Beni Maiko vs. Shin Deshojo

Discussion in 'Maples' started by horace, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. horace

    horace Member

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    After finally deciding on a Shin Deshojo for the east-facing front of our house, I realized it was too late in the season to find one in a local nursery. (Because we're looking for a 4-6 ft. tree, mail order isn't the best option.) However, I found a place that has a few Beni Maiko maples available. Should I wait a while longer for a Shin Deshojo or is the Beni Maiko a worthy alternative?

    Aside from being available now, the Beni Maiko has the added advantage of being a bit smaller in stature than the Shin Deshojo--a smaller tree (6-10 ft.) would better suit the location we have picked out.

    However, reading through posts on this forum, it sounds like the Beni Maiko compares unfavorably to the Shin Deshojo. Can anyone elaborate on this for me? One very good post noted that the Beni Maiko looks rather spent by late summer, but IIRC the author was describing his experience in the San Joaquin Valley. Would a Beni Maiko fare better in the Seattle area, especially in a NE (interior) corner of our yard?

    Thanks for any insight or advice you can offer.
     
  2. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Horace, have you heard of the Great Plant Picks program administered by the Elizabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden? It is getting more notoriety with time, with a even a section devoted to it at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Check out the website and criteria for chosen plants at www.greatplantpicks.org, which you can then search by portion of a botanical or common name, e.g. Acer or maple. Acer palmatum ‘Shin deshojo’ is one of the 21 maples, as of this writing, they have listed since the inception of the program. I would continue to look for what you initially chose, especially if you have limited space and are not a collector; this is a great choice. Check out the sources at that website, as well as the nurseries listed in Link to Maple Resources at the top of the Maples forum.
     
  3. horace

    horace Member

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    Thanks for your reply, Laurie. Yes, I look forward to the new Great Plant Picks every year... what a great resource! In fact, that's where I first learned of the Shin Deshojo.

    It may well be best to keep looking for one, as you suggest. I'm sure Seattle-area nurseries will have some within the next couple months, so the wait shouldn't be too long. ...But then again, I am a bit impatient.

    Do you know exactly how the Shin Deshojo differs from the Beni Maiko? From what I've read, the Beni Maiko is a bit smaller with a more upright form, and the coloration is slightly different. But it still sounds like a very nice tree. But perhaps not as nice as the Shin Deshojo?
     
  4. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I think that you will be really happy with either tree, neither of which is yet in our small collection. It sounds as though you really haven't decided. According to Iseli Nursery in Oregon, 'Beni maiko' grows 6"-8" per season, while 'Shin deshojo' grows 8"-12" per season. The ultimate height of 'Beni maiko' is slightly less at 6'-8', while 'Shin deshojo' will be 8'-10'. How it performs in your garden will depend on the culture and environment, but it will be lovely.

    According to Vertrees, Japanese Maples 2nd Ed. (Timber Press 1987):
    Mature leaves of 'Beni maiko' measure 3 cm to 6 cm in length and width. Red petioles are 1 cm long. The leaves of 'Shin deshojo' are 3 to 4 cm long and wide on older, twiggy wood, but up to 6 cm long and 7 cm wide on vigorous, newer growth. Slender petioles are red-brown and 2 to 4 cm long. Thus the leaves of the former are held a bit closer to the branch. 'Beni maiko' "can be compared with other brilliant scarlet types, such as 'Shindeshojo.' I feel it is not quite as brilliant. However, the irregular leaf shape adds to the interest. ... This is an exciting plant, especially when planted with contrasting foliage plants." Vertrees, in mentioning irregular leaf shape, describes the lobes as serrate and tending to curve sideways. "Smaller leaves on the plant tend to be even more irregular and more intense in coloration." This description is not seen on many websites.

    To make things more confusing, in Japan 'Beni maiko' (1965), 'De shojo' (1965), and 'Shin de shojo' (1965) are synonymous. Yano, Book for Maples (Japan Maples Publishing Group 2003). Interestingly, most of the websites, where I looked for descriptions of these two cultivars, grew either one or the other, but not both. You may see several members jump on this concept, but what is important is that the specimens at the nursery, from which you are choosing, have the characteristics that you are looking for. Vertrees writes that there are several cultivars labelled 'Deshojo' that collectively do not hold the spring color as long as some other related cultivars.

    Vertrees writes of 'Shin deshojo':
    "In the Spring, this is one of the most brilliant foliage plants in our collection. Some people refer to it as 'fire-engine red." Flaming scarlet, or crimson scarlet, is a better description. The new foliage retains this color during the first month or more of Spring. As mid-Summer arrives, the color turns to a pleasant reddish-green. Occasionally leaves are found with minute flecking of light cream or white. However, it is not strongly marked. In the Fall, the colors become blends of reds and orange."
     
  5. horace

    horace Member

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    wow, thank you for such a thorough post! I really appreciate it. That's very helpful.
     
  6. majohnson

    majohnson Member

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    Don't give up on find one yet this season, try Wildwood Farm. They shipped me a Beni O that is 5 feet plus and it shipped with no problems.
     
  7. swanny

    swanny Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Horace,

    I have a small, 3 year "Beni Maiko" in a container shaded on my patio here in Roanoke, VA. The tree is now about 2 feet tall and appears to be very healthy. I have attached one picture of the Fall color, mostly yellow, and the early Spring color which is very striking.

    Swanny
     

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  8. horace

    horace Member

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    Thank you for the pictures. I was under the impression that the fall colors are red--how little sun does your Beni Maiko get? Or is yellow typical?
     
  9. swanny

    swanny Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Horace,

    This is a shot from early November, the leaves are pretty much gone but they do turn red. This tree receives no direct sun, it is in a container under a perogla covered with wisteria.

    Swanny
     

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  10. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  11. hanl

    hanl Active Member

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    Wow! I couldn't believe that you have so many maples on your yard. So impressive! What is the secret of how to maintain and take care of these picky trees? What is the best way to make a preparation for new comming JM? I have ordered a Shin Deshojo, and it won't arrive until September. Please give me some hint how to take care of it if you don't mind, Master! :)
     
  12. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    A statement which could well apply to myself as I continue to learn about gardening and indeed maples year by year
    I garden on heavy clay and in the early years learned to my cost that Japanese maples NEED well drained soil. I lost some trees for this reason.
    I now ensure that the trees have adequate drainage .... if necessary by planting them high and building the soil up around the root ball. If the trees are large I stake them for about a year as I can have strong winds at times. I dust a little bone meal in the planting hole and mix a little leaf mould in with the soil but otherwise I do not amend the soil any further, and I seldom fertilise, as I have found that it is inclined to make the trees rather 'leggy'
    To illustrate the need for good drainage ... I recently planted two trees on a sloped bank .... I buried a length of downspout to run from the bottom of the planting hole down to the edge of the bank (beside the path), and then filled this with large pebbles to keep little mice or such from getting to the roots. This ensures that the tree can never sit in waterlogged soil. I ensure that the trees are suitable watered for at least the first year. Otherwise I leave them alone .... too much fussing over a tree can be as bad as too little
    The posts in this forum are excellent for advice from people here who are much more expert than I am. My best advice would be to take on board what comes from those here who know their subject
    Best wishes
     
  13. hanl

    hanl Active Member

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    Thanks so much for your info. One more question, what JM do you like best on the yard right now? I don't want to be a heavy plant collector, so I really want to pick the good one, but we don't have many local nurseries which are carrying JMs. If I want I have to order on-line.
     
  14. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I do not have any single favourite but I am partial to Okagami, Shirasawanum Aureum and Seiryu
    Shin Deshojo is a remarkably beautiful tree in spring splendour
    Seiryu is a stunning upright dissectum practically all year long
     

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  15. Connor Sullivan

    Connor Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping to get members opinions on Shin Deshojo vs Beni Maiko?

    I’m looking for knock out, unreal spring color to contrast all of my green maples in my yard. Is Shin Deshojo still the undisputed champion?
     
  16. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    It is hard to beat 'Shindeshojo' for spring red colour. If any new varieties can best it I would be interested to hear about them.

    Very similar in colour are the Chishio types. I am not 100% sure if the one I have is the original 'Chishio' (as stated on the label), or 'Chishio Improved'/'Shin chishio', but intensity and duration of colour is comparable to 'Shindeshojo'. Also, if you like the oddballs then 'Beni komachi' is worth a look, said to be a sport of 'Shindeshojo', with the exact same spring colours but a subtle edge variegation that leads to odd shaped skinny leaves.
     
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  17. Connor Sullivan

    Connor Sullivan Well-Known Member

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    I was digging around on the forum and found this information from fellow member Blinky1.

     
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  18. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Contributor

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    "Bonfire" could be a contender to colour contrast with your green specimens.
    The initial spring colouring that lasts about two weeks is a bright pink leaf opening with yellow flowerings ( spectacular) then turns to the veregated orange tones as shown in the picture. Also nice crimson fall colouring as well. I will try and get an early spring photo next year ( I always forget!)
     

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  19. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    It looks great, Otto.

    Out of curiosity, I had a look at the pages about 'Bonfire' : Acer palmatum 'Bonfire'
    I didn't want to spend to much time reading all the comments but it seems not evryone agrees what 'Bonfire' is... ;-)
    I suppose the photos posted by "kraut33" are probably what yours look like in the Spring.
     
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  20. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Contributor

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    Yes, the spring images do show the pink / yellow colours. Our tree is one of the first maples to open up and always a conversation starter when noticed.
    The summer colours do turn to that veregated green / peach tone as well.
     
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