Another Case of Mistaken Identity?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Idacer, May 1, 2005.

  1. Idacer

    Idacer Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I acquired a dwarf Kashima via mail order a couple of months ago. The tree is slated for a small area next to my pond. It's leafed out quite beautifully, but I'm starting to have real reservations about whether it's a Kashima or not. The leaf shape, size, and coloration don't line up very well with the picture of Kashima leaves in Japanese Maples, 3rd ed. According to Vertrees' description, a Kashima has very tiny, five-lobed, rich green leaves with the center lobe being the most prominent. The leaves should be 2 - 3 cm long and 2.5 - 3.5 cm wide. The Kashima is supposed to be a very shrubby, slow grower that will take a long, long time to get to 1 meter high.

    The leaves on the tree that I received have 7 lobes, not 5. Furthermore, they're averaging about 4 cm long by 5.5 cm wide, with some of the larger leaves approaching 5 cm by 7 cm. The leaves do not lie on a flat plane, but rather they twist left, right, up, and down. And, some of the newer growth displays a "wrinkled" or "pleated" texture. And finally, this "one-year" graft is approaching the 2-foot mark and gives the impression of being an upright grower.

    I'm thinking that the vendor may have mixed up the labeling and got a Kashima tag on a Higasa yama. But, I don't have any personal experience with a Higasa yama, so I really don't know if this is what a juvenile might look like. If it is a Higasa yama instead of a Kashima, I'm in big trouble. My pond location is not going to be able to deal with a tree that can reach 7 to 8 meters!

    Do you think this has any likelihood of being a Kashima? If not, what do you think it might be?

    Thanks,
    Bryan
     

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  2. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Good ID--I am pretty sure that is Higasayama. Mine still shows more veriegation than that one, but, I suspect it is another case of mistaken identity. I got my tree dormant this winter and as a two year graft, it was about 2.5ft tall before leaf-out this spring. Sounds about like what you are seeing.

    The first photo on this page:
    http://www.esveld.nl/htmldia/a/ex/acphig.htm

    looks to me like what you are seeing. This is a nice tree, maybe you can leave it in a contianer:) The last grower I approached about sending the wrong tree was not very pleased with my inquiry, I hope you have better luck should you pursue it.

    MJH
     
  3. Layne Uyeno

    Layne Uyeno Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi agree with Mike,

    Your tree looks like Higasa yama. It has the same variegation as a tree I saw recently at a local nursery labeled Higasa yama. The only other tree it could be is Shin higasa or Abigail rose which are two relatively new cultivars that are similar to Higasayama in variegation, but are different in leaf size and growth habit (smaller). You might be lucky in a way in that if it is an Abigail rose it should only get up to around 5ft or so. Your assumption that it is an upright grower is correct. I would say keep it as it is a really nice specimen...very healthy...and find a Kashima elsewhere. You can keep the Higasayama in a pot and prune it back every year to control its growth.

    Layne
     
  4. Idacer

    Idacer Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the confirmation, guys. I'm going to touch bases with the vendor and see what she has to say.

    Bryan
     
  5. Idacer

    Idacer Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The vendor came through on this one. No arguments. No excuses. She offered several options to remedy the situation and let me pick the one I preferred. This is the way it's supposed to work.

    Bryan
     

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