Acer palmatum 'Sherwood Flame'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by dewy22, May 19, 2010.

  1. dewy22

    dewy22 Member

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    Here is a few pictures of my Sherwood Flame. Just got this recently and it is still in pot. Planning to plant it in the ground next year. Pictures were taken in early spring.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2010
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't grow this cultivar myself but pictures I have seen in several books show a leaf shape completely different from that shown above. It is described as a matsumurae type which the one above is not. Anyone who grows it care to comment?
     
  3. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree with you Maf. Here is a pic of my 'Sherwood Flame', propagated by Esveld.

    Gomero
     

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  4. dewy22

    dewy22 Member

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    I got it from OSH in California. I asked the nursery worker there when I brought it if it is a Fireglow, but she said it is a Sherwood Flame. I browsed online and found some pictures labeled as Sherwood Flame that looks like mine and some that looks like what Gemero just posted. Can someone clarify it?

    http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/266668/
     
  5. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I also agree with maf. This is our Acer palmatum Sherwood Flame.
    This would seem to agee with "Japanese Maples" by JD Vertrees and Peter Gregory. 4th addition.
     

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  6. dewy22

    dewy22 Member

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    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  7. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dewy, not sure which one it is, there are quite a few similar types. I will copy your messages to an I.D. thread in the main forum and move your photo's there too, might get a better response.

    Edit: I did not leave a link to Dewy's photos. here it is :http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=62830
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  8. dewy22

    dewy22 Member

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    Thanks Maf. I like my tree and planning to keep it, but just want to know what kind of JM it is.
     
  9. plantoid

    plantoid Active Member

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    The attached pictures of my Sherwood Flame were taken in mid April. It's mid May now and the colors are much darker. dscf4228.jpg

    dscf4229.jpg

    dscf4226.jpg

    dscf4227.jpg

    dscf4222.jpg

    dscf4224.jpg
     
  10. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Plantoid, your pictures do not show the correct maple, the leaves should be divided entirely to the base. It seems your tree, like Dewy's, was mislabelled.

    'Sherwood Flame' was selected by Mr. Will Curtis of Sherwood, Oregon, and it would be reasonable to assume that the major, long-established Oregon nurseries carry the original variety. Here are links to the entries for 'Sherwood Flame' at the websites of Buchholz & Buchholz, Forestfarm, and Greer Gardens Matsumurae Group slideshow (look on pages 77-79). (The Iseli website does not have a photo of the leaf shape.)

    Thanks to Gomero and Silver Surfer for submitting pictures that show the correct leaf shape for this cultivar.
     
  11. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    There are now so many maples, many are very similar. It just needs one nursery to send out a batch wrongly labelled and before you know it, the wrong name appears on many trees. From these incorrectly labeled trees, other people will take cuttings for grafts, and the mistake is perpetuated. Or worse, seed is collected, which will not come true, (be a clone of the adult,) as cross pollination has occurred.

    I imagine that this is why J.D. Vertree wrote his book Japanese Maples, which has since been updated, and is now on the 4th edition. Many use this as a guide to what the leaves should look like, colour size and shape, whether the tree is tall and thin or low and spreading. Many of us on the maple forum use this as THE guide.

    I suspect we have all had incorrectly named specimens, at some time. This is not to say they are not beautiful in their own right. What ever the name may be. You love it and can still get a lot of pleasure from growing it.
     
  12. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Completely agree. A couple of my own favourites came to me with the wrong labels and I am still not 100% sure what to call them after years of trying to find out.
     
  13. plantoid

    plantoid Active Member

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    As I mentioned in a similar thread last year, my "Sherwood Flame" was grown by Iseli. I bought it at East Bay Nursery in Berkeley, CA. East Bay has since received several more specimens of Iseli grown "Sherwood Flame" and every one of them looks exactly like mine (I checked just a few weeks ago). So at the very least, mislabeling of Sherwood Flame happens at Iseli.

    I am still happy with my tree(my very first Japanese maple) , even if it may not be true Sherwood Flame. I like its fall coloration very much, but it would be nice to know what variety it is.
     
  14. dewy22

    dewy22 Member

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    lol. Plantoid, you and I have alot in common. This is my first Japanese Maple, too. It was labeled as "Sherwood Flame" by Orchard Supply & Hardware. I even asked the nursery folks there to make sure it is not a Fireglow because that was the tree I was planning to buy. A neighbor of mine has a Bloodgood in his front yard and it is a beautiful tree, but a bit too big for my front yard. So, I did my research and found Fireglow to fit the bill. When I saw this SF, I thought it looks like a Fireglow, but they insist it is not.

    Nevertheless, I love this tree. It is in a pot right now and plans to plant it in front of my house next year. Want to test if it can survive an Bay Area summer in full sun.

    Thanks for everyone's input. I might bring a JM book next time I go shopping for another JM.

    It is like someone sold you a Pug, but called it a Bulldog.
     
  15. plantoid

    plantoid Active Member

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    I sent an email message to Iseli's sale office alerting them to the mislabeling and expect them to investigate and report back to me. I'm not unhappy with my tree, but I do want an answer, especially considering the large sum I paid for this mature specimen. In fact I probably like this mislabeled specimen better than the true Sherwood Flame because mine seems to be brighter red, both spring and fall.

    By the way, all the Iseli grown Sherwood Flames sold in the San Francisco Bay area have the same leaf shape as my specimen, that's 3 large nurserys in the Bay Area.

    Dewy22, back in March of this year I saw a Sherwood Flame at my local OSH selling for $99 in a 10-gal. size. It was not grown by Iseli because it did not have the triangular shaped Iseli tag on it. My recollection is it had a leaf shape that is almost the same as that for Burgundy Lace and it was very dark burgundy, serrated and cut all the way to the base/stem of the leaf. It was not like the Iseli specimens.

    I'm just speculating that Iseli interbred the real matsumurae type Sherwood Flame with an A. palmatum and labeled it "Sherwood Flame." You can see the deep serration characteristic of the matsumurae type and the fat finger characteristic of the palmatum type on the leaf shape of my Iseli "Sherwood Flame."
     
  16. dewy22

    dewy22 Member

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    Plantoid, I kept the tag of my JM and it is just an rectangle OSH tag that said Sherwood Flame Acer Palmatum. So, I guess it is a mislabel since SF suppose to be matsumurae breed. I am calling it a hybrid, too, until someone can ID it.
     
  17. plantoid

    plantoid Active Member

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    Iseli's sales office didn't reply to my email message complaining about the mislabeling. I then went to East Bay Nursery in Berkeley, CA, where I bought my tree, to complain and again it fell on deaf ears. The part owner at East Bay sounded very defensive and said, "All the Sherwood Flames we've ever got always looked like that." He didn't even bother to look at the Sherwood Flames they had in stock to try to understand what I was referring to. He basically just brushed me away. It's a safe bet I will be spending a lot less at East Bay Nursery from now on.
     
  18. plantoid

    plantoid Active Member

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    I finally got a thorough and courteous reply back from Iseli, which is sticking to its gun that its Sherwood Flames are true to variety.

    Iseli's reply offered the following possibilities as to why my "Sherwood Flame" has leaves that are not cut all the way to the base as reference books show:

    1. There could be a difference between my young tree and a mature tree as to the degree of cut.(I'm not sure I agree with this because others on this thread have posted images from their young trees showing deeply cut leaves. The only way this could be true is the images that others posted here are of Burgundy Lace, explained in point 3 below. Silver surfer's specimen does look a little bushy and rangy compared to other Sherwood Flame pictures I've seen. It looks closer to Burgundy Lace would).
    2. The deeply cut leaves shown in reference books are not representative of leaves from the whole tree from a true Sherwood Flame. (I also don't agree with this because I can not find a single leaf on my tree that is deeply cut to the base).
    3. Reference books mixed up Burgundy Lace with Sherwood Flame and are showing Burgundy Lace as Sherwood Flame, i.e. Iseli is right and reference books and other nurseries showing deeply cut Sherwood Flames are wrong. (This is a possibility, but how likely is it? I don't know).

    I don't know what to say, but maybe the experts can weigh in. But like the reply suggested, regardless of its true identity, it's a good tree and I enjoy it.



    Quote of reply from Iseli:
    Hi Stephen,
    We look at maples with a very critical eye, and have been doing it for many
    years. Concerning the ID of Sherwood Flame we can share the following.

    The late Jean Iseli got our start of Sherwood Flame in 1977. We still have
    an old specimen in the nursery landscape, it may be one of the oldest
    verified specimens at 30+ year old.

    The information for this cultivar can be checked in the various maple
    reference books, in brief it was a seedling selection in the 1970's from
    Burgundy Lace from nurseryman Will Curtis in Sherwood Oregon. We have
    experience grafting and growing this cultivar as well as Burgundy Lace for
    many years (30+) and believe that we have the correct ID. Sherwood Flame is
    a moderate wide spreading tree with a sturdy branching pattern. It reliable
    shapes up into a nicely branched small tree without the long willowy
    branching habit of Burgundy Lace or other red uprights. The trunk and main
    branch color is light compared with the typical dark color of for example
    Bloodgood. It is an excellent durable moderate sized red leafed maple.

    Leaf shape compared with photos of leaves from the 'experts'-
    In the Maple reference written by van Gelderen a photo of Sherwood Flame
    shows a branch spray of leaves divided nearly to the base of the leaf. I
    collected a few branch sprays from our growing stock plus from the old
    Sherwood Flame in the landscape and I can pick out a spray that looks nearly
    identical to this photo but really most of the leaves on Sherwood Flame are
    not as deeply divided as this photo indicates. Why are the leaf shapes
    different than the photo? First of all there is variation in Acer leaves on
    the same tree (juvenile vs. adult) and Sherwood Flame is no exception, the
    leaves on SF are quite variable. Check out leaves on Red Pygmy or other
    linear leafed clones to see extreme leaf variation on the same tree. A
    number of questions can be asked about the photo in van Gelderen: is it the
    same plant that we list as Sherwood Flame, is it the 'true' to type plant,
    is it a photo sample that misrepresents the predominate leaf type, or is it
    a misidentified photo of a different cultivar such as Burgundy Lace? It is
    interesting to note that van Gelderen states in the description " In Europe
    the two cultivars are in fact inseparable." This statement makes me
    suspicious that perhaps what he considered Sherwood Flame was in fact really
    just a Burgundy Lace. Both Burgundy Lace and Sherwood Flame are very
    similar especially when young but they are quite different when scrutinized
    and as they mature. Perhaps the mix-up is not Iseli or a few other Oregon
    growers that have continued growing this selection.

    The web is a great source of information but caution is advised on accuracy,
    even printed reference material is not always completely accurate.

    We discontinued Burgundy Lace many years ago after noting that the habit of
    Burgundy Lace was inferior to Sherwood Flame.

    Sherwood Flame has good red color for most of the summer but the purple red
    color fades in the heat of late summer it does not retain red color as well
    as Bloodgood or Fireglow but the leaf lobes are much more divided than
    either of these cultivars. It is not a linear leaf type but the leaf lobes
    are deeply cut. It is a great landscape tree, very durable with sturdy
    branching and a moderate size. It is an all around great landscape tree. We
    at Iseli have championed this cultivar with the hope that retail nurseries
    would also see its value, excellent retail nurseries like East Bay Nursery
    have been kind enough to carry our products including this cultivar. It
    should grow beautifully in your region of California.

    By the way all Sherwood Flame that we grow and sell are grafted, they are
    clones or replicas of the original parent tree from Mr. Curtis.

    Enjoy a great tree by whatever name you choose to use.

    Best Regards,
    Customer Service
    Iseli Nursery

     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  19. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    You have to respect Iseli for taking the time to write such a detailed reply, many nurseries would just junk your mail.

    Plantoid, one thing I had considered re your tree, and also Dewy's, is that Oregon nurseries are known for "pushing" their plants with optimum growing conditions and high doses of fertilizer. Plants growing so vigorously can show non-typical foliage and may take a year or two in the landscape to settle down into a normal growth pattern; it would be interesting to see if leaves that are divided all the way to the base appear on your trees next year.
    It begs the question of whether the spray in question that resembles the photo was the one from the "old Sherwood Flame in the landscape"?
     
  20. plantoid

    plantoid Active Member

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    I came upon a thread on Acer P. Oregon Sunset:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=6965

    Some of the posted pictures there show deeply cut leaves, like Gomero's and Silver surfer's Sherwood Flames. Other pictures are not as deeply cut to the base, like my Sherwood Flame. So I suppose it's entirely possible to have Japanese maples behaving this way.

    By the way what can I do about the big gap in the middle left side of my Sherwood Flame as seen in this picture:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=81585&d=1274336932

    Several branches died over the winter and now there is a big gap. Is there anything I can do to promote new branching to fill in that hole?
     
  21. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Let me tell you something that many of
    you do not know - the late Jean Iseli was
    one of the most influential people in Maples
    in all of Oregon at one time. Arguably, even
    more influential with these plants than Mr.
    Vertrees was. No one talks about or even
    asks any more who did Mr. Vertrees get
    some or many of his Maples from. Several
    of the Maples in the landscape at Roseburg,
    Oregon, came from or through Mr. Jean Iseli.

    So here we have an issue with the Maple that
    Iseli nursery, one of the leading Conifer and
    palmatum type Maple growing nurseries in the
    country, is selling as Sherwood Flame. One
    of the reasons I stay out of such threads is due
    to if we tell someone that their Maple is not what
    it was sold to them as being, then we had better
    be prepared to tell them what we think the Maple
    is. We do not have anyone qualified in this Maple
    forum to do the latter. I am not sure there is anyone
    in the world we can fall back on to be our resident
    expert in the identification of the palmatum type
    cultivars. We do have some knowledgeable
    people as members of this forum that are pretty
    darn well versed in their species forms however
    but even then they can be fooled with a species
    form plant or two on occasion.

    If Iseli nursery can document that their source
    Maple came from or through Mr. Curtis then
    we have to yield to their calling their Maple a
    Sherwood Flame. Now, we have to step back
    from their plant and ask ourselves how did their
    Maple change, so that it no longer looks exact
    to the Esveld Maple that Esveld is selling and
    could it be that the Esveld progeny Maples no
    longer look exact to their old adult plant.

    We have to take into consideration that the
    old Sherwood Flame Maple in Boring, Oregon
    may not look quite the same as the newer
    put together plants in leaf shape. Growth
    habit with the willowy upright shape of the
    tree sure is in the ballpark but now we have
    to have been able to see some adult plants
    of this Maple grown elsewhere to know how
    and if they are the same basic plant or not
    without calling a most reputable nursery on
    the carpet and stating that their Sherwood
    Flame isn't a Sherwood Flame and then
    asking them what it is then. Personally
    I do not like the looks of the English Maple
    and I have a 35 year old Sherwood Flame
    about 100 feet from me as of this writing
    to compare the leaf shape shown in the
    photo to. It is my contention that if the
    English source Sherwood Flame in England
    did not originate with the Hillier nursery
    then there may be some problems as to
    the sourcing of the rest of the English
    Sherwood Flame Maples. Why, because
    I know who supplied the Sherwood Flame
    to Hillier and to Esveld to be their source
    Maple at a time when no one else in the
    Netherlands and in England had access
    to this particular Maple. So, we have a
    starting point for all other Sherwood Flame
    in the Netherlands and in England to have
    come about from directly and indirectly.
    Anyone else saying their Maple which
    may have come from someone else at
    a more recent time period becomes
    suspect when compared to the old
    Hillier and Esveld Maples. In other
    words if I wanted another Sherwood
    Flame from a European source I am
    going to ask where did their source
    Maple come from. With Hillier and
    Esveld Sherwood Flame I do not have
    to ask that question. I already know
    the answer.

    Sometimes we have to step back from
    a plant and ask ourselves why is this
    Maple different from mine or not the same
    as the Maple I am used to seeing by the
    same name. What factors could have
    led to a change in the deeply divided
    leaves still being divided about two
    thirds of the way but not divided all
    the way to the palm of the leaf any
    more? Could the rootstock used for
    this Maple over time have caused this
    to happen? The answer is yes. Could
    the rootstock used in the English plant
    change how the serrations in the lobes
    appear to their plants as compared to
    my Maple? The answer is yes. So,
    what we have are three different looking
    Sherwood Flame based on leaf attributes
    that all show in the photos some variance
    in these trees and then we throw our hands
    up in the air and try to judge which one is
    the real Sherwood Flame. They all may
    be except the one which led to start of the
    thread.

    The problem that can arise and we had it
    happen in this forum a while back is when
    a nursery in Oregon sells a Maple to a
    mass merchandiser outlet with the wrong
    label on the tree. I've seen some Sherwood
    Flame labeled plants even come into a retail
    nursery around here that were nothing more
    than seedling Burgundy Lace. I've seen
    the Bush form Fireglow come into some
    mass merchandiser outlets with Sherwood
    Flame labels on them. So, who do we rely
    on to know the difference between the Bush
    Fireglow from the Red Maple nursery Fireglow
    and who has seen the Fire Glow in Europe
    enough times to know how it differs from
    the Bush and Wolfe plants and then know
    how the Italian Fire Glow differs from the
    Effigi Maple? Could it be that all of the four
    named plants are different from each other?
    Could it be that three of them are separate
    red group members from the original Fireglow
    Maple. I've had all four of them at one time
    or another. I know what I think but to get me
    to expound on them and explain my thoughts
    may take some real doing for me to yield and
    tell what I know in this forum. I am not willing
    to do it any more. You "guys" can figure it out
    on your own but you'll need access to see or
    have all four plants from their respective sources
    to do your point of contention any justice.

    Look below in the Burgundy Lace vs. Sherwood
    Flame thread from the links section sometime
    and then ask me how great I am supposed to
    feel about my knowing this issue has been
    covered a long time ago. If you look in these
    forums long enough you will see our Sherwood
    Flame in silhouette in a landscape planting.
    None of you have one that old and neither
    does a host of nurseries selling that Maple
    and now I’ll get to see again which nurseries
    online want to sell their fresh and one year old
    grafts using our photo in this forum of our tree
    to promote their Maples, presumably but arguably
    isn’t the same Maple as ours, for resale.

    Jim
     
  22. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have to addd to this about Iseli's Sherwood Flame, it may not be the same cultivar as others but it sure is an outstanding tree. I have found people really enjoy its color and structure. In my few years of touring around growers I am shock as to what all I have seen. Labels fall of trees and these guys just put on another label without really knowing what the tree is since they have hundreds in that row. .
     
  23. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Here are several photos of two different Sherwood Flames, the first three photo are from one grower and the last two are from a different grower. Neither grower is Iseli, I do not have their tree at this time.
     

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    AlainK likes this.
  24. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree. And I'd like to add that while still a JM novice with only 64, that I have noticed the superior quality of Iseli trees. When browsing around retail nurseries I will sometimes see the same cultivar from two different originating nurseries. Consistently, when I or my husband look to see where the prettier or more correct version came from it is from Iseli. For that reason, I've been willing to pay more for a tree or even buy a tree leafless if it is an Iseli. And I tell my friends that and I've told the retail nurseries that as well.

    Charlie, beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.
     
  25. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    Hi @Sumo and welcome. This is where you can find your cultivar and a good number of others by clicking the green tab above that say 'Acer palmatum cultivars'. You can also type it in the search tab and more results might come up.

    Once yours get some sun it might red up like thes. I hope this helps.

    Derek
     

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