Japanese Maple Hardiness Test

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

  1. putitintheole

    putitintheole Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Everyone. I am a first time poster long time observer. I want to thank everyone for all of the information I have absorbed. I broke down last year and purchased three JM's thru the mail. I now own a Shirasawanum, Shishigashira, and a Jiro Shidare. I was told they were all appx 3 years old. Like Kaydye OP, I live in zone 5, outside Milwaukee, WI. We also had a very cold winter this year. It started with a lot of snow cover, which made me happy, but then we went thru a melting/freezing rain cycle followed by lots of cold. I am happy to say all of the JM's made it thru just fine. Both the Shirasawanum and the Shishigashira are protected from the north and west by my house and fence. They receive morning sun. I tried to plant the Aureum in my front yard twice which was exposed to afternoon sun and it hated it. I knew better, but I had my heart set on it being in the front yard. In September, I replanted it in its present spot and am so happy it came back strong this year. The Jiro Shidare was fully exposed to the north winds and is in afternoon sun. This JM seem to be more hardy than the other two. Sorry for the late and long winded response. I just wanted to share so others might take the plunge as well. Thanks again.
     
  2. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    It's mid-May and since I started the post, I thought I'd report on the original maples I planted last summer, having spent their first winter here ( a cold one and a cold wet, wet spring).
    'Kasagiyama' came through well
    'Ever Autumn' looks fantastic, growing like a weed
    'Saoshika' looks great
    'Oshu Shidare' patchy, some branches have leafed out, some look dead, some look like they may still leaf out.
    'Korean Gem' wonderful, it wasn't a very nice specimen. You know how sometimes when you mail order, there are dead branches and the shape is not good? Well, this was so ugly I planted it way out in the back where I didn't have to look at it and kind of hoped it died. Well, it is just growing like crazy and looks great.

    Acer japonicum 'Otaki' Great, even though the deer ate it last year
    'Attaryi' Terrible, hasn't leafed out and doesn't look like it will
    Acer campestre 'Little Gem' Dead, having problems with my campestres and circinatums, though rated zone 5. I had Carnival die back to about 6", and Royal Ruby, too. Pulverulentum is doing great, so is Monroe, Sunglow, and Sunny Sister are fine.
    Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' Looks great
    Acer pseudoplanatus 'Patchwork' Hasn't leafed out and I don't think it will. It seems to have borers, I guess. There was sawdust all over the small trunk and little 1/2' sawdust spikes perpendicular to the trunk.

    The really sad report is that my A. palm. shishigashira is gone. I planted it in 2002, so it was an established maple. Some of my other older, established looked stressed, too. I think I've lost my Waterfall, which I raised from a stick in 1995. It is trying to leaf out, but I can't stand distorted, spotty growth on a tree, so it may have to go. I'm going to give it time, but I'm not hopeful.

    I actually don't think it was the cold in the winter that damaged so many. Waterfall's branches and buds looked green and ready to go in March. We didn't have any of that high temp plunging to the teens stuff this spring, but we had record rain in March, April, and still lots in May. The spring temps have been below normal, we still haven't had many 70 degree days even this far into May, which is unusual for us. So I think it was more the combination of the cold and wet that damaged/killed some. What do you all think?
    Kay
     
  3. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    good to hear, and welcome. Isn't the jiro shidare a wonderful tree? Mine has seemed hardy as well, which is great because it has a very a delicate look. Post some pics if you get a chance.
     
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Over in the UK we don't have to deal with the low temperatures that you do, but we often have very wet weather in the winter and early spring, which can cause problems if the drainage is any less than perfect as the trees have no leaves to transpire the moisture away. How's your drainage near the damaged/killed trees?
     
  5. kbguess

    kbguess Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Location:
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    This is the wettest, slowest spring that I can remember in SE Iowa. I lost a Corallinum and a Hogyoku that were pushing leaves as the deluge began. Both just stopped pushing, then wilted. I am sure they drowned.

    At least I have identified the trouble areas in the yard now. Not really easy to know where the drainaige issues were until I got this much water. Fortunately my other maples sailed through the -12F winter. Also coldest temps I remember in my 10 years here.

    Kay, I sympathize with you and your losses. I hate losing my plants. Especially tough to lose larger specimens that you have had so long.

    Keith
     
  6. putitintheole

    putitintheole Member

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    Location:
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    Here is a pic of my little jiro.
     

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  7. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    maf,
    The drainage near the Shishigashira is mixed. It's sitting at the top of a slope, but underneath the topsoil is very heavy clay. That kind of explains its death, I think, although I had a grouping of five (Inabe Shidare, Verdis, shirasawanum Aureum, and Kashima were the others) all within a few feet of each other and the other four look great. I thought I had lost Verdis for awhile, but it is slowly leafing out and will be okay. Kind of interesting, I have two of them, about the same size/age. One is in the front of my house in a dry area...it's the one that looks great, the one that's suffering is in the wetter area. That's how I'm kind of making my observations on what lived and what died. Although, then on the other hand figure this one out...I also have two Filigrees. One is planted next to the house and as of today after over 2 1/2 inches of rain (about 6.5 cm), it's sitting in water and looks great, growing like a weed. Then the other one, which I thought was in a pretty good location, is dead (one death I forgot to report:)). The Waterfall I thought was also in a really good area, one of the better in my yard. I'm clueless as to why it looks so bad.

    Keith,
    In our newspaper today it said it has been the third wettest in history (period from Jan through May 31). We aren't done with the month and are less than 2" from the 1927 first place record. I knew it had been wet, but I should be happy that so much has done well in this. It is really hard to lose old friends that have been around for so long. My Waterfall, I am especially fond of.

    You're right, you really can see the problem areas. Also, I am getting a feel for which plants can take more water. For example, I have a Moonfire sitting next to what is normally a dry streambed, but has been a raging river for weeks. It is doing fine and so is the Trompenburg planted along this same streambed. I really feel for the farmers in our area, there are no crops in the ground and won't be in the forseeable future because it will take at least a week of no rain to dry the soil enough to run the tractors in the fields. That will hit all of us hard this fall.

    So you had Corallinum in the ground? I have a notation next to my notes that it needs good drainage. How many years had it been in the ground? I really like it this year (in container). Last year it was not impressive, the shape was gross and color not good. I didn't think it was a candidate for zone 5. I wish it had been a normal spring, it would have been nice to know if it made it.
    Kay
     
  8. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    kaydye,
    Thanks for the follow up. I'm sorry to hear about your losses. I can only sympathize.

    With regard to the clay underlying your good soil...

    Here is a good link about clay http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=20970&highlight=clay,+lime

    Another suggestion I read was to work in peat moss.

    Um. About the first link, adding calcium is supposed to help. But you have to be careful what type of calcium to add. I've heard that Dolomite can actually bind the soil more tightly. I'm sorry, I don't remember why. I do remember about a year ago I posted that tidbit and mr.shep popped in and explained which type of calcium was better and why. Maybe send him a pm and ask?

    For me, I run into some clay but not excessive amounts. So I use bone meal when I plant. This was my mother's favorite thing to give plants growing up because (according to her) it doesn't burn roots like some chemical fertilizers do and so far (knock on wood) I haven't found anything that doesn't appreciate it. And my farmer friend, who told me about calcium and clay, said that one of the reasons bone meal is a good amendment is because it has the "right" calcium. So I give my trees bone meal when I plant. And then I give my bulbs bone meal, when planted, when they first break the ground, when they get dead headed, and again when I take off the ugly leaves. In my imagination the worms take the good stuff and spread it around for me. I go through a lot of bone meal.
     
  9. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?p=158051#post158051

    contains a heated and informative discussion on soil amendments.

    And, BTW, I haven't lived in one place long enough to see the long term benefits of my bone meal spreading. But I did live in one place (northern WA) for about 6 years and my practice was to mulch (with bone meal and shredded wood) to the drip line with young trees. And once a year, usually in fall, I would rake outwards the old mulch (now compost) and then expand the mulch circle to the new drip line with bone meal on the bare soil and then cover it up with the shredded bark. I did this until the mulch circles grew to about six feet. Then I stopped expanding but kept up with the practice. I had explosive growth and very healthy trees for the most part. But that's just what worked well for me in my area.
     
  10. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kay and Keith, look on the bright side, hopefully you will have to wait many years for a spring as wet as this one in the midwest!

    Clay is the worst for drainage though, particularly as waterlogging can sometimes be localised and unpredictable.

    As for bonemeal, it is a great soil improver and organic fertilizer, particularly for root growth, and an example of something traditional that still has a place today.
     
  11. kbguess

    kbguess Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Kay,

    I planted the Corallinum last year in fall from pot to ground. It was a 'field grown' tree from Whitman Farms. Decent size and shape. No winter die back and it was really looking decent before the rain let loose. I did graft a twig of the Corallinum last summer, so now I have a 2 inch replacement for my 5 foot tree.

    I am certain the Corallinum and Hogyoku just got too wet.

    Fortunately we seem to be past the worst. Had a mostly dry week last week. My newly identified problem areas will probably get Taxodium disticum 'Peve Minaret' and 'Peve Yellow' which should be able to take a record wet year.

    Good to know about the 'Moonrise' taking the water well. I have one in a pot right now. I think I have 5 shirasawanum cultivars and I love them all.

    I am starting some shirasawanum seedlings for rootstock to do some hardiness testing in the future.

    Keith
     
  12. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    All my maples coasted through the winter, with air temps dipping to between -10 and -15F on two or three occasions. The maples I grow -- besides the usual species native to New England -- are:

    - Acer triflorum
    - A. shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'
    - A. s. 'Moonrise'
    - A. x 'Johin' (a palmatum/shirasawanum hybrid)
    - A. japonica 'Aconitifolium'
    - A. palmatum 'Yezo nishiki' -- slight damage to a couple of branch tips
    - A. p. 'Katsura'
    - A. p. 'Purple Ghost'
    - A. p. 'Ariadne'
    - A. griseum

    I grow everything outdoors with full exposure to the elements, though we are somewhat sheltered from the wind by mature woodland on all sides.
     
  13. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    Wow, what great information. MAF, you're right, next spring we'll be compaining about drought conditions. There is always payback.

    Winterhaven, Well, I have dug out the Shishigashira and it was definitely the clay soil about 1' underneath the topsoil. I amended by digging out as much as I could from the area and adding wood chips and other compost. I put in an A. japonicum 'Aconitifolium' and raised it above the soil somewhat, so we'll see. I really like the bonemeal idea with the dripline and plan to try that with a few.

    KBGuess,
    Actually, the maple growing in the wet conditions is Moonfire. Sorry if I said Moonrise. I planned on eventually putting my Hogyoku in the ground, but it's still pretty small, so I'll wait awhile.

    Kaspian,
    We are growing a lot of the same cultivars and the ones we have in common all came through well, too. There are three of yours (Ariadne, Moonrise, Yezo nishiki) I'll have to put on my list to try. I have wanted Ariadne for quite awhile, but just haven't gotten it. It's a pretty good test, don't you think, with us living thousands of miles apart and having luck with those cultivars.
    Kay
     
  14. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    kaydye,

    I sympathize with your clay conditions. I live on top of what literally amounts to a mountain of clay (about 80 ft. deep). Even though I'm on top of a hill the clay holds the moisture, and you can find places where the water won't drain away if you dig a hole and fill it with water - stays for days (and stinks).

    So I have reverted to raised beds for EVERYTHING. I bring in huge loads of top soil, ammend it with pine bark finds and sand, and plant my maples in that mixture. So far, so good!


    Keith,

    Have you tried Acer pseudosieboldianum? Its the most cold hardy member of the Pamlata series, and is reportedly more disease resistant. I'm conducting trials of this species as understock for my JM grafts. I would be interested to know how your trials with shirasawanum understock go...
     
  15. debviolet

    debviolet Active Member 10 Years

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    hi everyone, very interesting to read the posts, as i live in an area, amherst, mass, that has recently been shifted into zone 6, from zone 5. i would like to splurge on some zone 6 rated trees, and any tricks to shepherd them through our sometimes volatile springs would be appreciated. for instance, a few years ago, we had daffodils coming up, to our horror, in january. that was unusual, thank goodness, but you get the picture. debviolet
     
  16. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Deb,

    Your weather sounds a bit like Tennessee! I have daffodils start coming up in December and blooming in Feb. Our last frost is mid April!! I think if you choose your varieties carefully and avoid the ones that pop out early, you'll do fine. The Katsura types, anything with "hime" in the name, and japonicums seem to jump out first in the spring. You can grow them , but be prepared to offer a blanket on frosty mornings if necessary!
     
  17. kbguess

    kbguess Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    K4

    I have tried to germiate pseudosieboldianum from Schumacher with no luck. I got seed from them a couple of years ago and 0 germinated. I am trying again with seed from Sheffields, but am only about 45 days into stratification. I do have a couple of younger Korean maples that I got off ebay, but I am too fond of them to graft onto them. I have a friend with a larger tree that has seed this year, so that may be an option.

    I like to grow from seed and would appreciate a source for viable pseudosieboldianum if anyone knows of one.

    Eventually I hope to do some side by side trials with all three rootstock.


    Kay
    you did say moonfire, but I misread. saw what i wanted to see


    Keith
     
  18. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Keith,
    Yes, it was one of the first I tried years ago. It didn't make it, but probably wasn't the weather. It was probably not sited well.

    I shouldn't complain about my soil, most of it is wonderful and I amend constantly with compost/wood chips, etc. This one area is probably where they dumped the fill when they built our house. It's like yours, you dig a hole and the water stays in it. It's not a really big area, so I just have to be careful. In a normal year, it wouldn't be a problem and 4 out of the 5 maples planted within a 20' area are okay. Hopefully, the A. japonicum I just planted will be okay. I haven't had as much luck with them as I had hoped. They seem to be particular about siting. If they're happy, they do great. I planted an Attaryi out in the open, getting a lot of sun and it is doing great. On the other hand, at the same time I planted an Otaki and it died, a more shaded location, but it died over winter even though it looked good in the fall. I plan to try again:)
    Kay
    Kay
     
  19. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    That's my experience, too, with the area immediately around my house, which is just two years old. I've had pretty good luck growing maples (and a range of other woody plants) in this, ahem, "soil," as long as I take some minimal time to prepare a decent hole for them, amending the construction fill with organic matter, loosening it up, etc.

    I know this contradicts, in some ways, the current gospel that you shouldn't create a special little nest for your baby tree, since its roots will eventually need to grow out into the surrounding soil, and because of the danger of creating a water trap, et cetera. But in some cases you have no choice.
     
  20. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I know this contradicts, in some ways, the current gospel that you shouldn't create a special little nest for your baby tree, since its roots will eventually need to grow out into the surrounding soil, and because of the danger of creating a water trap, et cetera. But in some cases you have no choice.[/QUOTE]

    You know, I have a problem with this "new way" of thinking about improving the soil, too. First of all, if you purchase a Japanese maple from any nursery, it has been growing its entire life in amended soil. If it is planted/plopped into unamended soil, unless that soil is exceptional, how can that be a good thing? By amending the soil you allow the newly planted tree to gradually become accustomed to the native soil. I can understand that it would be bad if you just dug a 2' hole in heavy clay soil and filled the hole with amended soil. I agree with you, sometimes you have no choice.
    Kay
     

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