companions for Mikawa yatsubusa

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Samara, May 29, 2013.

  1. Samara

    Samara Active Member Maple Society

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    Last year I started a Mother's Day tradition by picking out a Japanese maple with my husband and son—Red Pygmy. This year I picked out a Mikawa yatsubusa that I'd been dreaming about for the last year. My son (25) had the same idea. A year ago he ordered a two-year graft online from Amazon of all places. He'd been taking care of it for the past year, hiding it whenever I came to visit.

    We expanded a perennial bed to make space for this embarrassment of riches. The older tree is 40" tall and about 42-43" wide. The younger one is 18" tall and in a pot.

    Two questions:
    1. At what age to Mikawa yatsubusa begin to branch out?
    2. Do any of you have recommendations for a maple that would be a good complement to the Mikawa yatsubusa? A tree that is dramatic in its own right and won't get too large. The bed is in full sun. I welcome your suggestions.
     

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    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  2. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    It will take several years for the little one to start pushing stronger horizontal growth. I never grew one from day 1. I am only basing this on a 4yr graft that I picked up two years ago (now in its 6th season and has not started pushing strong horizontal growth as of yet) and a large specimen that I have in the landscape (that is much older and slightly taller than it is wide) Along with several seedlings that are now in their 4th season, which really doesn't count, since it's not true Mikawa yatsubusa. Your climate will influence this based on the assumption that you will only get 2 pushes of growth a season, length of season, ect. Unlike other areas that have a milder climate, that have a longer growing season, and see three or more very strong pushes in growth. Wish I could better answer this question. Maybe someone else in your area who has a long history of growing this variety could give a better estimate. My climate is more similar to yours than most people would think, as my neighborhood is right on one of the great lakes, providing a longer growing season, protection from frost, and a milder winter than people living just 10 miles south of me.

    Some nice companions. If you are looking for that unusual growth habit, texture, and form; consider:
    Acer palmatum 'Ojishi' (Male lion)
    Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira' (Female lion)
    Interesting history / story goes along with these two:
    http://www.iselinursery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=68

    Offering an interesting texture with congested leaves:
    Acer palmatum 'Goshiki kotohime'
    Acer palmatum 'Little Sango' (New introduction, I picked up this season, congested clusters of small leaves and coral bark that holds its color better than Sango Kaku going into summer) http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=26f9f6

    Some other Yatsubusa varieties in the trade:
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plan...ubusa&maples=on&conifers=on&other=on&x=17&y=6

    Other considerations:
    Acer palmatum 'Hana matoi' (offers a great color combination of burgundy, pink, white, and hints of green) The challenge is finding one from a grower that is stunning and not dull in color.

    The maples I placed close to my Mikawa yatsubusa planted in the landscape are:
    -Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' (Shades of yellow and reds with everything in-between, adds height to the combination and contrasting color and leaf shape)
    -Acer palmatum 'Red Filigree Lace' (contrasting color and texture with a complimentary mounding form to the combination. Small deep burgundy leaves with a delicate stature against the strong masculine stature of the Mikawa yatsubusa.)
    -A dwarf yellow chamaecyparis obtuse and a variegated pinus parviflora (variety names escape me right now) along with chamaecyparis obtusa 'snow' all for contrasts in color and texture along with the added winter interest.
    - Weigela 'Dark Horse' a low mound, but I am considering replacing it once I find the right Acer palmatum beni hime. Or I am considering giving up the search and adding a much easier find in my area, Berberis thunbergii ‘Admiration’ for the unusual red and yellow variegation.
    -My wife added some smaller fillers to the combination (black mondo grass, dwarf powder blue iris, and a small, thin leaf, red, Dwarf Fountain Grass)
     
  3. Samara

    Samara Active Member Maple Society

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    JT1,
    Thanks very much for your detailed and thoughtful reply. I had been thinking a bit about Shishigashira. I also appreciate your non-maple suggestions. I bought a dwarf pine without a label at Rare Find Nursery which I may add as well. This gives me a lot to think about.

    Thanks again,
    Samara
     
  4. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mine is still quite small, but probably 10 years old. It has Alpine strawberries growing around it, some flowering moss and thyme. Lovely corner, actually, but like I say, mine is maybe 18" tall--and one of my favorites!
     
  5. Samara

    Samara Active Member Maple Society

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    Thanks, Jacquot. It sounds lovely. After hearing how slowly Mikawa yatsubusa grow, I'm really starting to wonder how old my larger one is.
     
  6. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I also love 'Mikawa yatsubusa'. Yours would look lovely underplanted with a carpet of Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'.

    Gomero
     
  7. Samara

    Samara Active Member Maple Society

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    Gomero, thanks very much for the suggestion.
     
  8. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dwarf conifers of just about any variety would look fabulous with it, especially the blue-needled kinds. A weeping selection would look quite lovely (I like Cedrus deodara 'Feelin' Blue'). Also Acer palmatum Beni hime would look fantastic with it. It stays small and sports rose-tinged leaves during the summer - also does well in full sun. A smaller red weeping Acer to consider is 'Ebony'.
     
  9. Samara

    Samara Active Member Maple Society

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    Kaitain 4,
    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I may be too far north for the Cedrus, though it's hard to tell with our recent weather patterns, or lack thereof. Beni hime and Ebony are both on my wish list.
     

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