Japanese Maples: The Complete Guide to Selection and Cultivation, Fourth Edition

Discussion in 'Maples' started by sasquatch, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kevind76,

    The book may provide the only Japanese Maples that will survive in your zone.

    I have been pleased with the new additions and additional information in the new addition. I have not had that much time to spend yet. We have been dog sitting for our son and reading and working on the computer is one thing this little puppy dose not like.


    Ed
     
  2. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    I pre-ordered it one year in advance (2008), but it wasn't released as annouced in July 09. I ordered againthree weeks ago, but still waiting......
    By the way, Somebody knows if this edition has Heat Zone Area classification and some recommendations (or advice) for warmer zones?

    Nelran
     
  3. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society

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    I received the book two Friday's ago, and from what I can tell it doesn't specifically address the heat tolerance/warm zone growing of the trees. I haven't read it from cover to cover though, so there might be a little bit said here or there.

    The changes from the third edition are (to quote from the preface):
    It is definitely a must-have for the acer-aholic! The many new descriptions and pictures are pure eye candy.

    Although I have found one tree to be missing - it doesn't include Acer shirasawanum 'Moonrise' anywhere, not even in appendix D - Cultivar Names Not Elsewhere Described. Maybe it's too new? 2006? From reading the descriptions in the book, however, it does sound an awful lot like Acer shirasawanum 'Minori-no-tsuki' - also discovered by Carl Munn.
     
  4. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    I didn't receive mine yet, so thanks Prairie, for your info. I really want to see the chapter related with growing maples in containers. I'm glad that the new edition covers this important topic for 'maplealcoholics'.

    Nelran
     
  5. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I am not so sure. My bet is that Northern Sweden probably has worse growing conditions than Wynnipeg: comparable winter cold with a shorter and cooler growing season than yours due to the much higher latitude. In any case, using yearly average temperatures it is definitely not warmer than 'here'.
    You may want to use Wikipedia to perform a check on weather data for Wynnipeg and for a Northern Sweden location, like Kiruna, and you will see what I am talking about. One important difference though could be snow cover which is quite reliable in Sweden but I do not know in Wynnipeg.

    Gomero
     
  6. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    This is getting off topic a bit, so I won't go into detail, but Manitoba and Sweden have very different climates. Perhaps inland northern Sweden might have a similar climate to Winnipeg, but coastal Sweden seems to have a very PNW climate. We do usually have quite a bit of snow cover, but that doesn't help much if it gets to -25C before the snow falls! The higher latitude in Sweden would give it a longer growing season in summer, because of the milder climate and the more hours of daylight. How often does any populated area in Sweden get to -30C or more for extended periods of time?

    Does this Maple book give info on storing containerized Maples inside for the winter? That would be useful for me.
     
  7. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I knew Zonebreaker was from Northern Sweden and the one city in Northern Sweden that came to my mind was Kiruna. In fact, looking at his profile, I learned he lives in Umea which is at the sea level while Kiruna is at a higher elevation, 530 m. Winnipeg is at 240m elevation.

    I have done a little research on weather data for those locations (plus Vancouver, mentioned above) and have included a summary in the attached file. The main values are:

    Yearly average temperature: Winnipeg 2.6°C, Kiruna -3.1°C, Umea 2.4°C, Vancouver 10.1°C

    Yearly average high: Winnipeg 8.3°C, Kiruna 1.8°C, Umea 6.7°C, Vancouver 13.7°C

    Yearly average low: Winnipeg -3.1°C, Kiruna -8.1°C, Umea -0.8°C, Vancouver 6.5°C

    Record lows (1961-2000): Winnipeg -42.8°C, Kiruna -46°C, Umea -38.5°C, Vancouver -17.8°C

    Two statements stand out clearly: Kiruna is much colder than Winnipeg and Umea is much, much colder than Vancouver.

    Between Umea and Winnipeg the situation is more complex; they have a comparable yearly average with colder fall/winters in Winnipeg and colder spring/summers in Umea. Record lows are not far from each other (the -47.8°C for Winnipeg dates back to the 19th century). One also has to bear in mind that Winnipeg, at 50°N is almost 2000 km south from Umea which is 63°N, this more than compensates the elevation difference and confirms that the growing season is shorter in Umea.

    I will put together all the meteorological data for Umea, together with the list of maples Zonebreaker is growing, in an FAQ so people in cold areas could make meaningful comparisons and assess their chances based on the invaluable feedback of zonebreaker.

    Gomero
     

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  8. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    Thanks Gomero - you've gone to a lot of work here. I was only trying to say that most parts of Sweden probably are milder than Winnipeg (I should have said milder, rather than colder, as that is more accurate). I do not take averages to mean much, though, since, looking at the graphs you have included, the yearly average difference between Winnipeg and Vancouver is only a few degress (-3.1C average low for Winnipeg and 6.5C for Richmond). This might seem like they two are close in zones, when they are not. Kiruna and Winnipeg seem to have similar winters, but that is not reflected in the yearly average, because Winnipeg gets much warmer in the summer. If your climate data for Umea is accurate, than for them to get a record low of -38.5C must have been quite rare, especially with a Jan average low of only -11C. We get below -30C regularily, even though the average for January is only -22.6C.

    Anyway, this is a good discussion, but it is off-topic. Not sure where, or even if, it could fit in this forum now. I would very much like to find out what can be grown in those kinds of zones, and what Zonebreaker is growing, to see what I might be able to try.
     
  9. cthenn

    cthenn Active Member

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    So what do people think about the 4th edition? I just got mine, and I do like how all the maples are put in one chapter, and not broken up into different chapters. I previously had the 2nd edition only, and there were too many chapters, and it was difficult sometimes to have to find the dissectum chapter (for example) then look up the plant. In this edition, all Ap's are in one chapter, regardless of leaf shape and/or sub-category.

    The one thing I am fairly disappointed with is the photos. It's nice to have the photos, don't get me wrong. In fact, most of the cultivars do have photos, but what I don't like is some of the obvious photoshop-type treatment to some of the photos. Some of the colors are so over the top, it's ridiculous (see Crimson Queen). Also, some of the hues are way off, so you think a tree with "normal" maroon/crimson colors have bright vivid purple, when it really doesn't. I just come here to see some "normal" photos of plants, but if a non-discerning person sees some of those photos, they may be disappointed when they buy the tree and realize it's not what they saw in the book.

    But, other than that, it's a very nice, thick book with a lot of useful information. I too, thought "ah hell!" when the author stated he was making an attempt to clean up some of the names. A lot of this is confusing, and commonly used names have been around for a long time, and to now try and correct a lot of this makes something what you thought you knew, not what you knew!
     
  10. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I was struck by this too, some of the colors looked positively psychedelic. I also noted that the worst offending photographs were not supplied by J.D. Vertrees or Peter Gregory.
     
  11. cthenn

    cthenn Active Member

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    I'll have to look at that. I thought some of the bad ones were Gregory's, but I'll have to look closely. Mr. Vertrees' photos are good because he actually had to be a photographer, not just snap a photo with his Iphone and then run it through Photoshop to make a masterpiece.

    I know this is also getting off topic, but with all the new fancy cameras and photoshop, and this new HDR fad, photos nowadays look nice, but they are completely unrealistic. I'm guilty of that...I will certainly clean up flaws in some of my photos, fix the contrast, color up etc, but it leads to more bad photos than good. And they certainly aren't very realistic.

    But, anyway, the photos are one of the best starting points to investigating a new cultivar, and it's confusing me!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  12. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Regarding the colour reproduction of the photographs, I spent an hour earlier comparing the colours of the pictures in the 2nd and 4th editions as well as the "Timber Press Pocket Guide" which uses largely the same material. It was interesting to note that some of Mr Vertrees photographs were a different colour in each of the three books, usually looking more natural in the 2nd ed, less so in the Pocket Guide and even less so in the 4th ed, with a tendancy to show exaggerated and over-saturated reds and purples in the later editions. Good examples that illustrate this are 'Bloodgood', 'Sherwood Flame', 'Azuma murasaki' and 'Chishio'. Strangely 'Beni tsukasa' shows the opposite and has had some of the red tones taken out in the newer editions.

    It was also interesting to note that some of Peter Gregory's pictures looked different between the two later books, 'Beni shigitatsu sawa' being a good example. 'Butterfly' was another good example that had obviously been photoshopped, having been rotated about 150°, some of the background leaves blurred out and the colour density changed.

    The pictures that I thought had the most unrealistic colour reproduction (the "worst offenders" I mentioned in my previous post) had not been supplied by Peter Gregory, J.D Vertrees, Harry Olsen or Cor van Gelderen, but by some of the others who had donated photographs. The worst of these looked as if they had the colour balance and saturation changed by the photographer (or someone acting on their behalf) and then were further manipulated during the editing or production of the book.

    I agree with cthenn that many of the photographs are no longer realistic in colour, which is a shame. I wonder who had responsibility for photo editing for this book, as it seems that person either did not know Japanese maples very well or had a monitor with an inaccurate colour profile? Or both?

    When I saw the book had been printed in China I wondered if this had a negative affect on quality control regarding the colour of the pictures in the finished article, but who knows?

    I would like to make it clear that none of this is intended as a criticism of Peter Gregory, as he is a man who I have much respect for, and it is not even a serious criticism of the book as I would still recommend it unequivocally for anyone with an interest in Japanese maples. I am sure Mr Gregory would prefer people give an honest critique of the book rather than adopt an over-polite false opinion.

    I might add that it is normal to display innaccurate and over-saturated hues in magazine images, movies, TV shows and advertisements in this modern age, perhaps it is too much to ask that a book on maples would be immune to this trend.
     
  13. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Except that the colours of Japanese maples as they appear during the seasons is an integral part of the plant itself, and should be displayed as accurately as possible in a 'bible' on the subject
    Otherwise the book fails????
    Maybe I am wrong...........
     
  14. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    No disrespect intended as I can only imagine the immense amount of work involved in putting a book like this together, but I'd agree that it sounds like it falls far short of the mark. For me, I've decided against purchasing the book as an addition to the third edition because I heard that many measurements were replaced with subjective terms like small and large, names are changed around (maybe the index helps but I didn't get that impression), and now that the colors are suspect.

    My ideal maple resource would have pictures from multiple seasons and comments from people who had actually grown the trees in various conditions over time. Hmmm. Where could I find a resource like that? Oh, that's right... HERE! :)

    Seriously, thank you to all the people in this forum who have contributed information on the many cultivars. My third edition has been a wonderful jumping off point, but here is where I've learned the details that enabled me to make informed purchases and design decisions.

    Edit: I shouldn't have been so hasty. First, I haven't seen the new book in person. Second, when I first got bit by the JM bug I lived with my 3rd edition. I took it on ferry rides, to bed with me, I constantly had my head buried in it. Even now I still often pull it out for its concise descriptions and consider it an invaluable resource. I have the 2nd ed and Maples of the World and the third ed is the book that gets opened most often. So I'm sure this 4th ed is also a valuable go-to resource.

    Edit 2: The inside flap of the 3rd edition makes a point about the photos (maf compared 2nd and 4th). It says, "Modern methods of color reproduction and printing have allowed sharper, more accurate versions of Vertrees's original photos to aid the gardener in identification and selection." It was printed in Hong Kong.

    Looking at the pic of 'Bloodgood' on p 125 the colors look vibrant but not out of the realm of possibility. I have seen trees that look like that. 'Chishio' on pg 129 has more orange to it than I've personally seen, but I've only seen one 'Chishio' that I recall offhand and that sporadically. 'Sherwood Flame' on pg 207 looks Aubergine to me (purple) - how should it look?

    Another thought regarding photos is that I don't generally trust any one photo to be representative no matter the source. I try to see multiple photos of the cultivars from different seasons. Further, there is so much variation within the cultivars and then additionally color variation triggered by growing conditions that I try to really watch the trees for a while before committing to them. So maybe the iffy colors just are what they are.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  15. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That is absolutely right and plant colours in Northern Ireland may well differ from those in Oregon for example
    My own website has tried to show pictures of my own plants as they appear in this country at the various seasons
    I can promise you that the colours as they appear there are very close to those I saw in real life :)
    http://www.fujiyamagarden.com/page17.html
     
  16. bigjohn33

    bigjohn33 Active Member

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    in fact i think, it is just a matter of timing
    i think that in this book, they just try to show the highest potential of the plants.
    I have about 120 acer, and sometimes spring or autumn colors are beyond reality sometimes they are just great
    I hope that they just show the best colors of cultivars in the best growing conditions and with the best weather conditions
    Last year, Gomero gave us some pictures of its garden in spring and it was stunning
    (i hope he will do it again)
    just one last point, i don't think that the fact that the book was edited in China is a problem for the colors of the picture!
     
  17. bigjohn33

    bigjohn33 Active Member

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    here are some some pictures of shidava gold and geisha
    they look unatural but they are real
     

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  18. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Nice colours bigjohn33, they look totally natural to me. Vivid but natural.

    Believe me, I can tell the difference between a photograph of maple leaves that shows beautiful colour, and one that has been manipulated after the fact to show an oversaturated, unnatural colour. It is especially easy to tell when you have three examples of the same picture and they all show a different level of colour saturation.

    Not that this affects all pictures in the book, I would say maybe 80% show natural colours (or close enough), and 20% look as if they are the victims of overzealous photoshop abuse. I would still recommend the book to people but I would have to qualify it with a "but some of the colours in some of the pictures don't look right".
     
  19. cthenn

    cthenn Active Member

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    I still find the 4th ed to be quite good. All photography aside, the book is very useful in so many other areas. If this book were just a coffee table book of maple photographs, then it may fall short of the intended mark, but it's really a textbook on the history and science of Japanese Maples. It's true there are obvious over-photoshopped pictures in the book, but like others have said, I always supplement research into any possible new addition to my collection with other sources, particularly this website. The thing about photography and cameras is that every one has different settings...some default to a much warmer color temperature than others, in addition to so many other variables. But color temp alone can have a huge impact on what is reflected on the photo. And, like cameras, every person's eyes see things slightly differently than others. So who is to say what something "should" look like?

    Though I was somewhat dismayed at some of the bad photos in the book, it's still very enjoyable. And besides, the person who is going to shell out $50 for this book is probably a serious collector, and will take the proper time and care to do thorough research into any new plant they may want to acquire...and not simply base their decision on one photo from a book.

    Maybe I just wish the editor(s) could have selected from so many other better photos for a few of the cultivars.
     
  20. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    It arrived yesterday and at first glance looks to be a well worthwhile addition to my 2nd edition, so many new cultivars and the nomenclature updates. Wondering if the 'Ki hachijo' photo on page 164 is of juvenile growth or possibly incorrect, though.
     
  21. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society

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    I've wondered the same thing regarding a 'Ki hachijo' picture, though the one I've questioned is the one on page 73 of the 4th ed. (pg. 13 in the Pocket Guide, also in 3rd ed. but not sure of page #). The plant I received from Greers a few years ago has the same very-serrated margins, similar to the picture on page 164. The fall coloration photo with 'Nuresagi' on page 73 seems to have much less noticeable serration along the margins. That picture actually led me to purchase both and plant them next to each other.

    And color-wise, I think one of the worst offenders is the picture of 'Murasaki kiyohime'. All the plants I've seen have more of a brownish purple edge in the spring - not neon pink.
     
  22. nelran

    nelran Active Member

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    I agree, Praire. That picture is repeated with the same oversaterated tones in the pocket guide, the 3rd and now in the 4th edition. finally my 4th edition arrived yesterday, so I didn't have time to review it in deep, but sorting in some pages, I notice this "unrealistic" picture. but in general I really like the book. (I just read the container grow section).

    Nelran
     
  23. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I do not quite agree, looking at my 'Murasaki kiyohime' I am not offended by the picture in the two books. The first pic was taken March 13th (2009) and the other April 4th (2009). I do not see any purple brown, rather pinkish red. But, granted, digital color reproduction gives often a false hue to leaves and my pinkish red maybe your brownish purple.

    Gomero
     

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  24. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Actually the one on page 73 seems more representative of 'Ki hachijo' known to me. Does the plant you received from Greers have that page 164 leaf shape on mature leaves and older branches ? It just seems so different, even from the leaf photos shown in Greer's Acer Slide Show, pages 41 and 42 of the Matsumurae Group www.greergardens.com/acers.htm .
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  25. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Prairiestyle, I found a couple of photos that show 'Ki hachijo' leaf variability, the 2nd showing a leaf {upper left} looking more like those shown in the page 164 photo. It's not the norm on the trees grown here though, and have only noticed a couple such leaves in my photos. Guessing it may be the later young growth on the tree shown in the photos, would be nice to be certain. Interesting, and especially so when comparing photos of 'Ki hachijo' leaves on other maple sites that seem to match the tree here. It's puzzling, and I will keep a closer eye on it this year. Did most of your tree's leaves still have the deeply indented lobe margins as shown in the page 164 photo ?
     

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010

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