Best acer species for southern california (other than acer macrophyllum)

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Soumil Yarlagadda, Jan 6, 2022.

  1. Soumil Yarlagadda

    Soumil Yarlagadda Active Member Maple Society

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    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA , Zone 10a
    Which one of these species will do well in orange county? PH will be lowered in the soil. irrigation will be provided.

    Acer Granditentatum, Acer Rubrum, Acer Saccharinum, Acer saccharum, Acer x freemanii, Acer macrophyllum?

    southern california is not florida, here winter temperatures are colder more often. dormancy can be achieved here.

    location: Mission Viejo, CA
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  3. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    If you want something more interesting, Acer pentaphyllum would likely thrive in the climate of Orange County, as it is known to do well in Southern Australia. Might be a bit harder to find but they are available.
     
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  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I believe Acer grandidentatum is likely to do well, of those you list. I'm not sure about lowering pH of soil artificially.

    As maf mentions, there are plenty of other maples to choose from, campbellii, sinense, pubinerve... You might want to check with Mendecino Maples, for some reasonably local available stock.
     
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  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Best suited climatically will be the Mediterranean maples like Acer sempervirens and Acer monspessulanum. These are very tolerant of drought and summer heat.
     
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  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    @Ron B — is this the same tree we might see in orderly rows at a mall parking lot in coastal Vanc BC … or do we have a different liquidambar here?

    it’s very pretty all year round especially the autumn foliage - and the crows build nests in them (the tree branches offer many twiggy supports) —- i would estimate the mall trees I know are approx 20 yr old and never get water other than rain and piles of plowed gritty snow (today) — height is approx 18 feet and width is perhaps 12 feet — the branches start high enough on the trunk to park an average smaller car under the branches that extend over parking spaces

    One thing I note about the mall trees is that they have round spiked fruit which is fine in a paved parking lot tho might not be désirable in a private garden lawn area or pool area.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Same species. There are some cultivars.
     
  8. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    That's nurture, not nature though. If you want to call it that! Naturally, the Liquidambar puts out sweeping branches from near ground level. Indeed, there are many cultivars of Liquidambar styraciflua.

    A. monspessulanum is a really lovely and under-rated tree. The spring flowers are magnificent, summer is a good (and trouble-free) deep green, and autumn color is a good yellow.
     
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  9. Soumil Yarlagadda

    Soumil Yarlagadda Active Member Maple Society

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    loving all the suggestions. acer monspessulanum is a very attractive suggestion. its pretty hard to find a source for acer pentaphyllum tho
     
  10. MapleZen

    MapleZen Active Member

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    Unless I'm mistaken, any acer palmatum could theoretically be grown in zone 10, provided it was in-ground, with reliable irrigation, and sheltered from the Santa Ana winds. Preferably as an understory to an established tree. It's pushing the limits of their habitat (Zone 9), but I think it's feasible.
     
  11. Soumil Yarlagadda

    Soumil Yarlagadda Active Member Maple Society

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    my neighbor has a largeweeping acer palmatum. they do well in socal
     
  12. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Though not as spectacular as palmatums, A. monspessulanum is a very nice tree, very adaptable to various conditions including drought.
    See here :
    Acer monspessulanum

    I'm surprised no one suggested Acer buergerianum. Great autumn colours, nice bark, and tolerates a higher pH, and hot weather, than palmatums :
    Acer buergerianum
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Growth of Japanese maples in southern California and the associated soil mineral salts issue has long been discussed in the plant encyclopedia section of the Sunset Western Garden Book from Sunset Publishing. (Presumbably latter day editions still have this content). This same treatment also indicates where other kinds of maples are thought suitable via their own Sunset Climate Zone system, which unlike pretty much all other such schemes is based on a complete set of relevant occurrences. Rather than just a single factor like high or low temperature ranges.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2022

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