Japanese maples in dappled sunlight

Discussion in 'Maples' started by James in CT, May 16, 2016.

  1. James in CT

    James in CT New Member

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    Location:
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    I moved to CT a few years ago and miss having Japanese maples in my landscaping. I have cleared out a woodland area that has several 50 plus year old sugar maples providing a good amount of shade. There's some early morning sun and some late afternoon sun with dappled sunlight peeking through much of the day. Before clearing the woodland area, some weeds and grasses grew, but nothing prolifically.

    My question is this -- of the four varieties of Japanese maples (and one Kousa Showboy dogwood) I am trying to create a planting area inside the shady woodland area. There are other spots that I'll plant the remainder that will receive more sun -- though, nothing approaching full sun conditions. Are any of the following well suited to the conditions I described? The planting itself will be done carefully to provide good drainage and lots of top soil / organic matter. All are ~4 feet tallish (not that it particularly matters):

    Shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'
    Mikawa Yatsubusa
    Palmate Viridis
    Palmate Shishigashira

    Many thanks for the insight.

    James
     
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  2. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Location:
    KS -> northern AL, USA
    Being in CT, maples can tolerate more sun than in warmer, southern climates. All of the maples you list will do ok in the shade, but the last 3 will do better with at least a half day of sun in your area; if kept in mostly shade, they will probably grow slower than with more sun, and may get a bit leggy, but they won't suffer, as such. For mostly/full shade, some cultivars that will do better are Murakumo (hard to find but so worth it, in my opinion - check out the photos thread for this cultivar), Filigree, Coral Pink, Orange Dream, Nuresagi (mine at least kept nearly full color even in the middle of summer in mostly shade), Ariadne, Shigi no hoshi, Ukigumo, Radiant, most of the Ghost series, and many, many more that I can't think of off the top of my head. Hopefully others will chime in.
     
  3. Geezer840

    Geezer840 Active Member 10 Years

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    I have three of the trees you list and would say the Autumn Moon would seem the best suited for the sunlight condition you describe. I actually have moved mine three times, each time due to leaves being 'crisped' in mid summer, in order to find a happier location. Now mine gets about three hours of direct morning sun followed by another three hours of partial shade followed by complete shade for the rest of the day. It seems to be thriving in this condition. My Mikawa Yatsubusa and Shishigashira both get afternoon sun which in our area lasts about 7-9 hours in summer. I would think that either of them would probably survive in your location but would also do well in full sun.
     
  4. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Location:
    Rockton, Illinois, USA. Zone 5
    I live on 5 heavily wooded acres in Zone 5 (northern Illinois,) and 5 years ago began collecting Japanese maples. (I know that's a lot of 5s.) I now have 350 different cultivars and a total of over 500 trees so I've got a good deal of experience growing Japanese maples in shade. Many of my trees get a maximum of about 2 hours of sun daily and thrive. I compiled a list of cultivars that can do well with considerable shade. I'm going to to attach that list. I hope people find it helpful.
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Location:
    Rockton, Illinois, USA. Zone 5
    In general the shirasawanum (all of them) would be your best choices. Autumn Moon is outstanding, as is the somewhat more difficult Aureum, but it should thrive in the conditions you describe. You might also want to look at the entire Ghost series. Another two, not part of the Buchholz ghost series, that would do well are Ghost Dancer and Ukigumo.
     
  6. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
    Zone 5b, along Lake Michigan in WI
    Ukigumo in the shade is a special treat.

    DirectorRod, thank you for the list!
     
  7. James in CT

    James in CT New Member

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    A big thank you to everyone who responded to this message. This was very helpful.
     

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