Japanese maples that hold nice summer color in near full shade?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by rufretic, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    marengo usa
    I'm looking for some choices to plant under some big oaks. I'm in zone 5 and the trees will get maybe an hour of full sun but mostly just a little light coming through the oaks. The direct sun they might get will be late afternoon if any. Any size will work because the oaks don't even start branching out until about 30' high. I'm mostly interested in some dark leaf cultivars that can hold color well but any ideas that can look nice in near full shade would be great! Like for example, a nice yellow would be great as well. I just want some colors other than a normal green that will just blend in with the forest. I want something that will pop out and give contrast to the forest border all summer long.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,703
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    The color thing with Japanese maples is purple ones going partly green in heavy shade, including that cast by their own outer and upper leaves. You won't be able to get away from it, and it's better than the burning/browning of purple varieties seen in positions that are too hot and sunny.
     
  3. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    737
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England
    A few light coloured and/or yellow ones to consider:

    Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum'
    Acer palmatum 'Shigitatsu sawa'
    A. p. 'Ukigumo'
    A. p. 'Orange Dream'

    If the shade from the oaks is very deep and dark shade they will not grow well, but filtered light is fine.
     
  4. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    marengo usa
    That's what I was afraid of. How about which ones hold the purple color best? I've read fireglow holds it's color pretty well but don't know of any others.

    I do get some filtered light in this area but I'm just hoping it is enough.

    I love Aureum but I'm a little scared of it knowing that it sounds like a "difficult" tree. Orange dream is already on my list but I was planning on putting it in a spot that gets a bit more full sun becasue I was under the impression to get the beautiful spring coloring and yellow summer, it needed a good amount of sun. If it colors well in a mostly shady area that gives me so many more options where to place it. Ukigumo I was actually just looking into because I found it in a search on here for maples tollerent of full shade and it looks like a very cool option. I'm going to go do some research on shigitatsa sawa, I have not looked into this one yet.

    Thanks for the responce, I would deffinitly like to here some more info and opinions on how well Aureum & Orange dream would do in this spot because I love them both. Is anyone successful growing either of these in close to full shade? How is the coloring?
     
  5. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    737
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England
    With both 'Orange Dream' and shirasawanum 'Aureum' it can be a balancing act. Too much sun and they will suffer bad leaf burn, too much shade and the colours will be greener than they should. The ones with leaf burn look seriously unattractive by mid-late summer, I would tend to prefer the look of the trees in less than optimal light than the burnt ones.

    If the canopy does not branch till 30 feet it sounds like there might be a decent amount of indirect light in the area; it is hard to know what to expect without seeing the area in person. Maybe it would be best to try one or two of the possibles in the area for a season before finalising the planting plan.
     
  6. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    marengo usa
    To give you an idea, I took a couple pics at about 9-10am one morning that shows the light coming through. They were taken late summer and they are looking east. I might even clean the oaks up a little(lot of dead wood) which might add a bit more light through the day as well. The hour or so of full sun comes around 2-3 and then the sun is blocked again by the large oaks in my front yard. Anyway here are the pics:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,703
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Typically you don't lose all the purple, you just get partly green areas - mostly near the base and radiating out. Frankly I think way too big of a deal is made of this and like I said faded and burnt ones in too much dryness and exposure look far worse.
     
  8. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,160
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Dickson, TN
    The red-leaved varieties that hold the best color in shade, at least in my experience, are:

    Adrian's Compact
    Aekan Ies
    Fireglow
    Ariake Nomura - probably the best of the lot
     
  9. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,726
    Likes Received:
    737
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England
    Looking at the pictures, I think any of the examples mentioned would do well in that location.

    I know you were looking for something with all summer long interest but one of the cultivars with stunning red/pink spring colour, such as 'Shin deshojo', would look great in that area too.
     
  10. paxi

    paxi Active Member

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis
  11. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    I have both Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' and 'Autumn Moon'. Both are great trees, but I do find that 'Autumn Moon' is much more forgiving. It also has more diverse coloring, but I really like them both. So, for an easier tree to grow, diverse coloring that lasts longer (yellows and reds), a nice yellow summer color, and reliable fall coloring, 'Autumn Moon' is a good choice.

    Acer palmatum 'Ukigumo' is an amazing tree if you can get it to do what it is supposed to do. In my area many growers feel it's a disappointment. It's a balancing act between light and shade, but it's very tough to get it to pull off the coloration that is in pictures, usually resulting in disappointment. If you can pull it off it’s amazing, but usually short lived as the season goes on, with changing heat and sun angle. I wanted this tree so badly, but after exercising self-control and doing more research locally, I decided against it.

    A local grower has been selling a lot of ‘Peaches and Cream’. I have seen this tree as an under planting to larger trees and it has great color. The fall color is very diverse with bright purples, pink, orange, and yellow in my area. From a distance I feel it adds more interest than 'Ukigumo' in my area.

    ‘Red Filigree’ is new to me, spending our first year together. It’s my understanding that it holds its red color well in sun and shade. The leaf adds a nice texture as it is much thinner and delicate than most dissectums.

    ‘Filigree’ has nice variegation and a good yellow color from a distance. When in shade the leaves are very light and delicate looking. In sun the leaves tend to grow thicker, larger, and more course - losing the variegation by June. A shady place is ideal for ‘Filigree’ in my area.

    Acer palmatum 'Skeeters Broom' has nice color characteristics in a shady place in the garden. People who visit my garden always comment on the nice colors of burgundy and purple. The fall color was burgundy with pink in the center of the tree.

    Acer palmatum 'Goshiki Shidare' is another tree that can do well in both sun and shade.

    Acer palmatum ‘Baldsmith’ does well in shade, with diverse colors and a very soft texture. My tree has more pinks and it’s very slow to transition to green in a shaded area. The transition is so slow that usually by the second push of growth in mid-summer the inside is a soft green with pinks and reds at the leaf tips, with everything in-between along the branch.

    Acer palmatum 'Gwen's Rose Delight' is another tree that I have seen in both sun and shade. The tree seems to have pink longer in a shaded place. In the shade it develops a tri-color effect similar to a tri-color beech.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,703
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Note that Shirazz is a trademark used to sell 'Gwen's Rose Delight'. The latter is the cultivar name, enclosed in single quotes.
     
  13. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    Thanks Ron, I updated the post above.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,703
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Another version could be Shirazz = 'Gwen's Rose Delight'. Note, however, that the RHS asserts that

    Trade marks used in conjunction with, or apparently as cultivar names cause particular problems when assessing which words constitute a cultivar name and which are a marketing device. It seems that trade mark law is regularly misinterpreted when it comes to plants, since a trade mark is a device to identify goods from a particular source and cannot be used to identify a particular plant. However, the way names are presented on labels and in catalogues often leaves this as the only possible interpretation. Care is therefore needed when quoting trade marks alongside plant names. They are best treated as trade designations, i.e. printed in a different typeface but with the appropriate ™ or ® suffix

    http://apps.rhs.org.uk/rhsplantfinder/plantnaming/hownameswork.asp
     
  15. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,382
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Southwest France
  16. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    marengo usa
    Now I have too many choices lol. Thanks for all the help guys, now I have a lot of trees to look up, research and pick from.
     
  17. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I would love to include an Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' in this new corner garden...my first JM. The area is about 150 square feet but in the *summer* the back corner receive almost no direct sunlight :(.

    What do you say...yay or nay?
     

    Attached Files:

  18. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    Hello copperbeech,

    My Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' gets very little direct sun (morning sun) and only a small portion of the tree gets it. In my area that brings out the best spring color and it keeps its color longer. Many that see more sun in my area start burning out by mid-summer. So what I'm trying to say is the Aureum is very sun sensitive and that's a good thing based on the way you describe your planting location. Another nice thing about shirasawanum is they tend to be very cold hardy when compared to other Japanese maples in general.

    Some say the Aureum is hard to grow, but I never had a problem with mine. Just take your time and make sure you plant it right. Give it good soil and drainage. Keep it away from a lot of direct sun and it will reward you with beautiful spring color. It's not a tree for fall color though.

    Here are a few pictures of mine:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/6147087166/in/set-72157627668717234/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/6146570075/in/set-72157627668717234/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/6146535829/in/set-72157627668717234/
     
  19. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I know I am preaching to the choir but your pictures JT1 are further confirmation that this JM is very special. How large was it when you planted it and what are its current dimensions; how old is it?
     
  20. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
  21. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I am afraid to ask how much that set you back.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  22. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,356
    Likes Received:
    373
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    I bought it locally and if I remember correctly it was in the $150 to $200 range.
     
  23. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    I know the photo is incomplete but what would be your guess as to the size of this "Aureum"? It looks like a vigorous healthy specimen.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Greater Toronto Area
    UPDATE:

    The same nursery as shown in the above picture, about an one hour drive away, has three "Aureum" in 6 gallon containers. Of course there are no leaves so it is difficult to judge the specimens. I have asked if they could email a picture of the three so I could see the 'bones' of these trees. The sale price is about $170 + taxes. It will be late November by the time I can put it in the ground (zone 5b Canada). There is a 1 year guarantee (on the sale price of course). What do you think are the chances of an "Aureum" surviving the winter being planted so late? Buy or no buy? Would the 'leafless' pictures be of any value in making the decision?
     
  25. fortyonenorth

    fortyonenorth Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    Why not wait until spring? If you're worried about them selling, offer to pay now and let the nursery take responsibility for over-wintering. If you really want to purchase now, I'd recommend over-wintering in the garage or other suitable structure, then planting in April or whenever the weather breaks in your area.

    In terms of the plant's structure, it's much easier to assess without leaves. So, I wouldn't let them hinder your decision.
     

Share This Page