Acer with horizontal growth pattern

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Margot, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Margot

    Margot Rising Contributor

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    When this young maple germinated in my garden 4 or 5 years ago, the only other Japanese maples in the neighbourhood (ie. my garden) were:

    Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Orangeola’ (very new and not close to where I found the seedling)
    Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’
    Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum 'Bloodgood'

    Do Acer palmatum seedlings sometimes have a naturally horizontal tendency like this?

    It has nicely shaped leaves – not dissected.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  2. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Check out:
    Acer palmatum 'Groundcover'
    Acer palmatum 'jiro shidare'
    Cultivars exist similar to what you describe, but they are not common. Take good care of it and see what it does over the next 5 years.

    You may want to start photographing it to demonstrate it's features. Some examples:

    Leaf: bud break, leaf extension through first few weeks, Spring color, Summer color, fall colors. Leaf petiole, does it change colors as the leaves mature, Summer, Fall, ect. Color of second flush of growth during the growing season vs existing mature leaves. Seasonal color change. Does it show unexpected color in different sun exposure, example pink or reticulated leaves in shade that are not present in full sun

    Bark color. Stem color of new growth vs last year, 2-3 years ago, ect.

    Above would be examples of how to demonstrate the uniqueness of your tree and it's difference from existing cultivars.

    Document growth rate and seasonal performance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  3. Margot

    Margot Rising Contributor

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    Thank you very much for your encouragement to keep an eye on this tree - kind of fun to think it may turn out to be something special!
     
  4. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Yes it's very exciting!
     
  5. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Maple seeds are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get" (or sthg)

    I have a few that are not "spectacular" but I like them because they're slightly different from the ones I bought, for instance this one photographed two days ago. Kind of weeping, red tinge on the edges of the leaves :

    acerp-sp16-01_190511a.jpg acerp-sp16-01_190511b.jpg

    Another one, also planted in 2016, photo taken the same day. The leaves are similar in shape, but the colour is the same as a tall A. p., plain species, in the ground (the twisted leaves are due to tiny baby snails that I found on the stem, or a mild fungal disease I think) :

    acerp-div-16B_190426a.jpg acerp-div-16B_190426b.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  6. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Rising Contributor

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    Yes!

    I bought a "horizontal" JM last year at Home Depot that caught my eye. It was marked with a generic A.P. sticker. I contacted the nursery in NJ to see if they could identify it further but they never responded. I'm calling it a Jiro Shidare for lack of an official ID. I potted it last year but just planted it in the ground. It's looking good.

    Good luck with yours.
     

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  7. Margot

    Margot Rising Contributor

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    I have been following JT1's advice (above) to keep detailed records about my horizontally-growing Japanese maple seedling. I'd been thinking that it really isn't that interesting except for the fact that it would rather grow out than up. Since May however, it has developed downward-cupping leaves which are now taking on quite a burnished colour. I realize that could be due to cultural influences rather than genetic ones, but it is definitely more interesting these days.

    The canopy is nearly 4 feet across.
     

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  8. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Might be cool grafted on a 4' understock. Or trained up and then over the top of a pergola to give shade over a patio. Train as espalier on the side of a building or fence. May also work great on hillside, water feature, or waterfall. Maybe use as a balcony plant as shade and privacy or grown along a railing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Are you going to keep it in a pot? You could put it on an interesting pedestal.
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Rising Contributor

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    Thank you JT1 and Wendy for your suggestions. I'm going to start by putting it in more attractive pot on a pedestal. As soon as I can find a suitable rootstock, I will try my hand at grafting . . . I never have before but there's lots of good advice in this section. Eventually I will plant it or a clone on a hillside . . . hard to avoid hillsides in my garden!
     
  11. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Well-Known Member

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    This Emerald Lace has grown Horizontally..I’ve seen several of this cultivar growing the same, it’s about 60” across now
     

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  12. Margot

    Margot Rising Contributor

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    What a beautiful tree! Only time will tell whether mine continues a mounding/weeping character or grows up with horizontal branches like your Emerald Lace.
     
  13. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Well-Known Member

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    Fab you’ve cultivated yours from a seedling..I’ve just entered that world..I have 6 self germinated ones growing but they’re only 5inches right now..varying leaf types.. exciting!
     
  14. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mine is smaller, but has similar features. It's one of my favourite cultivars. I put it in the shade because of the successive heat waves, lots of sun, very hot and dry, but I'll move it to a place where it can be seen better.

    Crappy photo taken today. At the top, what would have been the leader dried out and the branch on the left took over :

    acerp-emerald_190806a.jpg
     
  15. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society

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    emerald lace pic 1 2013 , pics2/3 same tree today 6ft x 4ft x 16 inch high.

    Two months time and it will be moved to a larger area so it can spread even more for next year, have to side step the leaders which are just getting longer.
     

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  16. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    In decimal units of measurement (I have to translate to understand fully the proportions) : 1,82 m. x 1,22 m. x 0,41 m.
    So it's about 3 to 4,5 times wider than tall, am I right ?

    Wow ! I didn't expect it to look so spreading, I thought it had a more upright overall habit.

    Since mine is potted (about 1,20 m high, 1,40 wide or so, maybe a bit smaller) it doesn't develop as fast. I think I'll keep it in a pot, it's a good candidate for a "niwaki-like" maple. And anyway, My garden is too small to plant trees in the ground ;-)
     
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  17. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society

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    Hi Alain, the measurements were just a quick run over yesterday with the tape , but did it again today and i was out length and width wise , from the longest leader either side it's 280cm x 210 cm x 50cm deep so it's actually longer and wider than i said.

    It's only in this past two years that it's really started to put on strong growth outwards hence that's why it's going to be moved so it can be left alone to spread out even more.

    Three pics 1st 2014 you can clearly see the two main leader branches starting to develop , then the 2nd 2018 with a clear dividing line down the middle of the tree and the subsequent growth to the left and right which is no longer visible as in last pic , so when i move the tree i hope to see more vertical growth as well as horizontal.
     

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  18. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Well-Known Member

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    Mines no more than 27” tall 60” wide by 40”. Takes fun sun (uk sun).. has lovely colour changes..doesn’t seem to ever suffer from sun/wind burn..but I guess it’s telling in it’s growing characteristics..
     

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