Japanese maples and shade

Discussion in 'Maples' started by KarinL, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have a few JMs and wonder if any of these would do well in quite a bit of shade.

    Osakazuki
    Beni Otake
    Inaba shidare
    Waterfall
    Trompenburg

    I gather that Sangu Kaku and shade do not mix well, but would any of the rest have a hope? Does red leaf colour fade in shade?
     
  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Have an 'Osakazuki' in light shade and it colours up well. 'Waterfall' might be fine with shade, nicest seen was trained up to about 6-8'. Generally the red dissectums go dark green in shade, other than 'Crimson Queen ' from memory. Don't know what 'Trompenburg' would do in shade, being purple. Not sure about 'Sango Kaku ', maybe needs the sun for the red stem growth, see them kept pruned around 5-6' to appreciate the new red growth in sun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2007
  3. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    good position for Sanko kaku is sun in morning shade in afteroom,yes but this positions is good for every maples °(^_^)° alex
     
  4. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Please be a little more precise, there are many types of shade.
    In your location the cultivars mentioned need some sun to display their full features: fall colors, bark coloring and red leaves beyond April/May.

    Gomero
     
  5. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Good point, Gomero. The area I'm planting is the west side of a small north-facing front yard. It gets morning and evening sun, at least in summer, and depending on how far out into the yard I put the maples, they could get quite a lot of summer sun as the house shadow shrinks back.

    I have been gardening in this space for years already (am just doing a significant relandscaping) and know that most plants don't "display their full features" in these conditions, be that gold or blue colour on conifers, purple on deciduous shrubs like Sambucus Guincho Purple, fall colour on Itea, variegation on some hostas, or flowers on most plants (I grow a lot of ferns, maybe not surprising!). For the maples, I'm looking for at least healthy survival and good form, with peak leaf display being a secondary consideration.

    If the ones I have won't work and there are others that will, I'm willing to go hunting for them. It's possible that with maples, like with other plants I've grown here, I should grow those that are valued for their summer qualities, not so much spring or fall.

    Thanks for considering the question.
     
  6. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi KarinL
    Your choices are quite different in terms of size and shape, I assume you have room for the largest (Osakazuki).
    In terms of location, and following your clear description, I would exclude Sango kaku which, in my experience requires Winter sun for the bark to color well (although apparently there are many variants being sold and some keep good color even in shade). Osakazuki is agood choice if you are looking for a fairly large palmatum with outstanding fall colors (Nicholsoni would be a similar choice). I have one in shadier conditions than your description and it colors very well.
    Beni otake will probably become a bit bronze/green, but even then it is an outstanding shape to have.
    I have a Trompenburg in similar conditions than you and it keeps the red color well into the Summer, but Fall colors are so-so.
    Waterfall should be fine as Chimera pointed out.
    Inaba shidare may green out too quickly, but you would need to experience it yourself, Vancouver sun is not the same as Southern France sun.

    I hope this helps

    Gomero
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
  7. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Karin, Agree with Gomero concerning "Sango Kaku' ,also referred to as 'Senkaki' in "Japanese Maples" Vertrees 2nd edition and "Maples of the World" van Gelderen, de Jong, Oterdoom 1994. It can have dieback {maybe verticillium wilt } problems and seems to need exceptionally good drainage. It is the young growth that is red, so unless pruned the effect rises. 'Beni Kawa' and some newer cultivars are claimed to be better, but no experience with them. Maybe a Cornus alba or C. sanguinea cultivar would work if you're looking for red or red-yellow winter stem colour. C. sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' comes to mind for red-yellow or C. alba 'Siberica' for red, take well to pruning and seen available. Getting off topic here I guess.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, newer cultivars have better stem color retention. Even here in cool PNW if summer conditions are not moist and humid enough foliage appearance of Japanese maple cultivars will often deteriorate markedly over the course of a summer in a full sun location. The difference in results between a liberally watered property and one that is allowed to go dry can be marked, too dry and Japanese maples may even die (precipitation out here peaks in mid-winter and is at its lowest in mid-summer, the opposite of the monsoonal pattern found in the SE Asian homeland of Japanese maples - and many other popular ornamentals).
     
  9. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Agree Ron concerning summer dryness, have a JM too close {40'} to a mature Thuja plicata { commonly called red cedar here, for some readers} and believe it's too much root competition in a dry year, not watered, nor fertilized. The large native maples don't seem so bothered having deeper roots and grow side by side with the shallow rooted T. plicata, maybe since young.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  10. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Many thanks for those thoughts, and Gomero for the detailed analysis. I have yet to learn the shapes of most of these plants as they're new, so I value your input on that front as well as on placement for light. Sounds like I will leave Inaba Shidare out of the shade garden but give some of the others a try. I also picked up a Red Pygmy yesterday that from a foliage perspective should look fabulous with Rhodos, so will have some fun with that and hope to get some leaf colour too. In the end I'm more of a shape person than a colour person, so as long as the plants look healthy I'll be happy. I'll try to report my eventual findings. Thanks again.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, Japanese maples are excellent with rhododendrons, liking the same woodland garden environmental conditions and providing a pleasing lightness to relieve the massive lumpiness of rhododendrons. It's also a good idea to include plenty of small-leaved broadleaf evergreen shrubs in each grouping, these can even be small-leaved rhododendrons or evergreen azaleas. You just don't want larger-leaved rhododendrons or other coarse-textured shrubs to dominate the mix - a common mistake in rhododendron collection-style gardens here.
     
  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    All of the Maples you listed can handle
    shade as long as they get some dappled
    sunlight.

    Most of them will show their true colors
    in the Spring but not so for the Fall colors.
    Then again seeing an Inaba shidare turn
    golden tones in the Fall as opposed to
    red is attractive in its own right. Even
    the orange, golds and scarlet Fall color
    of an Osakazuki grown in too little sun
    is not all that unattractive either. Sango
    kaku (Coral Tower) can be grown in
    shade as we have our containerized Beni
    kawa in a Southern exposure under a
    patio cover with no direct light and it
    does real well for us - holds the dark
    green leaves better than when grown
    in full sun. We still see the bark color
    up when we get some cold chill. It is
    the seedling forms of Sangu kaku that
    have some trouble having their bark
    and trunks turn color without sunlight,
    not the old plant. Senkaki (Coral Bark
    Maple) will have its trunk turn coral
    in color, not red and the leaves are
    smaller in size than a Sango kaku.
    They are far from being considered
    the same plant. Most of you will
    never see or own the true form
    Senkaki anyway. If people do not
    see leaves slightly smaller in size
    than a standardized Katsura they do
    not have Senkaki.

    The current selection of Red Pygmy
    out of Oregon is not even close to
    the Esveld Maple for color as the
    Red Pygmy that is sold by several
    nurseries in Oregon do not produce
    a good red, even in the Spring color.
    The golden tones in the Spring can
    look good in a shaded area among
    other green plants however.

    Jim
     
  13. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Massive lumpiness... yes, that's a good description, Ron. I have been buying my rhodos with a view to that NOT happening and plan to keep them pruned as well so that it doesn't. Another texture will be offered by conifers and ferns... and rocks. Lots of rocks; in fact so far, that's all there is out there, and I'm still shopping for more.

    And thank you, Jim, for your input. I do buy named plants always with the thought in mind that it may or may not be the true plant, but as long as I like the plant I'm buying I figure I'm working to good purpose. I can live with a greenish Red Pygmy as I like the leaf shape. I haven't seen my Sango kaku through a spring yet so will watch the stem colour with interest - but I'll put it in the back yard for some sun.

    Also, it has just struck me that the Osakazuki plant has been standing, since I bought it in spring, in a very shady spot so I am watching with interest to see if it produces any fall colour. So far, nothing except perhaps a lightening of the green.
     
  14. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    This is the fall colour I got from an Osakasuki in very deep shade last year (in fact it gets no sun at all)
     

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  15. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have beni otake growing in two locations, deep shade. They are both doing great. I have waterfall in a location that gets about as much sun as you are describing and my osakazuki gets very little sun. Mine all color nicely, but in zone 5 in U.S. it depends on how late our hard freeze comes or if we have a dry fall. Often the leaves fall before we get the full range of color. I have never noticed a relationship between the amount of sun and color, but most of mine are in pretty shaded locations. I have inabe shidare in a little more sun, but not much more than morning. It was in a sunnier location and was getting burned, so I would say it's a good candidate for a shadier location. My trompenburg is growing in a lot of shade and is doing very well, too.
    Kay
     
  16. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Fantastic news, both, thank you. The fall colour on that one is plenty for me. I am certainly going into this planting feeling more optimistic thanks to this thread. There is so much more to appreciate about these plants than their fall colour in any case.

    I had a Trompenburg in a pot in 2/3 shade all summer and it held its purple colour wonderfully, so if it gives me no fall colour at all it won't even bother me a bit.
     
  17. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    I also have been mesmerized by Gomero's picture of Acer campestre Carnival. Please do check this out if you haven't seen it! Anybody else have experience growing this one in shade. That white creamy color provides such a contrast to the dense green back drop:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=13077
     
  18. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    This is the same osakasuki this year (picture taken today)
    (the first pic has been influenced slightly by the flash on the camera because it is in deep shade)
    I like the look of Campestre, and may consider it for a new planting next year
     

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  19. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    My Sango Kaku has been on my deck right next to our back door on the north side of the house.

    Getting very little morning sun, then sun reflected off of the deck and shouldn't be getting any sun in the afternoon except maybe some reflection.
    It is under house eves as well.

    The leaves are now turning yellow with red stems and the trunk is starting to turn coral. I have left it in the pot it came from when I purchased it in spring from Costco.

    I've been studying where to place it as we do get hot summers here. So for as much sun it gets, it is a very good looking tree.

    I believe it changes color due to the frost we are having, not the sun.

    Whiskey, that tree you showed us is really pretty and I really like the mossy stones along the pathway. Is this in your Japanese garden? And did you cause to stones to be mossy, or were they naturally like that since you do live in Ireland, right?
     
  20. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The moss grows naturally here Karalyn ... sometimes it is a problem, but (as here) it is exactly what I am looking for in the Japanese garden
     
  21. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Wonderful!
     
  22. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    This is very funny Alex! Thanks for the chuckles. :D Thanks for mentioning the fact that JM's need some shade...
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  23. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi all,

    I too experiment with my maples in my display gardens. When I read a maple needs shade or protection from the hot sun, I plant one in full sun. And when I am told that a maple requires a lot of sun, I find a shady location to plant one. I am amazed at how different a cultivar can look in two different light situations. My Grandma Ghost was in full sun and looks great and my Beni otake in mostly shade is nice though it does have a green cast to the leaves. As for fall colors I have found that decreasing daylight and temperature seem to determine the colors. We have had a dry period and some of my long time established maples turned color and dropped their leaves faster than normal. So I guess I would add moisture to the equation. Maples are wonderful aren't they! Sam eastforknursery.com
     
  24. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    Well I don't have any "natural" shade (at least not tree's shade) yet, so my experiment consist in avoid to fry my maples too much (I discover that water helps a lot!), and using a shade cloth during summer days for some of my container maples, and sometimes just run moving back and forth my JMs to protect them from excessive sun. Anyway I got sun scorched leaves in most of them, but they recovered amazingly fast). I just can compare my butterflys (I have three of them): one already planted and two in containers (just in case). The planted one performed pretty well in almost full sun, but it got tip sunburn in 80% of the leaves during summer and all the leaves dropped later. However, in early fall it begun to sprout again, and had excellent grow (more than 1' tall and the trunk grown thicker). The container one was protected with shade cloth during summer. but again it also had approximately 30% of leaves with tip sunburn. I exposed it to sun from mid September, and both trees already have a complete set of new leaves. Obviously the planted one grow bigger than the potted one. I recently bought a third specimen from the same nursery that I got the others (I couldn’t resist the clearance sale) and comparing them I can say that at the starting point (last April) all these trees had same size and similar shape, but clearly the planted one outperform the others two, in growing rate even without sun protection. The color and form of the leaves were pretty similar in all three specimens without noticeable changes due sun exposition.

    We have had pretty sunny days here (with temperatures around 65-80F); so I think they will keep their leaves for a while.
    Here are pictures taken a few days ago: left the butterfly in container, center detail of the leaves and rigth the planted one.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  25. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    my Sanko Kaku in partial shade
     

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