Japanese mountain maple - seeking thoughts!

Discussion in 'Maples' started by clorgan, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Hi all, new to this forum - I'm Claire :)

    Posted this on a bonsai forum already, but haven't had much response and thought this would be a good place to ask!

    I'm curious about the leaf colour - it's this the tree's leaves turning towards red autumn leaves?

    I live in England, UK by the way

    Thanks very much!
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    Good evening Claire and welcome to the Maples forum.
    Your maple is showing the early signs of changing colours ready for Autumn.
    Now you may say that this is only July, but in England this year there are significant very early signs of maples adopting their Autumn colours earlier than normally expected.
    Looking at your photos it is this you are witnessing.
    Hooe that's of help.
     
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  3. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Thank you for the warm welcome and for your really useful response! I suspected this was the case, great to have this clarified. Thanks very much, very much looking forward to the autumn colours! It has been a very strange few months here in England.

    I'm trying to decide whether to bonsai the tree or plant next year in my garden, we will see!

    Looking forward to learning more from this forum
     
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  4. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hello Claire, wishing you welcome also!

    That's a pretty little maple, I suspect it will make quite a large shrub eventually should you decide to plant it. It looks nice and healthy, and as you now know the early color is nothing to worry about.

    I'm curious as to why you refer to it as a "mountain maple", I'm not sure I've heard that term used for this sort of maple, which I believe is Acer amoenum. It looks grafted, do you know the cultivar name?

    Cheers, -Emery
     
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  5. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Thanks for the kind welcome and words! It was sold as an acer palmatum - Japanese mountain maple...that's all I know I'm afraid! Would be very interested to find out if this is accurate
     
  6. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Rising Contributor

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    Hi @clorgan, also welcome.

    @emery I've only heard the term mountain maple use by an famous bonsai artist name Peter Chan. He have a YouTube platform and nursery (Herons Bonsai) in Lingfield, UK. From my understanding he call all the unnamed palmatums by that name.
     
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  7. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    That is my understanding too, thanks for providing a good explanation! I think it's likely it could be a red cultivar (someone suggested the idea and it does make sense). It was purchased from a bonsai nursery - whether I will treat it as bonsai, or just put in a bigger pot or the ground at somepoint, I'm not sure yet!
     
  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @LoverOfMaples Good morning D, Peter Chan does refer to a lot as Mountain maple when they are clearly not. C @clorgan maple is definatly not an Acer spicatum or Mountain maple as it is sometimes referred to.
    @emery, agree with Emery about the ID, Acer amoenum. The leaves are larger than Acer palmatum.
     
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  9. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Thanks for this!

    I asked about it on the bonsai forum, a very experienced member said "Mountain maple is the generic Japanese term for all Acer palmatum, Japanese maples. There are also many different cultivars of JM with different shaped and colored leaves. This appears to be one of the bronze leaf/ red leaf types so the leaf color is natural for it in summer."

    That makes sense to me, but there seems to be different thoughts on the subject! I'm guessing looking at the colours throughout the year may make it clearer? If they all need similar/the same care, I don't suppose it matters too much which cultivar it is, although of course it'd be nice to know!
     
  10. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @clorgan Good morning Claire, a lovely morning it is too in England at last!!!
    You are so right, that as long as you enjoy your tree then that is 100% what matters. It is nice to know the correct cultivar, but as so often happens these days, as you will see on the maples forums, we are all stumped in identifying a cultivar. There are literally thousands to choose from.
    Sometimes it takes photos of all three seasons to get a better idea.
    Please do update the forum on the progress you make with your maple, I'm certain everybody will be very interested.
    Have a lovely Sunday.
     
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  11. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Morning guys, time for a quick word with coffee before brunch!

    Indeed, "Mountain Maple" does usually refer to A. spicatum (not that it only grows in the mountains!) but I wondered if there was a common name, perhaps translated from Japanese, that I didn't know about.

    I did a bit of research. After Yano-san, a Japanese translation of one of the names for one of the "palmatum types" (used to be called A. palmatum ssp matumurae, but is now called A. amoenum ssp matsumurae) is Yama momiji, or "mountain maple". Botanically speaking, your plant may well be one of the cultivars of matsumurae (there are many), because of the relatively pronounced dentation on the leaf edges. Acer palmatum is usually referred to as Iroha momiji (or Iroha kaede) while amoenum is O momiji (or O kaede). Now you know more about this than you ever wanted to! :) :)

    The problem with common names is that they are all local, which leads to a great deal of confusion when we speak across continents (or even counties sometimes.)

    @clorgan, the nursery wasn't wrong, this maple was previously called, (except in Japan), Acer palmatum ssp amoenum. Now western botanists have accepted the Japanese treatment, and we call it Acer amoenum. It will take the nurseries 30 year to catch up, if they ever do! :)

    Anyway thanks for this, I've learned something new and appreciate it.

    Cheers, -E
     
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  12. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Thanks for the detailed info - had to read twice to digest it! Interesting stuff, every day is a learning day!
     
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  13. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the update.

    Does that mean that we now should use Acer matsumurae instead of Acer palmatum ssp. matsumurae ? That would make sense, wouldn't it ?

    And yes, "Yama momiji" is a term sometimes used in the bonsai community. Just like the term "Yamadori", originally used for conifers collected in the mountains (hence their battered shapes with a lot of dead wood) is now used in the western world for any tree taken from the wild. And Fuji Yama is a famous mountain in Japan ;0)

    When you're interested in trees, you can learn some latin (palmatum, etc.) and a bit of Greek (pentaphyllum, etc.) and when you're a fan of Japanese maples, a few Japanese words (beni, nishiki,...)
     
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  14. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Was it in full leaf when you bought it ?

    Anyway, it will have to adapt to your local environment : it was probably kept in a greenhouse, maybe stored for some time in a rather dark place. In that case, the leaves tend to turn green.

    In Autumn, it will very likely show shades of red and orange. Next spring, it will be a surprise ;-)

    If you're interested in bonsai, maybe a cultivar with smaller leaves and shorter internodes could be a better candidate.
     
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  15. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Thanks very much for your response! Was purchased from my local bonsai nursery - facebook link here David Cheshire Bonsai Loads of photos which show the display conditions, not sure where it was kept prior to display though.

    I actually posted the tree on the bonsai forum you're member of (not sure of the rules mentioning other forums here - sorry if this offends anyone!) I'm considering putting this one in a larger pot to just enjoy, rather than actively try to bonsai. Have wired some of the lower branches down a little though ( very loosely) as they were very diagonal.

    Really looking forward to the autumn colours...and of course the big spring surprise!
     
  16. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Oh and yes, was in full leaf - purchased a few days ago
     
  17. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yeah, you'd think right? But that would be too easy. They raised A. amoenum in rank to a full species, which I think always made sense given the differences between it and A. palmatum. But matsumurae didn't get the same treatment, I suppose it was felt that it was better under amoenum because of the leaf size and general form, but not really different enough to merit full species status. I don't know if there are any phylogenetic studies involved, I don't recall seeing anything.

    Anyway we're left, confusingly enough, with Acer amoenum ssp. matsumurae.

    Hope you're enjoying this beautiful evening Alain, just waiting for the BBQ to get ready to cook here...

    -E
     
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  18. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    PS :

    For example, I have these two that I wanted to train as bonsai. An 'Atropurpureum' (amoenum) and a 'Little Princess', one of the most comonly found in garden centres here (listed as Mapi-no-machi-hime' and classified as "Dwarf" in vertrees & Gregory).

    I gave up with the Atro. because the internodes were too long, and I lost a branch on the lil' princess that was essential to the design I had in mind, so both of them are potted trees now, actually they haven't been repotted for at least 3 years so they've been cultivated in similar conditions for the past years.

    See the difference between the two in term of leaf size :

    acerp-div_200712a.jpg

    Mind you : that doeasn't mean your tree can't be turned into a very nice bonsai.
     
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  19. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Interesting - thanks for this! Yes it seems there's a lot learn with maples, so many to choose from. Yours look lovely, whether bonsai or not! Appreciate the photos and info, I'm in no rush to decide one way or the other (can't imagine it'll need repotting for a while) , I'll enjoy the tree for what it is for now, I'm sure it'll become clearer in time whether suited for bonsai.

    I thought at least wiring the lower branches now would give me the option should I choose it!
     
  20. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @clorgan Good evening Claire, all this advice today and Latin to take in, can seem quite overwhelming. As you have said "there is a lot to learn". I've been growing maples for 42 years and I still get confused by all the changes. Hope you can just enjoy your lovely tree without too much confusion.
     
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  21. clorgan

    clorgan New Member

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    Thanks very much! So much info and yes a little confusing. But it's great, I'm here to learn - I'll just read it another 10 times until I understand the jist!

    What a lovely forum by the way, feeling very welcomed!
     
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