Higasayama imposter

Discussion in 'Maples' started by dangerine49, May 7, 2018.

  1. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    I bought a JM at a local nursery at an end of season sale in November that was tagged as a Higasayama. Now that spring has finally sprung, I'm guessing it was mismarked. Actually, I was back at that nursery on Sunday and they had a couple more also marked as Higasayamas from the same provider that are just like mine.

    The leaves don't have any variegation at all, and the tree looks similar to the Sango Kakus that I have with some differences. The leaves are lime green with thin red edges but the lobes are wider. It is more columnar than the SK's with a more layered look. It has red bark but not all over and not as bright as the SK's. The leaves when I bought it had turned but did not look like SK's fall color. I think it might be a Beni Kawa. Any ideas?

    The first pic is from November when I first planted it. The rest are recent:
     

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  2. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

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    Looks a lot like a Sango kaku to me.

    "Higasayama" never has red stems. First year leaves are ordinary green palmate ones, but are the very distinctive small, variegated, upward cupped 'hands' thereafter. Spring emergence is unique and earns it the pseudonym 'popcorn tree'.
     
  3. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Certainly not Higasa yama, that's for sure. Too bad, it's a wonderful cultivar, but maybe this one will turn out to be nice, also.
     
  4. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    Yeah, I just assumed that the company that tagged it knew what they were providing. I had never seen a Higasayama in person before so I didn't know what its fall color should look like. I have two SK's which I love (one of which I bought at this same nursery a year before), but the fall color is more bright yellow with a touch of orange (see my avatar), so I thought I was certainly getting something different. Most of the reference materials speak to leaf color and don't necessarily give bark color details for identification.

    I'm not angry or even disappointed (well maybe a little), just a little confused. This is definitely a learning experience.
     

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    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  5. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member 10 Years

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    Let me guess was this at Atlantic Nursery? I had the same issue with a mislabeled Higasayama at that place. If I were you I would return the tree back to the store and tell them it was mislabeled.
     
  6. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    Ding, ding ding - we have a winner!!

    Yeah, actually I have to drop off my wife at work in Roslyn tomorrow and I was planning to stop by Atlantic on my way home.
     
  7. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    Update: So I stopped by Atlantic Nursery to complain about the mislabeled Hig. Their JM manager gave some weak excuse blaming it on their supplier and even told me that the supplier doesn't have anyone who speaks decent English. I don't know what that's about but he asked me what he could do for me, so I got a Crimson Queen at 50% off.
     
  8. ChrisProbert

    ChrisProbert Active Member

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    I believe that Higasayama only 'performs' properly when fairly confined in a pot, so if you bought one and simply planted it out it could disappoint you. (I posted last year about mine producing summer leaves differing completely from the spring display, and was much reassured on the subject by the community here.) But yours doesn't look like any sort of Higasayama, though perfectly nice in itself. The dodgy labelling by the nursery would seem to be to blame, though, given the comments from others about this, I have to ask Are you sure that it's a Crimson Queen....?!
     
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  9. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    That's really funny considering they had several Crimson Queens and a few had that same "Northern Grown" vendor tag on them. But I bought one with a Bower and Branch label (which says it has a 3 year guarantee). They both looked the same and I'm pretty confident they actually are CQ's. It's a shame but this Atlantic Nursery is a pretty big one and I've purchased quite a few things from them including a Waterfall, a Sango Kaku and a Ruslyn in the Pink JMs. They not the cheapest around but they have good quality and you can get reasonable prices if you look around and wait for things to go on sale.

    It's weird though that they seemed to know about this mislabeling and still kept the wrong tags on them. Oh well, lesson learned to be more careful in the future.

    Here's the CQ:
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  10. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    I was thinking of this thread after a visit to a local Home Depot today. I was looking for some flowers and ferns but I walked around to see what else they had. I noticed some more mismarked JM's. There was a nice, large obviously red upright marked with a generic "Green Japanese Maple" tag. Then I found a couple marked Viridis which surprisingly looked like Autumn Moons. I had forgotten that I bought one there last year with a generic red dissectum tag which turned out to be a generic green upright A.P.
     
  11. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member 10 Years

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    ChrisProbert, may I ask why you think Higasayama grows best in a pot and not in the ground? It makes sense because I planted a Higasayama in the ground 2 years ago and it hasn't really grown.
     
  12. ChrisProbert

    ChrisProbert Active Member

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    I was told when I bought it that you need to keep the roots confined in order to get the best of the leaf colour and effect: that if planted out it was liable to lose its distinctive characteristics, and simply revert to Acer palmatum '?'
     
  13. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

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    I don't think you should believe this.

    I have a Higasayama. It was about 2 meters tall when I bought it about a decade ago. It was delivered to me in a large plastic pot. I planted it in my yard something like a decade ago. Now it is maybe 5 meters tall. Every year, it produces the fantastic display unfurling the first flush of leaves that give it the nickname 'popcorn tree'. These unfurl into the little variegated leaves that look like little palm upward hands.

    Afterward, new shoots tend to bear ordinary palmatum leaves. These ordinary palmatum leaves are replaced by 'Higasayama leaves'. It is beyond reason, even for me, to remove these palmatum leaves (by cutting individual petioles or simply plucking them) from a tree the size of mine, so I must wait until the next spring to see my Higasayama with nothing but Higasayama leaves. Regardless, it is a fabulous tree!
     
  14. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Please go into gallery index page eight and go to ' Leaf out then..freeze' thread nos 9# 13# and you can see pics of my Higasayama that i had problems with , nearly died in the May 2016 managed to save it, dug it up and re potted came back in September just as normal Higasayamas do but it did have a good flush of full green leaf, but you can clearly see some of the new shoots showing the typical Higasayama striped leaves , the following year 2017 it was fine and it went back to the normal spring colouring pattern.

    Actually gave this as gift to a family friend because they admired it so much because of it's striped leaves, will have to go over one day and have a look at it see how it's managing.
     
  15. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    So I went back to Home Depot again today for some more stuff and grabbed one of those so-called "Viridis" JM's. Turns out it was even on sale at 25% off.
     

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  16. ChrisProbert

    ChrisProbert Active Member

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    Very nice - very puzzling! A new game for a plant nerd's Birthday Party: 'Pin the name on the Maple'....?
     
  17. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    That looks very nice, and quite like shirasawanum 'Moonrise'. But the truth is that for many cultivars, you'll never be able to ID it exactly; there are just too many of them.

    I agree with osoyoung that there's no need to keep 'Higasa Yama' in a pot, I have 2 in ground that have very good displays. Sounds like more urban myth to me!
     
  18. ChrisProbert

    ChrisProbert Active Member

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    In slight defence of keeping 'Higasa Yama' in a pot....

    The original advice might stem from the fact that growth is slower when a maple is fairly tight in a pot (the 'bonsai effect?), so, although it needs more care to keep it healthy, the tree will display those interesting leaves for somewhat longer at the beginning of the season.

    That's my theory anyway - I'm sure somebody will be along to disprove it shortly!
     
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  19. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    It turns out that it was a strictly Home Depot error. They stuck a Viridis HD hang tag on it (I guess because it is mostly green), but I did find a faded trunk tag from their supplier identifying it as Autumn Moon when I planted it over the weekend.

    P.S. Another Home Depot visit uncovered a few Mikawa Yatsubusa's with Viridis hang tags. It is nice too see that they are getting a lot more varieties of JM's at reasonable prices even if they are marked incorrectly.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  20. dangerine49

    dangerine49 Contributor

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    So in my many visits to Home Depot over the past few days a particular JM caught my eye. It had a very nice form and regular green AP leaves with a habit slightly weeping but more flat than truly weeping or upright. I have been looking for a JM to fill a small space in my backyard, and decided to go back today and see if it was still available. I thought it was gone but after looking around for a few minutes I realized that they had moved some things around and found it and bought it. I am kicking myself for not buying it when I first saw it because when they moved it a nice upper canopy branch was torn off. I actually saw the broken branch mixed in with some other refuse in a pile somewhere. Anyway, this one was not identified in any way except for a generic Acer Palmatum sticker on the container. It's about 24" high, 30 " wide with a thick trunk and not staked.

    As far as I can tell, only Ryusen has a weeping form with standard green leaves. Any other possibilities?

    Maybe Akita or Shishi Yatsubusa?
     

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    Last edited: May 31, 2018

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