Advice on purchasing Ukigumo.

Discussion in 'Maples' started by daisies87, May 15, 2010.

  1. daisies87

    daisies87 Member

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    I will be purchasing an Ukigumo in the next couple of weeks. I admire the "white-twiggish look" as opposed to the more variegated full look that some have. I could use some advice on what to look for since I just started learning about a.p.'s and that there are a few varieties under this same name. Also, if you could please share any experiences you have on growing these full shade.
     
  2. daisies87

    daisies87 Member

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    Okay, I will be purchasing a younger plant and I read in an older thread that "Ukigumo" and "Floating Cloud" are actually different but they are often labeled the same? This is what I understood. Also, I understood that the source where I'm purchasing is important. Normally, I would just be concerned with a delivery fee if I can't find one locally, and I live in New York. Right now I'm considering one from Northern California that looks like 2 Gal, form is beautiful but it is mostly green, not white at all.
    In one of the older threads a member named Gomero had photos of his Ukigumo that were magnificent. If there are different types, that is what I'm looking for. If needed I will try to find this thread. I will also be growing in container and full shade but I would like to read what members have to say before I do this since I'm new to gardening.
     
  3. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, 'Floating Cloud' is reported to be a selected form of 'Ukigumo'.
    'Ukigumo' translates from the Japanese as "floating cloud" which no doubt contributes to the mix up between these forms.

    The surest way to get a plant you like is to buy it in person, but I know that is not always possible. Several members of this forum have spoken well of Topiary Gardens which is in New York state. They also do mail order if it is too far for a visit.

    Growing 'Ukigumo' in a container in shade will be fine as long is it is fairly bright open shade, rather than deep, dark shade.
     
  4. daisies87

    daisies87 Member

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    Thanks for the response, I wasn't sure if I was relating my question correctly :)
    You are right, there is a gamble when you can't make a purchase at the local nursery and you have to order through the internet, as was the case with me. Either they were out of stock or they simply don't carry it. I did call one of the sources you gave me and left messages with 2 others and was still waiting to hear back when I eventually called Essence of the Tree. I made my purchase with them to ship June 1st and we had a discussion about the varieties; let's just say that I trusted the source enough to order from them. She also said that it was Floating Cloud. I hope I made the right choice. She said they were a little green but they change greatly from year to year; I pretty much made my decision by looking at the photo featured on the website and she said that what she has in inventory all come from the same source. So...I will be expecting my 3 gallon tree next month and she said she would choose one more appropriate for container (bottom heavy).
    I will be placing her in bright shade so what you wrote raised my comfort level. I will post a photo of my tree when I receive her.
     
  5. STi

    STi Active Member

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    eastforknursery sells good size ones on ebay with actual pics.
     
  6. daisies87

    daisies87 Member

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    Thanks, I was surprised to learn that an older thread lists Mountain Maples as a source for Japanese Maples and they are now Essence of the Tree; I have placed my order with them and I should be receiving it 1st week of June. I'd like to grow one from seed as well and see how that goes.
     
  7. daisies87

    daisies87 Member

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    Okay, I received what I think is a 3 to 4 year graft. The caliper of the trunk is .5" and stands 4 to 6 inches from the root ball before going into a gigantic "vee" (2 branches each roughly about 5'). I was told before purchasing that their size 2's were all "greener", however I never interpreted this to mean "no variegation". I was also told not to worry about so much green at such a young age so I didn't think about it any more till I received the tree.
    I'll have to wait till morning to provide a photo. My reason for trying to gather information before purchasing was to have some standard to go by in order to know if I received a fairly good specimen. I think I'm a bit "confused" about what I received, but she is planted now. Btw, there were lots of perforations on the leaves but I figure they won't be there next year anyway. I would really like to hear what opinions you might have, negative or positive, if any.
     
  8. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The "V" shape will be difficult to deal with, or it is not my favorite shape for maples. It happens a great deal when grafts are not cut back young to create one dominant trunk or leader. The way that maples bud make them problematic for creating this shape. If both leaders are sturdy then in can be workable, but often the leaders are too flimsy or lack the stability or structure to support their weight. I have also found that upright trees that are allowed to develop co-dominant leaders do not end up with the vigor or fail to fill-in or achieve a very desirable form.

    As for the leaves, their status and color is probably correct. With vigor or youth we don't see the variegation that can been seen when the tree settles down and gets some age on it. Nursery-bases fertilization practices and container growing this plant can suppress variegation as well. You will see more in later season growth or in subsequent years.

    The form of Ukigumo that you likely received will be notorious for showing more variegation later in the season (rather than right when the leaves emerge), in new growth, and after the leaves expand a little.
     
  9. daisies87

    daisies87 Member

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    I took a few pictures this morning, and was wondering if I wouldn't be better off staking her to look more like the second photo (my lack of knowledge here quite evident). I strongly agree that the 'V' is not appealing, however this is the gamble that I took not being able to find one locally. When I spoke to the woman at customer service and voiced my concerns she responded "I sent you a PERFECT Ukigumo."

    Yes, I will get to that door frame eventually :)

    Thanks for the info MJH; my education on Ukigumo has been quite a process...
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010

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