good source for culture information?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Orchidity, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Orchidity

    Orchidity Member

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    While I understand that several factors are involved, its very frustrating to try and plan a garden based upon information that various online nurseries provide. Take, for example, Bihou, which I am planting this weekend. Adult size range is listed anywhere between 7' and 20' or more in height. Umm, kind of a big difference here.

    Is there a respected site that people use, which can provide more accurate estimates?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    This is a problem that crops up quite frequently. Japanese maples can easily live in excess of 500 years so I would take most adult height estimates with a pinch of salt. Also the rate of growth can vary widely depending on climate and other growing conditions (as you alluded to in the original question).

    Some sites or books base their height estimates on a certain age of tree, say 10 or 20 or 25 years, rather than the ultimate height, and they do not all stick to the same standard which makes the problem worse.

    In the case of Bihou, it has not been introduced to the market very long, probably less than ten years, and i suspect vendors are just pulling figures out of the air for the expected height.

    I think the most useful information will be simply whether a maple is fast, medium or slow growing. Sorry I can't be more helpful, hopefully someone else can suggest a site that will provide a better answer.
     
  3. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I agree with Maf, it's hard to put an ultimate height on Japanese Maples. I tend to look at the 10 year size. Let's say for example a tree is described as 10' tall and 3' wide in ten years. I Google images of the tree and see it grows in a vase shape, then I know that I can place it between two lower growing plants with a mounding form.

    The location of the graft plays a role in ultimate height too. Some are grafted very high, while the same variety maybe grafted very low by another grower. For example, my 4' Kamagata is grafted so low it's hard to tell that it's even grafted at all. I have seen a Kamagata that was grafted at 4' and its overall appearance was a 8' lollypop tree form.

    The growing conditions will influence the growth rate. For example, in my area I get a push of new growth in spring and again in late July / early August. While in some areas in Oregon they get three pushes of new growth in a growing season. So my 32 year old Shishigashira is short in comparison to a 10 year old Shishigashira grown in Oregon. If it's planted in container vs. the landscape will impact the growth rate.

    With the internet we have more information available, but it's always a good idea to visit a local grower or nursery to see a variety in person. Some nurseries that were wholesale only have now opened up to retail as a sign of the times. Find a local grower or search the net for growers that specialize in selling mature specimens so that you can get an idea of how big it will get with age. For example check out the large specimens on the following sites:
    http://bigtreesupply.com/large-specimens/
    http://www.youngsnurseries.com/index.php?categoryid=41
    http://www.nurserytrees.com/Laceleaf Japanese Maple.htm
    http://www.limonehort.com/Munn's PG.htm
    http://ncspecimentreesales.wordpress.com/category/maples/

    For general information and great foliage photos I recommend:
    http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=26d0ed

    I know I can't give you the answer you need, but I hope that you find the above information useful.
     
  4. Orchidity

    Orchidity Member

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    Thanks to you both for your replies, your advice makes sense. Even with those nurseries and vendors who give an indication of growth of a 10 year old tree, there is a lot of deviation. That said, its enough to go on. My immediate difficulty is in placement of a Winter Flame on one side of a small garden and Bihou on the other. I've now determined (guessed) that the Bihou will become the taller of the two, so its now planted appropriately.

    I may need to rethink the location I settled on for my Kamagatas now!
     
  5. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Kamagata is one of my favorites. It's easy to keep it the size you want as they tend to be slow growing and easy to prune. They also do extremely well in a pot on the patio. Mine was in full sun on my brick paver patio and it really did great this past extremely hot summer.
     

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