Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by mjh1676, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I thought I'd share my Purple Ghost and some of its leaves.

    First of all, I love the tree and it's doing beautifully, now. I find it very interesting to look at because it has different leaf characteristics in different portions of the tree depending on light levels. I feel it gives it depth.

    Re: the white on the leaves. This tree was originally grown in clay. And when I planted it I may have over watered. Especially as we were getting light but consistent rain and so the soil was already moist. The leaves did their little curl at the end, the tree's way of saying, "I got too wet. Boo hoo." But then we got wind for days and days. After the sun came back is about when the white edges appeared.

    First four are from my big tree that gets sporadic sun. Next three are from a tree that gets sun all afternoon.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  2. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    My tiny fella is out in the middle of the yard braving the blowing grass clippings and full sun.

    Spring had regular rain and combined with a high water table I hardly watered.

    Most of the last month has been hot and dry so I've watered a few times. Area sprinkler stuff, not real regulated.

    I find the effect of the purple over green very interesting and attention getting. Can't wait to see it in the fall and how it looks when its the size of yours.
     

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  3. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    Mine is really growing! Faster than I expected and handling all the sun better than I thought.

    The purple growth is new "summer" leaves.

    Really though, be sure you can handle the blend of purple and olive green when buying. My sister (who isn't even into flowers) thinks the two color leaves on one tree is freaky.
     

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  4. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Mark,

    My Purple Ghost is also two tone in the heat of the summer. The new dark Purple leaves stand out from the older green/purplish leaves. This is a strong grower in my opinion. I planted a 4' 2 gallon Purple Ghost and WOW - 6 years later it is over 10' tall and 6' wide.

    One of my favorite maples. Sam
     

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  5. CSL

    CSL Active Member

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    Mark - if you don't mind me asking, what are the growing conditions of your PG? The reason I ask is that I have a new (this year) AP PG and have yet to see anything like your photo on mine, and it survived a multi day 100F spell that really beat up my Orange Dream...

    Best Regards,
    CSL
     
  6. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    CSL, mine is in its first year also. I attached the Google Earth picture of my yard in case my words fail to describe its location. You can just see the mulch area from the photo lol.

    My Ghost is just down hill from my septic field about 100 feet from where the hill levels out. I have a fair amount of mulch around it and some (gasp!) of the cheap landscape fabric helping keep the grass from encroaching. Most of my front yard is GREAT soil. Deep, my house is 60 years old and I don't think they even cleared the top soil when it was built then. About 20 feet to the NW there was a silver maple I removed a few years back. Its roots are no doubt rotting underground still. The Ghost is far enough away I don't expect any sinking effect.

    Weather in the spring and early summer was great for a transplant. Lots of rain. Lots, but being not at the bottom of the hill the location drains pretty well. Here lately its gotten hot, then hot AND dry. I actually watered today.

    Got any pictures of yours? Its not like I have alot of horticultural friends who come over and verify ForestFarm sent me the right thing.
     

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  7. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Just to put it out there...

    Both my Purple Ghosts have picked up quite a bit of green. The one that gets sporadic sun still looks like a red/burgundy tree from across the yard. It's only when you get closer that you see the green on the interior leaves and in the middle of the exterior leaves. But the one in full sun is really green. It does have a few red leaves of new growth showing.

    I mention this because I anticipated the opposite. I thought the one in more sun would display more color. Surprise!

    There is a Purple Ghost at a local nursery that is really red and it gets more sun and more heat than my greener one does. So I wonder if the soil might be too rich for great color. Mine is in a bed that got created on top of the native soil so it's really rich with compost, old mulch, and more mulch. On the other hand, we know nurseries are famous for "pushing" trees with fertilizers and what not. So if the richness of the soil was the contributing factor you'd think a nursery tree would have greened up, too.

    The only other thing I could think of was that maybe it got grafted onto a green rootstock and I'm seeing a muted expression as has been previously described by MrShep. But since the tree stayed red all last summer I have to think that is either not the case or not to blame.

    Any thoughts?
     
  8. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I only have one purple ghost in pretty heavy sun, but it has not colored well in a couple of years. From what I have heard and seen, this maples is typically a little more dependable than mine has been, but it has confused me.

    What I have noticed is that the spring is really important for the maple. If we get really ideal weather and soil fertility is adequate, it will color well and hold the color. If exposure, weather, temperatures do not favor the variegation and ideal characteristics, it never seems to bounce back. I think what you are seeing is relatively close to what I have seen with mine.

    I get a lot more dependability from start to finish with the two Kasagiyamas in the yard, but if Purple Ghost performs, it will out-shine them briefly in the spring. After that I will again take the Kasagiyama as the variegation is held better once the red is muted and green comes up....with the Purple Ghost, the leaf just dulls in most years.

    Hope you solve the mystery, but I bet it will simply come from years of observation :-)
     
  9. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    That seems reasonable. It didn't perform well in last year's location, so I moved it in the Fall, I still wasn't happy so I moved it again in Spring. As I recall, it had barely leafed out. Maybe this is a downstream reaction. Hmm. Will be interesting to watch in further years.
     
  10. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    You know, my tiny one was planted in the spring as well. It still has new purple new leaves over older fading now olive-ish green leaves.

    In a couple years this will be quite the attention getting combination if it stays consistent.

    Then again who knows. I want to wait until next year when it has a chance to establish itself. See what leaf color pattern I get then.
     
  11. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    the fall color is coming out on one of Purple Ghost
     

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  12. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    A picture of my purple ghost. Lighting wasn't the best and in my defense it was sleeting still.

    Doesn't show well but I swear there has been a yellow hue to the little fella's branches all winter. A bonus feature. Interestingly my regular Acer Palmatum has a similar tint.
     

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  13. rwinktown

    rwinktown Active Member

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    love the maple very unique early growth!
     

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  14. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    here are some photos of the Purple Ghost planed in my garden
     

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  15. mapledia

    mapledia Active Member

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    I don't know about you, but the Ghost group is dated, in my mind. I do like Amber Ghost and a couple others, but for the most part, I don't think they represent really new cultivars. I have several of them in my garden and I am often disappointed in their appearance. Talon Buchholz, who created the Ghost group, is a wonderfully talented and smart nurseryman, and he has a really good eye for new cultivars, hence the ghost group. But I'm just not smitten with some of them, and I think Purple Ghost is nice but not sensational, Uncle Ghost the same, and while I have them in my garden, I don't see much that is really all that unusual. Maybe I'm being snarky with my comments, but really new cultivars are hard to find, and several of the ghosts just don't do it for me.
    mapledia
     
  16. banjoboy

    banjoboy Active Member

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    i feel the same way about the ghosts. I have had purple, sister, and baby. I wasn't really impressed with any of them. I feel there are much better reticulated maples out there.

     
  17. sasquatch

    sasquatch Active Member

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    I also agree. Some are better than others. Grandma Ghost looks better than my Shigitatsu sawa and better than my Sister Ghost. I like Purple Ghost alot for it's glowing purple colors, but it is quite similar to my Kasagiyama. Amber Ghost looks much like Ariadne, and my Baby Ghost and Uncle Ghost are both dull and not very appealing compared to other maples. I've read that Baby Ghost has dark purples and reds, but mine is not so dark, almost like the colors faded.
     
  18. mapledia

    mapledia Active Member

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    In my garden, the ones I really like a lot are Mikazuki, Olsen's frosted strawberry, Peaches & Cream, and Amber Ghost, and that's really about it when it comes to the reticulated maples. The others disappoint me. Purple ghost is nice but not sensational (I have 2 of them), uncle-sister-first- and the other ghosts just don't meet the standard for a great plant, in my estimation. They probably look sensational in Talon Buchholz's garden, but they don't do much in mine. I have great respect for Talon Buchholz, however, and I think he's done a great service in introducing these cultivars. Maybe I'm not providing the right environment for these trees, but I've moved them around a lot and they just don't look all that great in any setting, so I'm disappointed in their appearance and performance. This year I do rather like my Sister Ghost, though I think I like Sawa Chidori better. it's always a trade-off, isn't it?
    mapedia
     
  19. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    I have 5 Amber Ghost all over 10' tall and there is not a person who walks at my place who does not comment about how incredible the trees are in any season. There might be a moment in time when an Ariadne may have similar color but in full size those trees are very easy to tell apart. This is also true about Kasagiyama and Purple ghost, they have a very different growing habit and shaded side coloring.

    Purple Ghost is a hit or miss tree with people but again when they see the big tree they do love it.

    Baby Ghost is the lowest on the list but come fall it is one that attracts a lot of attention.

    Uncle Ghost is one of my favorites, its color is all over the place like amber ghost but it is a very small tree with a little akward growing habit and it has not been easy to get.

    First ghost and sister ghost in the 1' to 3' height range is not impressive but in bigger form they are pretty darn eye catching. Sister ghost gets a little more attention since its colors look crisper.

    A lot of the new trees coming out have great color but they are more like bushes than trees, It is pretty hard to find a Mikazuki taller than 6' tall. Amagi Shigure is another great color tree but it too is short. Maybe someone out there might have an Olsen;s frosted strawberry out there a few feet tall but most everyone I know has a little twig. Sure the color is great but it does not have the same presence.

    What everyone finds in collecting is that the new one is better, The ghost were very important in the process just as the shigitatsu sawa and beni shigitatsu sawa where a few years back. These are all trees which are impressive in their own right and when you see them in mature sizes you would truely want them in your garden

    PS take a look at yweride photos posted on page one. There is a Purple Ghost.

    I have added photos of Purple Ghost, Kasagiyama, Ariadne, Mikazuki, Amagi shigure and Peaches and Cream. Most all the phots were taken this morning, a few were taken a couple days ago. These all came from Talon's garden.
     

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    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  20. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    The fall colors of my Purple Ghost have been some of the best for this year.
     

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  21. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Spectacular - thanks Charlie
     
  22. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Spring.
     

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    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  23. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree. But this time of year, I do enjoy Purple Ghost. I just wish it stayed as pretty in summer as it looks in spring.
     
  24. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    Purple Ghost in late summer early fall has a great orangish green color.
     

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  25. Acerholic

    Acerholic Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Of all the ghosts this one has the deepest dark red of all. I will let my photo speak for itself.
     

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