13 years old, and approx. 36" tall. Scion has been taken off of this tree over 8 times very selectively.
     

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  18. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Very nice hayrideman! Good to see pics of the genuine article.

    I bought one from Westonbirt Arboretum a couple of years back, it is a nice small shrub with very thin leaf lobes but it is probably not the true Vertrees version.
     
  19. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    Here is a comparison of Fairy Hair (left) and Koto ito komachi (right)

    The Fairy hair is from Buchholz and the Koto ito komachi is from Del Louck.
     

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  20. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I'm curious, do you have any Koto no ito specimens to compare to those?
     
  21. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I do have a couple nice koto no Ito in my yard. I can move them all together and take some photos to show the differences. The overall tree size of a koto no Ito is enough in itself to separate it from koto Ito komachi and Fairy Hair. Color of Fairy Hair is quite different and the leaves are thinner
     
  22. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    here is the fall color for 2013, a nice orange
     

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  23. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    A lot of people ignore my Acer palmatum ' Koto ito komachi ' in the Summer in my garden, but in Autumn, they say Wow.
     

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    sun and AlainK like this.
  24. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    12th August 2020 still very hot and in fact yesterday was the hottest I've ever seen in my garden. Ground temperature hit 48° C by my trees.
    They are all now suffering. But I will continue the Summer diary as requested.
    This is why it gets ignored, it just mingles unnoticed in the Summer.
     

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  25. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    August 29th 2020 and Autumn colours are very fast approaching. It even feels like we are in October today rather than August. 7° C at the moment.
    The delicate leaves on my Koto ito komachi are changing their colours fast now. Not as delicate as Fairy Hair, but just as pretty IMO.
     

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