Japanese maples that tolerate shade well (Zone 5)

Discussion in 'Maples' started by directorrod, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Location:
    Rockton, Illinois, USA. Zone 5
    Japanese Maple Cultivars Requiring The Least Amount of Sun
    (* signifies most shade tolerant)


    The yellow ones in general (Aureum, Orange Dream, Autumn Moon, Jordan)

    6910* (Shira.)
    Abigail Rose
    Aconitifolium
    Alpenweiss
    Amber Ghost
    Aureum
    Autumn Moon
    Burgundy Lace
    Butterfly
    Sangu kaku
    Beni kawa
    Beni komachi
    Beni shigitatsu sawa
    Burgandy Lace
    Diane* (Shira.)
    Filigree Green Lace
    First Ghost
    Full Moon (Vitifolium)
    Geisha
    Grandma Ghost
    Golden Full Moon (Microphyllum)
    Johnnie’s Giant*
    Jordan
    Junihitoe
    Kalmthout* (Shira.)
    Lady’s Choice*
    Lovette
    Mikazuki
    Green Flag
    Golden Full Moon
    Meigetsu
    Misty Moon*
    Moonrise
    Nuresagi
    Nikko* (Shira.)
    Orange Dream
    Osakazuki
    Oshio beni
    Palmatifolium
    Peaches and Cream
    Purple Ghost
    Red Filigree
    Shigitatsu sawa
    Shirazz
    Shino buga oka (Scolopendrifolium)
    Sister Ghost
    Tiger Rose
    Ukigumo
    Uncle Ghost
    Vidiris
    Vitifolium
    Volubile*
    Wally’s #1*
    Werner’s Pagoda*
    Westonbirt Orange*
    Westonbirt Red*
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  2. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Location:
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    Are these cultivars in your collection that you've observed tolerate the shade well in your zone?
     
  3. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Andrea, the short answer is yes. More than 90% are among the over 300 tress I have in the ground. The others are either wintering over in my garage, or already ordered from Topiary Gardens for delivery this spring. I thought I'd start this thread since I could find little information online myself.
     
  4. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Great idea :) As for Topiary Gardens, isn't Diana awesome? What did you all get from her?
     
  5. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
    Zone 5b, along Lake Michigan in WI
    Great resource, thank you!
     
  6. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thank you, Maplesandpaws and Maplesmagpie! It's nice to know that my interest is shared. Andrea, I'm following up here with a bit more on my cultivars and how they're situated. I purchased the property to build my house because it was heavily wooded, and on a hillside. I had as few trees as possible cleared. The house itself and its immediate surroundings gets about 6 or 7 hours of direct sunlight. My initial JM plantings were in locations (north and west of the house) that were sun to partial shade. As I got deeper into the woods, the shade got heavier. Last spring I decided to create a shade glade behind my house where there was very heavy old growth to the south that blocked most sunlight. The winter of 2013-2014 I began researching cultivars that might do well under those conditions. For the most part nursery owners were leery about making suggestions. Two exceptions were Lucile Whitman (Whitman Farms) and David Myers (Davidsan's.) I'm relying on my memory, not always a good idea, but the initial cultivars I planted on their advice were the following: Sister Ghost, Johin, Meigetsu, Giant Moon, Vitofolium, Aconitofolium, Jordan, Mikasa yama, Itaya, Sode-no-uchi, and a few of the ubiquitous Bloodgood, just because they keep great red color in shade. What really surprised me was despite the fact that they get a maximum of an hour or two of direct sun, how well they colored up this past fall. Last summer, Andrea, you had suggested Topiary Gardens when I was unsuccessfully searching for a particular cultivar, but Diana Smith didn't have that one. When I started a thread here in my arduous search for A. palmatum 'Barbara' (my wife's name) someone advised me to get in touch with Diana. Viola, success and a great new source! All the listings on the Topiary Gardens website are more far specific about optimum light conditions than any other source. I went through them all to specifically identify those calling for shade or sun/shade as opposed to (the most typical) sun to partial shade. All of the cultivars followed by asterisks are from Diana (some wintering over in my garage, others yet to be delivered) will be planted in my expanding shade glade this coming spring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  7. Schattenfreude

    Schattenfreude Active Member

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    Location:
    6a • Independence, Missouri USA
    I happen to have two Oshio beni trees and one of them gets 2-3 hours of sun at most at the height of summer. The other one is in dappled shade all day long. Both tend to bronze out during the summer, but are bright red in the fall. So I'd recommend Oshio beni as a shade tolerant tree, too. Both were planted probably 15-17 years ago and have grown to around 15 ft. tall.

    Due to the early freezes we often get here in the Midwest before leaves have changed colors, I've given up relying on fall displays, opting for spring colors instead. If the tree does indeed color up nicely in the fall, all the better. I'd say that half of my trees turn colors early enough to enjoy the show, and Oshio beni is always one of them.

    Kevin in KC
     
  8. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thanks, Kevin, for suggesting Oshio beni, it's a beautiful cultivar with great red color, and would be an excellent addition to the list we're compiling. I have two, not nearly as mature or as large as yours, planted just inside the forest line. They do get a few hours of afternoon sun daily, so I hadn't thought to include them on the list. Another recent suggestion by David Myers (Davidsan's) is Shojo nomura, another beautiful red that he says is very hardy, and that will maintain its red color in medium shade.
     
  9. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    Location:
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    Do you or anyone in the forum have any Emperor I in shade? We just planted a sizeable Emperor I last spring, and it's in an open area with some sun, but it's mostly shaded by the house next door. It was almost entirely green this summer... I'm wondering if that's going to be standard for the spot its in, or if I might have inadvertently "greened" it by using Holly Tone on the new pachysandra bed surrounding it.

    What's your experience with Emperor I in heavy shade? Still pretty red-purple, or mostly green?
     
  10. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    I believe the ideal light condition(s) for Emperor 1 is full sun. I have 3 Emperor 1's in differing amounts of sunlight. The one that gets sun for the majority of the day clearly has the best color (photo attached), with those in increased shade less so, in proportion to the amount of light they receive. If you have somewhere else with more sun where you can replant it, I'd suggest that you move it there. Bloodgood seems to be the cultivar best able to maintain its red color in shade. I also have a Crimson Prince that receives very little sunlight and keeps its beautiful red color all season.
     

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  11. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Rod, two other maples you may want to add to your list are Viridis and Nuresagi. I have both under a large pin oak, and while they do get some sun, I would say the vast majority is in varying amounts of shade (a bit more sun through the canopy in spring of course); both have done well in this location. While Nuresagi does go a bit bronze, it never goes excessively green, which given the shade and our intense heat (which I know causes many red maples to green out), is saying something.
     
  12. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    I've added Kevin and Andrea's suggestions to my original list above. I have several Vidiris in partial shade where they do wonderfully, but haven't as yet planted any in medium shade (almost no direct sunlight.) My Nuresagi gets sun for most of the day. Has anyone had personal experience of Shojo nomura in a shady location?
     
  13. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    'Red Filigree Lace' does well for me in shade. It is more of a black/red than a bright red but no greening out that I have observed.
     
  14. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thank you for another fine suggestion, maf. I've added Red Filigree and Burgundy Lace, that I've also been told does surprisingly well in shade, to the list of cultivars above.
     
  15. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society

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    directorrod...Have a large Burgundy lace living quite happily in full sun and never a scorched leaf from one year to another,but on the flipside to that i have a large Orange dream which was planted next to it, and every year without fail it would come out a beautiful orange colour in the spring then gradually over the months would suffer from major leaf scorch and come the fall would look terrible with no decernable colour change what so ever no matter how well i watered it still looked poor.

    Last year i pruned this back very hard and re-placed into a large 60ltr container and situated in a well shaded spot and the transformation was spectacular,the best fall colours i have ever seen on this tree, needless to say it's staying put and is budding up nicely now.

    Also find that my Aoyagi prefers nearly total shade all year and produces beautiful emerald green leaves in the summer months then bright vivid yellows in the fall,with no leaf scorching what so ever, plus my Toyama nishiki was also dug up last fall and replaced some where with more shade, same again for my Goshiki shidare's see if i can get a bit more variagation out of them all this year.

    My Beni Shidare tri colour which is situated in a relatively sunny spot produced some lovely leaf colours during the summer months last year very strange.

    But take into account i live in Euro zone 8
     
  16. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thank you so much for your comments, ROEBUK! I must admit that I have no notion of Euro Zone 8 climatic conditions, but they may be somewhat warmer than U.S. Zone 5. I have often been tempted to try Aoyagi here but when I check it out, I find that it might make it this far north, or perhaps not. It's right on the border of possibility. So far, I've erred on the side of caution. I really enjoyed hearing the specifics of how your cultivars are doing in sunshine and shade.
     
  17. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Interesting thread.

    I confirm that Orange Dream does well in shade in EU zone 8, which is also where my garden is. A couple others are Ariadne, Koto no ito. I find that all my potted maples do better in some shade, but then my goal with pots is to grow the plants on to get them into the ground.

    Since my garden is newly planted in the last 20 years, I don't have a lot of shade to work with sadly. Since most palmatums do OK in sun here -- the sun isn't nearly as strong as most US locations -- I haven't taken up shade areas with them. For example Hogyoku does well for me in full sun, although most seem to recommend it gets only partial sun. I could talk about some other maples that need shade, but that would be off-topic in this palmatum-centric thread. ;)

    One of the main differences we have here in western Europe zones is the wet, coupled with poorly draining soils. It's usually far more important that maples be wet tolerant than sun tolerant, as our winters are mostly about cold rain with little snow. Except in Yorkshire, mind you! :) (Although even Roebuk can't compete with my NE US friends this year: they've really gotten socked with it).

    cheers,

    -E
     
  18. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thanks for contributing Emory! The differences in locales and their unique challenges is truly fascinating. I have several Orange Dream in shade. Unfortunately, the past few horrific winters here have resulted in considerable dieback on all of them, and severe pruning back has been necessary. Strangely, Peaches And Cream in the same areas have really flourished. It sounds from your post, that where you are located in the EU zone, deserves its own thread to address the specific challenges of the area. I hope you will continue to post here AND start a new conversation.
     
  19. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

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    It appears my "Filigree Green Lace" does and looks well in shade.
     
  20. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thanks, Copperbeech, I'll add Acer palmatum 'Filigree Green Lace' to my initial list.
     
  21. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    The green one I have with Filigree in the name is just called 'Filigree'. Not sure if it is the same as 'Filigree Green Lace', but it is good in shade.
     
  22. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Maf, you are correct, Filigree and Filigree Green Lace are not the same cultivar. Acer palmatum 'Filigree'
    is also of the Dissectum Type, but is distinctive in that it is of Reticulated Leaf Form. It has a mixture of colors and is considerably less common. Both cultivars are actually listed as Zone 6 and I have indicated them as such on the list we're compiling. Neither would be safe additions in Zone 5.
     
  23. bub72ck

    bub72ck Active Member

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    I have a pretty shady yard overall but my Butterfly is in the shadiest spot and it is doing well. It was recommended for shady locations by my local nursery.
     
  24. directorrod

    directorrod Active Member

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    Thank you, bub72ck! I've heard that myself and am adding it to the list.
     
  25. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Interesting comment: mine, which is in a very shallow pot (bonsai-like) is the one cultivar that can stay all summer in full sun with no leaf damage provided that it is watered regularly.

    Apparently a very resistant cultivar, especially for a coloured one.

    A very good choice anyway, and the autumn colours are very unique most of the time, with mauve-violet hues that are not often seen on other Japanese maples.
     

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