Japanese Maple Recommendations for Full Sun, Zone 7B (NC)

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

  1. NCgardener

    NCgardener New Member

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    Recommendations for Full Sun, Zone 7B (NC)

    Hello,
    I'm brand new to the forum and hoping you can help me select a special tree that we will be planting to memorialize a beloved family member.

    We would like a Japanese maple, if possible, but I'm not sure if this will be possible in the spot we've chosen.

    First off, we live in NC (USDA Zone 7B or 8) where the summers are hot and humid.

    The spot faces east and gets full sun (early morning through ~4:00pm at this time of year).

    I would prefer a small tree (8' - 10') with more of a canopy than an upright shape. I love variegation, but would be OK with any color leaves. Also, I would prefer a tree whose foliage is not too dense - i.e., I would like to be able to "look through" the tree a bit and see our house beyond. I've heard that lace-leaf varieties will not handle sun, so I'm OK with broader leaves, too, just not very dense (like our Bloodgood).

    If this is simply not an appropriate spot for a Japanese maple, please let me know that too! Perhaps I need to be looking for a cherry or other fruit tree. However, Japanese maples are my first love and would be a wonderful memorial of our family's loss, so I welcome any input that forum members can provide.

    Thank you! --gail
     
  2. NCgardener

    NCgardener New Member

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    Hello,
    I'm brand new to the forum and hoping you can help me select a special tree that we will be planting to memorialize a beloved family member.

    We would like a Japanese maple, if possible, but I'm not sure if this will be possible in the spot we've chosen.

    First off, we live in NC (USDA Zone 7B or 8) where the summers are hot and humid.

    The spot faces east and gets full sun (early morning through ~4:00pm at this time of year).

    I would prefer a small tree (8' - 10') with more of a canopy than an upright shape. I love variegation, but would be OK with any color leaves. Also, I would prefer a tree whose foliage is not too dense - i.e., I would like to be able to "look through" the tree a bit and see our house beyond. I've heard that lace-leaf varieties will not handle sun, so I'm OK with broader leaves, too, just not very dense (like our Bloodgood).

    If this is simply not an appropriate spot for a Japanese maple, please let me know that too! Perhaps I need to be looking for a cherry or other fruit tree. However, Japanese maples are my first love and would be a wonderful memorial of our family's loss, so I welcome any input that forum members can provide.

    Thank you! --gail
     
  3. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I'm not sure if it would work, but Seiryu is an upright laceleaf, I just don't know if it withstand that amount of sun. Some of the red dissectums, like Red Dragon, might, but they don't typically get tall like that. Something that might work would be the Summer Chocolate Mimosa; very broad canopy, but not dense, loves the sun and heat, and it would end up being the height you want, maybe a bit taller over time.

    Hopefully others will chime in with more ideas for you.
     
  4. NCgardener

    NCgardener New Member

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    Andrea,
    Thank you for your suggestions. I will look at the trees you suggested. -gail
     
  5. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Re: Recommendations for Full Sun, Zone 7B (NC)

    I would consider a linearilobum like Red cloud or Atrolineare. They hold up much better in the sun and heat than most dissectums in my experience. The only issue is that linearilobums can occasionally revert to palmate foliage. They would retain a looser foliage even in heavy sunlight, even compared to most variegated varieties.

    For a variegated variety in that type of exposure I would prefer a "red" reticulated variety like Purple ghost, Amber ghost, Kasagiyama, or Aka shigitatsu sawa over chimera types like Butterfly. Most chimera variegates lose their variegation after many years, reticulated types rarely do.

    All said I think a maple would be better suited than a cherry or fruit tree due to potential disease and insect problems that could creep in. Maples are not immune (particularly when heat stressed), but I see less problems with them than with ornamental fruit trees.

    If I had to pick a flowering tree that would thrive in the heat and sun I would look at Chionanthus (retusus or virginicus), Crape myrtle (perhaps not great for a memorial but hardy), or Kousa dogwood (or a hybrid).
     
  6. NCgardener

    NCgardener New Member

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    Re: Recommendations for Full Sun, Zone 7B (NC)

    Thank you, Matt. I'd originally considered a dogwood, but knew they wouldn't take full sun. But I hadn't thought about a kousa. I will also looks at the Acer varieties.

    What a great forum this is! -gail
     
  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Gail,

    Have a look at Villa Tarranto. It is a stunning tree in full sun.
     
  8. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    You should use Tamuke Yama. It is a red dissectum that can grow to about 8-10 ft and tolerates heat and sun much better than most. I have several of them in sun in Atlanta GA and they do just fine. It has complex dissected foliage with great red color, heat and sun tolerance, and a beautiful weeping form and it's a proven variety cultivated since 1710. Stake it up to the height you want and let it cascade down.
     
  9. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi there--

    When I was a grad student in horticulture, people used to funnel me the Japanese maple questions that came in from the public, and several people asked if I thought a Japanese maple would be a good memorial tree. I understand why it seems like a good choice--the weeping dissectums are fantastically gorgeous. But I always urged people to be cautious, and to bear in mind that, up here in upstate New York at least, these are not the most reliable trees. If you've already had a loss, it might be difficult to face the loss of a memorial tree some years down the road. Others have suggested a mimosa, Chionanthus, crape myrtle, or kousa dogwood. You might also try a more unusual tree, such as a Stewartia pseudocamellia, Halesia carolina, or perhaps an Acer griseum. I don't know how they'd do down there, though. (You'd think that something with "carolina" in the name would work, though.)

    But I'm up here near the hardiness limit for palmatums--things might be different down there. so if you do decide on a Japanese maple, I'd follow their recommendations. One other thought. Do you have enough space for a small grove of Japanese maples? If you could plant five or so, the odds are good that some would flourish. I originally planted out 14 in a little grove; there are just 6 left, but they completely fill the space. You could even germinate the seed yourself--collect seed from trees you like in the fall, germinate it over winter, and then choose your favorites for the grove.

    Best of luck.
     
  10. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Live in TN. Have had good luck in full sun with:

    Seriyu
    Ellen (weeper)
    Red Dragon (weeper)
    Fireball (dwarf type - will not get too tall)
    Wetumpka Red
    Autumn Glory
    Goshiki Kotohime
    Hefner's Red
    Jordan (brilliant yellow!)
    Kamagata
     
  11. NCgardener

    NCgardener New Member

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    Thanks to all who've posted responses. You've given me a lot of options to research. I will let you know what we select and how it fairs this summer in NC.
     

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