Japanese Maples in Las Vegas??

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesandpaws, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    yes? no? Heat aside, would the soil and humidity (or lack thereof) be tolerated by JMs? Could you plant, or would they have to be container grown? Obviously they need a dormant period (ie, winter), would they get that in Vegas? Hubby's exploring possible work options out there, so figured it couldn't hurt to ask the question...

    Thanks!!
     
  2. ndynslvr

    ndynslvr Member

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    Heat aside?
    Lol.
    If you can have an airconditioned area fit for a small tree, you could be able to keep a potted maple under sunlight, provided you have a humidity regulator in place, and you let winter temps to take over in winter.
     
  3. ndynslvr

    ndynslvr Member

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    Forget about a garden tree though. Desert soil is not for the JM.
     
  4. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    You can prepare a raised bed with good soil, in afternoon shade, and adequate watering. Choosing a nice seedling rather than a grafted cultivar you will be able to enjoy a beautiful JM from March to June. After that it will become very unsightly with burnt leaves, it could even defoliate completely but will spring back to life. If you can live with that, then go ahead and enjoy

    Gomero
     
  5. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Heat aside, I know, lol. The reason I said that is because here in Wichita, KS, we were actually hotter overall than Vegas was this summer (and last too, if I remember correctly). Granted, they can get hotter than us, but it's usually only for a day or two, and they have the added benefit of actually cooling down at night. When we get to the triple digits for days - or, lately, weeks on end - we barely hit 85 overnight...

    Why do you say this Gomero?? I had hoped that a raised bed would work, so thanks for the input on that... Obviously, shade and adequate water will be the biggest factors.
     
  6. ndynslvr

    ndynslvr Member

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    Kansas would have more moisture though. I would assume.
    Do not underestimate the power of desert heat + lack of humidity.
    With enough resources though...
    Climate control can be doable...
     
  7. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    In such adverse conditions grafted cultivars may have it harder than a seedling and you may struggle to keep them alive. I have noticed here in my garden in Southern France that seedlings take heat and drought much better than grafted plants. And you can find seedlings which are as pretty as any cultivar.

    Gomero
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Try some of the Mediterranean maples instead, they're far more drought tolerant.
     
  9. ErinS

    ErinS Member

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    Japanese maples can possibly survive in Vegas.

    Just watch out for they can be very prone to leaf scorch in windy or extremely sunny positions particularly those having fine-cut leaves.
     
  10. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. At this point, we'll be staying put in KS, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask the question in case hubby does get a position out there. He knows how much I love my trees, and feels bad about the potential of asking me to not have them anymore (if climate conditions would dictate this).

    How cold, and for how long, do maples typically need for a dormant period? A buddy of my husband's who lives in Vegas said they're winter is quite mild (obviously) and lasts a couple of months at most. From what I've been able to find online, unless you get up to the higher elevation of Charleston Peak (just outside Vegas), the city proper is about a zone 8a-b, so I didn't know if this would be sufficient for the trees' winter nap.

    Pools are, understandably, very popular in the area, and I had thought that this might help with increasing local humidity as compared to what is typical for the area. The only thing, I think, that might be a drawback with a pool is siting the trees too close and risk getting the reflected light/heat from the water...
     
  11. ndynslvr

    ndynslvr Member

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    http://www.weather.com/outlook/trav...vac_compare&clocid1=USNV0049&clocid2=USFL0479

    I am zone 8-b, and Japanese Maples grown here *do* get enough winter rest. It is sufficient.
     
  12. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Most of the UK is also zone 8, but that is about the only aspect of our climate that is in any way similar to Las Vegas.
     
  13. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Obviously my old posts in the past in
    this Maple forum have been rendered
    archaic and are of no consequence
    whatsoever any more.

    I can grow a palmatum type Maple in Las
    Vegas and I‘ve posted ideas in what to be
    mindful of.

    Am I missing something or is it that the
    photos of our Maples in the misses yard
    I've provided in the past in this forum are no
    more? I've read more than once in the past
    in this forum that there was a perception that
    no one can successfully grow Maples in our
    climate, zone and array of alkaline soils. Even
    with photos of ours showing that is not only
    possible but some cultivars can indeed thrive
    here and can grow almost as well as anywhere
    in the world [the proof is in those series of
    photos (all of those Maples are still alive) and
    they are just a small sampling of the Maples
    we have had in the ground].

    Jim
     
  14. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Jim, the search function shows you have previously mentioned Las Vegas in two threads, and then only in passing. People, myself included, may not be fully aware how similar or different the climate in your garden is to Las Vegas, or how far away from Las Vegas you are located.

    I always look forward to reading your posts, both old and new; the information contained therein is highly valued, certainly not archaic, and would help to increase anyone's knowledge of Japanese maples.
     
  15. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    As memory serves correct since I am away
    from home at the moment, Coit in his 1913
    Citrus book pretty well refutes the notion that
    latitude is a major constituent of the accuracy
    of the USDA zonal determinations. Where I
    am, based on latitude, we may have the same
    USDA zonal designation as Atlanta, Georgia
    but there is a huge difference in our climates.
    So much of a difference that plant people in
    the West devised their own zonal decrees
    as seen in the Sunset Western Garden Book.
    I abide by those zones, not the USDA. The
    problem with latitude as Coit pointed out was
    that if Oroville can grow outdoor Citrus without
    extreme measures taken to protect the trees
    during the Winter, which by the way was how
    it was back in the early 20th century when
    Oroville produced enough fresh market Citrus
    to be a "player", a definite Citrus growing area,
    that with the latitude being nearly the same
    as New York City that Citrus should be able
    to grow as freely in New York City as it did
    in Oroville. Of course that was not the case
    at all, even at that time as New York City was
    perennially cooler and cooler longer in the
    number of days than Oroville was at that
    time. As a matter of fact for anyone that
    wants to know, the Red Lime was found in
    Oroville. Now is a rather "hot" and lusted
    after plant commodity for the avid Citrus
    collectors among us to obtain.

    I am real surprised at a few people in this
    forum relaying information from others that
    have never dealt with growing plants in such
    an arid region as ours. I remember in the
    past of someone in France trying to elucidate
    weather information and stating that their weather
    was close, not the same mind you, as Sacramento.
    Well, there is a day and night difference from
    Sacramento and even nearby Folsom to the
    East. It is the Folsom climate that is actually
    closer to that area in France, not Sacramento
    proper, Roseville or even Davis. Just the
    amounts of precipitation clearly favors Davis
    and Folsom with Sacramento, Citrus Heights,
    Ranch Cordova and Roseville getting much
    less rainfall in a typical rain year. You have
    to know our area, no different than knowing
    how much rain and how cold Saugus gets
    compared to Northridge and Van Nuys. If
    you do not know the area please try not to
    compare WGB zone 11 (Las Vegas) or
    WGB zone 9 (Fresno) to your USDA zone
    8 for heat and transpiration loss index.
    We are known to have container plant temps
    upwards of 140 degrees, even at midnight
    around here and in Las Vegas. I hasten
    to think that the mid-west and Southern
    France gets anywhere near that but I'll
    leave open the possibility that they can
    but not for as many hours in a day and
    certainly not the total number of days
    as us and Las Vegas.

    Jim
     
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    What good is a search engine if no one uses
    the search capabilities was my gripe for a
    long while in this forum. I always referred
    to using the keyword search as being one
    of the best features this forum format had.
    I never once felt that Daniel and others
    involved didn't not do a real benefit, and
    in my view an unappreciated service, by
    providing this feature. Never did I think
    that someone would use this same tool
    against me. Bear in mind that several
    posts of mine were subsequently deleted
    out of another sub-forum which did list
    some information about growing Citrus
    in Las Vegas as well as parallel growing
    of Maples in that same locale. Now that
    we have some clarity let me finish my
    involvement in this thread by getting
    started below.

    Growing palmatum type Maples in a
    slightly warmer climate with a longer
    growing season than Fresno as an
    example requires us to know what
    we are up against compared to our
    own home area. We have some
    real soil issues in Las Vegas as
    we are dealing with an area that
    does have some compaction
    issues, wind blown sand issues,
    combined with alkaline salt
    issues in the soil and then
    we have some real limitations
    that there is so little organic
    matter left in the native soil.
    So, we have soil pH issues,
    sun baking and soil caking
    issues, nutrient binding issues
    we need to unblock. We have
    to work in a plan to add in
    organic matter to the soil
    that will make the soil more
    friable and also help sustain
    the plant we want to grow in
    ground.

    For container grown palmatum
    type Maple growing we have
    heat indexes within the can
    we have to deal with in some
    way or we surely will see what
    gomero pointed as a whole lot
    of Maples showing wind, heat
    and salt burn all over the place
    and pretty much on every Maple
    we have during the sustained hot
    periods of the Summer and early
    Fall.

    You will not see very good Fall
    color in Las Vegas plant to
    plant but you might see some
    cultivars surprise you as they
    do us here with Fall color on
    some cultivars up to the middle
    of December, like our Kiyohime
    akame has done for us in ground
    the last few years. How many of
    you still have leaves on your
    Maples right now? We still
    have late flush new growth leaves
    on the Simonii Trident Maple,
    Kiyohime akame, Sherwood
    Flame, Shishio improved (spelling
    is correct for this Maple. Differs
    from Chishio improved by having
    a different yet similar parental origin),
    Senkaki and Bloodgood. All of the
    above Maples can be grown in Las
    Vegas with added care and site
    preparation and there are full
    service nurseries in and near
    the metropolitan area that can
    help with the soil site prepping.

    Water availability could be an issue
    depending on where you are and
    water quality can be a nuisance
    issue due to water pH, mineral
    content or lack thereof, water
    bacteria and whether you are
    using chlorinated water (treated
    water) or not. Smart move is to
    have your water tested by a
    reputable lab before you ever
    plant a Maple in ground or try to
    grow Maples from containers.
    Overhead watering for large
    sized container plants with
    chlorine in the water may not
    be a good thing to do during
    the day - can lead to leaf scorch
    real easy and can become real
    widespread fast. Best time to
    water container plants is before
    heat build up in the can - morning,
    right before or at sun up and in
    the evening after sun down to
    provide some cooling in the can
    to offset the build up of heat
    that can injure roots in the
    container when the interior
    temperatures in the can gets
    up to 140 degrees or higher.

    The whole point in my making the
    brash statement that I can grow
    palmatum type Maples in Las
    Vegas is that we also have had
    to learn to grow plants in a very
    warm, sustained warmth, once the
    heat sets in, environ quite similar to
    Las Vegas with only a two to three
    degree difference on average.
    Where we are vastly different is
    in the cooler temperatures that
    we get than Las Vegas does.
    For growing Maples and Citrus
    in ground in Las Vegas our main
    issues are soil and water limitations.
    In Fresno it is the cold snap that
    hits at the wrong time that can
    cause wood dieback and even
    death to Citrus - sustained cold
    at 22 degrees can be lethal to
    Eureka and sometimes to Lisbon
    Lemons with the latter sustaining
    severe cold burn and bark splitting
    if the trees had not been killed
    outright. The cold has not been
    an issue for our Maples. Could
    be or would be if those trees had
    tender young new growth leaves
    on them when the cold snap hits
    however.

    Most states have a Cooperative
    Extension working with or through
    a major University in the state.
    Since Nevada has several state,
    regional and local Cooperative
    Extensions, unlike many other
    states that only have one official
    Cooperative Extension, then
    check with your nearest office
    online or in person for more
    assistance.

    If you can grow Maples successfully
    in Kansas you can grow Maples in
    Las Vegas as long as you have an
    idea what your limiting factors are.
    Someone growing Maples in a much
    cooler area than you in Kansas with
    little or no experience growing plants
    in a much warmer climate is in for a
    real jolt trying to establish Maples in
    such a warm, wind scorching and
    harsher to the plant environ.

    Jim
     
  17. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Location:
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    Thank you SO MUCH Jim for your insight, advice and words of wisdom. I will admit, I do sometimes forget to use the search feature prior to posting a question, but it is exceptionally handy, useful and informative.

    I am fully aware that soil, wind and humidity will likely be the most difficult factors to work with, but I hadn't thought about the compaction, increased alkalinity, etc, of the soil. Nor the chlorine in the water. Here in KS, in summer especially, I water in the morning before 10am if at all possible, and during a real strong heat wave in the evening as well, usually around 6-7pm. This year, I switched to the fabric pots for the majority of my trees 1-5g in size (they go by many names, Dirt Bag, Smart Pot, etc), and it did appear that the trees were much happier than they had been in the plastic pots, likely because there wasn't the amount of heat build up like happens with the plastic. If we would end up moving to Vegas, any planted trees would be in a highly amended raised bed.

    Thank you again Jim!!!
     

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