Japanese Maple Hardiness Test

Discussion in 'Maples' started by kaydye, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    I'm curious to hear from those of you who are growing and reporting on Japanese maples/other maples that are marginal in your zone. Here in Central Illinois (zone 5), as in much of the country, we have experienced very low temps. We reached -22 degrees farenheit one night and about -16 another night with a high of about -3 during the day. These are the maples I planted out just this summer:
    Acer palm. 'Fireglow'
    'Kasagiyama'
    'Ever Autumn'
    'Saoshika'
    'Oshu Shidare'
    'Korean Gem'

    Acer japonicum 'Otaki'
    'Attaryi'
    Acer campestre 'nanum'
    Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'
    Acer pseudoplanatus 'Patchwork'

    I'm curious to hear the reports of others in the same situation. Even in my garage, where I keep my container maples (it's under my house, not freestanding) it has been at 20 degrees F. I'm kind of worried about them, too. Spring could be very depressing this year, but interesting if some of these do survive.
    Kay Dye
     
  2. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    Kayde,

    My heart aches for you! I certainly hope all is well! We didn't get nearly that cold here in Tennessee (down to 3 F, -16 C), but it is a worry. I think there are probably several factors in a plant surviving those temps:

    1. Hardiness - JMs are supposed to be hardy to Zone 5, -20 F (-28 C), according to Vertrees.
    2. Variety - Some are hardier than others. Japonicums are supposed to be more cold hardy, as are Pseudosieboldianum and Shirasawanum. I believe Pseudosiebolianum is rated as the most cold hardy (Zone 4), but its a rare collectors plant without named cultivars.
    3. Root Stock - Since almost all JMs are grafted, the top may be more hardy but the Root Stock is almost always Acer palmatum seedlings. I would suspect a wide variance in hardiness and survivability, since these Root Stock plants are seed grown.
    4. Site - Microclimates will probably play a huge role in survivability.
    5. Protection - Things like mulching, wind protection, anti-dessicant sprays, etc. will probably factor in heavily as to how much damage is done by these temps.

    The good news is that you did not have a prolonged period of ultra-cold temps. This may factor in on some of the trees and how much damage they recieved.



    I've got all my fingers and toes crossed for you hoping things turn out OK!!!
     
  3. paxi

    paxi Active Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Think that it will be interesting to report back survival rates vs. low temps vs. year planted. Our low was -3 F so far, and we'll just have to see what comes back.
     
  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,115
    Likes Received:
    2,504
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    I'd have guess that the sycamore and the field maple would be OK. They can grow in some pretty tough mountain conditions. That cold though. Fingers crossed for you.

    Temps here are into the 50s F, but the wind is gusting at 100 kph out there! And more to come.

    -E
     
  5. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY
    Well, we cold-weather maple gardeners have another dimension of excitement, don't we.

    On the maps, I'm in zone 6, but almost every year we have a night or two when it gets to 15 or 20 below zero, and successions of days (such as the last few) when the temperature doesn't get above 10. But my trees are in quite a sheltered area--no strong winds, no sudden shifts from subzero to strong sun.

    These trees are in the ground, correct? I can vouch for the fact that leaving palmatums in pots above ground in winters this cold is likely to kill them. But I predict that all will survive with minimal damage--if they are safe from brutal winds and bright sun (and maybe if they aren't, but I don't have experience with those conditions). I've grown two of these cultivars for many years and I don't see visible cold damage on them, ever: Kasagiyama and Saoshika. I'm familiar with most of the others, too, and I bet you won't have any problems with them.

    I also have quite a few plants in pots, which I either bury in the ground (an enormous pain, but it protects the roots from excessive cold, and they flourish) or put in my cold basement. The temp in the basement is usually in the 30s, but then I always forget and leave the door open a few times, or the cat pushes it open, and it goes into the low 20s, and I don't have winter cold damage.

    Temps this cold in November or late March and early April might be a problem. But my experience is that they can take fairly bitter cold if they are fully dormant in the depth of winter.

    Incidentally, I know two cultivars that are definitely not hardy here--Kotohime (killed outside three times) and Hanami nishiki (dies back severely every year).

    Good luck; I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised in the spring.

    D.
     
  6. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Hi !
    here comes a cold report from northern sweden approx your zone 3-4.
    Last week i had -27 degrees C .Temperatures in vintertime here varies between -5 C to -30 C.
    But Maples are tuffer than many people think.
    Here are a listing of my maples that i have in my garden that not only survive they grow from 10 cm to 60 cm depending of sort.
    The only thing that i do to keep the maples happy are planting them high in gravel ,sand, coarse bark and ordanary garden soil.

    acer platanoides
    acer platanoides "crimson king"
    acer ginnala
    acer shirasawanum "aureum" (japanese full moon maple)
    acer mandchurica "Tegmentoseum"
    acer japonicum (japanese full moon maple)
    acer Palmatum "atropurpureum"
    acer trifolorum
    Acer negundo "Flamingo"
    acer siboldianum

    I also belive these acers will work here

    A saccarum
    A rubrum
    A pseudosieboldianum
    A pensylvanicum
    A Tartaricum (I know)
    A circinatum
    A truncatum "mono"

    So don´t worry be happy!

    Regards
     
  7. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    Dan and Zonebreaker,
    Thanks so much for the reports. I was especially glad to hear about Kasagiyama and Saoshika. I planted them early this spring and kept them well-watered and mulched, so I'm hopeful. Yes, all of the ones I mentioned are in the ground and I'm pretty sheltered, plus I spray them with WiltPruf and wrap smaller ones with row cover or burlap. So, I do try to protect those early years as best as possible. Over the last 10years we have maybe had a -15 F. night or two each season, so I guess in reality, it's not that much worse, just sounds like it. I always think that there is some "magic" temp. at which the maples will just say, "Sorry, I wasn't meant for this."

    It was great hearing those Zonemaker is growing in zone 3-4. Wow. I won't worry about my Shir. 'Aurea', the japonicas I have, or the triflorum. I still worry about my circinatums. I decided to try quite a few a couple years ago and they seem to be slow to get established, haven't put on much growth. My conditions may be drier than they like, is that possible?

    The ones I have potted in the garage are probably okay. It dipped to 20 F. in there, but not much lower. I do have one other question. I didn't want to water them when it was at 20, all it does is run out of the pots, but figure they are about due, so I piled snow all over the pots, figuring when it did warm up enough in there the snow would melt gradually and the roots would be able to absorb the water. Is this a good or bad idea?

    Again, thanks for all the input. I'll report in the spring, if it ever comes.
    Kay
     
  8. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    hello kaydye!
    About the garage plants,i would not water the plants when temperatures go below 0 C.
    I´m asuming the plants are deleafed.
    I have some delicate trees(Liriodendron tulipifera) in a earthbasment( its a place where you stored potatos during the winter in the old days,Maybe like a hurricane shelter..) i hope you get the idea.
    the temperature in the earth basment never goes below 0 C and i´m water the plants there only once or twice during the winter(5 month)and not very much.
    Beware of root rot. God luck!
     
  9. davelll

    davelll Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    juneau, alaska, usa
    We live in Southeast Alaska, thisa winter has been particularly harsh with ambient temps in the single digits for weeks at a time, then rising to 40 for a week and now back in the low 20's, but we have had similar winters often and in our community there are hundreds of palmatums of many varieties, at least a hundred japonicums and several dozen shirasawams, some within a half mile of the glacier front. they thrive if planted in 100% organics, but fail if planted in mineral soils. I believe it is a function of winter dessication as well as temperature.
    Many winters the heavy wet snow breals off the branches of the palmatums, especially the dissectums with the arching branches, but a couple of years later they jave sprouted new branches from the trunks and have grown new foliage in very similar shapes to the ones lost.
    If any participants come to Alaska this year, contact me and I will provide a short tour
     
  10. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Dave,

    A year or two ago another Alaskan posted and he mentioned a very similar sounding collection of JM's. He mentioned about planting in boggy areas. Searched but can't locate that thread.

    Do you think that winter dessication is the culprit because Juneau is a windy place? Do you believe that the peaty soil supplies moisture more readily than mineral soil when the temps are low?

    If you have any Juneau JM pictures please post them.

    Appreciate your thoughts.
     
  11. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Boggi areas is the worst for my acers in sweden, coarse gravel the opposite.
     
  12. davelll

    davelll Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    juneau, alaska, usa
    Yes that was me, but I do not plant in boggy areas, I use the Muskeg Peat soils from perched wetlands, let it drain for a year, and then plant in it in elevated drainable beds.
     
  13. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Thanks for explaining. Your strategy make sense.

    Please take some photos this Spring.
     
  14. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    zonebreaker,
    As far as watering. What do you think about the idea of putting snow on the pots and when the temp is above 0 C. it will melt? I used to water once a month in the winter. Last winter I watered a little more and it seemed like they were happier in the spring. Now, I also transplanted most of them so the soil was less compacted (that was the reason I watered a little more), so that could have been a factor, too. Most of mine are in terra cotta pots or cedar boxes. I am pretty careful with the ones in less porous containers. Watering is a constant dilema for me each winter. I am always worried I will kill them one way or another. My garage has no windows, so they are completely in the dark and therefore stay moist longer, I would think. The snow I put on them last week hasn't melted yet (it's been around 0 C. in the garage) it's just sitting on the pots. It's supposed to be warmer the next two days, so I'll see what happens.
    KayDye
     
  15. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Hello kaydye!

    Im think thats a god idea.
    Because snow isn´t so much water,and below zero i belive that the plants dont need any water at all,just slightly moist soil.
    Just so the roots doesn´t dry out.
    In the springtime when it´s time to take the plants outside ,DONT overwater.
    Gradually increase the water for the plant.
    The reason for it is that the plant do loose some of the finer roots during vinter storidge,and need some time to build new ones.
    I belive that it was your repotting rather than giving them more water that made the plants happy.
    I,m thinking that most of us acer freaks are a little bit to caring for our trees,they can take a little beating...
    But i´m the same,just becouse i just love them.(and have spent a great deal of money on them).

    Regards
     
  16. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    Thank you all for the information in this thread. I started a similar thread last autumn which you can read here, inspired somewhat by an older posting by Daniel Otis -- thanks!

    Here in coastal Maine we still have at least a foot of snow on the ground (and that's after a good bit of melting last week) and two nights ago, temperatures plunged into the single digits (above zero, F).

    This winter -- my first as a JM grower -- was unusually cold here. We are nominally in Zone 5b (low temps from -10 to -15F) but seldom actually see temperatures that cold, because of the moderating effect of the ocean. But this year it actually did get all the way down to the Zone 5 range at my place on at least two occasions.

    This is good in a way: it will provide an acid test, so to speak, of the varieties I'm growing:


    - Acer triflorum
    - A. shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'
    - A. s. 'Moonrise'
    - A. p. 'Katsura'
    - A. x 'Johin' (a palmatum/shirasawanum hybrid)
    - A. japonica 'Aconitifolium'
    - A. palmatum 'Yezo nishiki'
    - A. p. 'Purple Ghost'
    - A. p. 'Ariadne' (a variety originating in Belgium, I think)
    - A. griseum

    Of course we have many native maples typical of New England. On my land the chief ones are red maple (A. rubrum) and sugar maple (A. saccarum). My neighbor has a well established moosewood or snakebark maple, A. pensylvanicum. The general growing conditions -- soil, moisture, shelter, and cool summers with long hours of daylight -- seem to be favorable, so I'm hoping for the best.

    Maple sugaring season, which is a big deal around here, is about to begin. Last year a friend of mine discovered that one of her neighbors, without permission, had attached taps and bottles to a row of old sugar maples along the road on her property. She sent her boyfriend -- a tall and forceful gentleman -- to demand that the taps be removed. The neighbor was surprised and indignant. He'd been tapping these same trees for years and felt he had every right to do so, since, as he put it, "You weren't doing anything with them."

    As they say in Fiddler on the Roof: Tradition!
     
  17. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Reflektion on hardiness.
    A Winter here is not just the same winter there....
    Things that i beleve makes it possible to grow acers like Palmatums,Shirasawanums etc in your zone 3-4 ,in sweden is....
    Our fall is three months with slowly decreasing temperatures .All acers defoliate nicely. The ground freezes up before the snow comes.no strong sunshine,and if there is wind it´s not dry,It rains more than average.
    The rain is one of the reasons i plant high and in mixed gravel.

    And then the Winter, witch i think is the easy part becouse we get snow that insulates and keep them from the worst cold periods.
    We almost doesn´t see the sun for 3-4 months(for more than a coupple of ours anyway).They aren´t just dorment,they are in coma deep sleep...
    But since roots are frozen solid they dont need water or sun anyway.
    If we are lucky we get enough snow to cover them completely,but that seldom happens.
    My most critical period is springtime.The biggest problem is that there is a lot of sun before the ground has been thawed.
    so i must shade the bark from the worst sun.
    This is the second reason i plant in gravel and higher up.
    The second worst is early warm periods that make them bud out before the last frost night is over.If i see it´s going to be a coupple of frosty nights i usaly try to cover them up,if the have budded out.This is the only time i cover them upp(springtime)

    And now to the fun part, summer! If they survived the difficultys of spring they have very long days to look forward to,the sun never sets in mid summer.So what do i have?
    I nearly perfekt temperature between 17-25 degrees C,sun for 8 ours(not to strong) and dawn/dusk the rest of the 24 ours.
    That is a lot of good growing time.
    Please excuse my english (second language)
    P3121974.jpg

    A place for Palmatums? Answer YES!
     
  18. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Great information Zonebreaker. Definitely very different from where i am. It's about impossible to see the horizon from anywhere around here.

    Where is that photo taken? It is a beautiful landscape, don't tell me your maples are inside of those snowy lumps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  19. paxi

    paxi Active Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    St. Louis
    zonebraker, would love to see some pics of your maples "in the element". Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Ok,here they come.Not much to se really...
    Just been outside taking som pictures.the picture in the last post is taken by the sea 20km from my home.
    These are shirasawanum aureum,acer trifolorum,platanoides "crimson king",negundo "Flamingo" the rest is under snow. I did not want to dig away the snow, so what you se is only the top.
    IMG_1313.jpg

    IMG_1314.jpg

    couldn´t get rest of the pictures in this post?
    The coverd up things are one prunus sato zakura and Fagus sylvatica purpurea Pendula newly planted.
     
  21. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    more pics
     

    Attached Files:

  22. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    Deere damage and one more winterpicture.Sorry could not resist to show some pictures in summer time of my little waterfall and Shirasawanum .
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  23. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Amazing contrasts. Thanks Zonebreaker.
     
  24. paxi

    paxi Active Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    St. Louis
    yes indeed, If you ever get a chance I would love a list of the palmatums that have thrived with you/locally. I think it would be fair to say these are cold hardy. thanks again for the pics - very cool
     
  25. zonebreaker

    zonebreaker Active Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sweden
    i´ll be back,13 new ones going in to the ground this spring.
     

Share This Page