Japonese Maple (or equivalent) for zone 4

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Pixelkarma, May 6, 2010.

  1. Pixelkarma

    Pixelkarma Member

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    Hi all!
    First post on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums! I am delighted to find such a lively community dedicated to botanical research in Canada and I hope to learn a lot from you.

    My first question is concerning a dream of mine : I would love to be able to plant a red leaf japonese maple by my house... which is located in (relatively windy) Lévis, Québec, zone 4b. I realize I might be totally delusional... but Ive seen some Bloodgood and Crimson Empress in the local farms so I dont know what to think.

    The spot where I would plant my tree is south of the house, relatively sheltered from the wind (that usually comes from the north, where the St-Lawrence River is) by the house (north) and a tall fence (east and south). I would be willing to do all thats needed to make this work, including the winter protection and all. Ive *really* been wanting this for years, litterally...

    Any advice on what I could plant that would work fine?


    Thanks a lot,
    Marie
     
  2. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  3. mjplax3

    mjplax3 Member

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    Congratulations on your ambitious move to grow a maple! I too started this year and found this forum to be extremely helpful, especially if you know where to look. I agree with Gomero, the first thing you need to do is understand what varieties will do the best in your climate zone. Also, understand the growing habits of each variety and what your own preferences are. Do you want a more vase shaped maple? Or a cascading one? a Dissectum variety? Or a broad leafed variety? You have to ask yourself these questions before deciding on a particular tree. Once you've identified a hardy variety that you like, the next step is to understand how to plant a Japanese Maple. For that, I would review the Maple FAQs at the top of the General Maple Discussion forum page. Understanding where to plant your maple is important but its more important to know how to plant your maple. This will get you and your new maple off to the best possible start. The rest is up to you.

    Oh and make sure you buy one from a reliable nursery, otherwise you might be at a disadvantage before you even get started. Below is a list of maples that do well in cold climates such as zone 4b.

    'Bloodgood'
    'Crimson Queen'
    'Garnet'
    'Inaba Shidare'
    'Mikawa Yatsubusa'
    'Omato'
    'Osakazuki'
    'Red Dragon'
    'Seiryu'
    'Shishigashira'


    Good Luck!
     
  4. Pixelkarma

    Pixelkarma Member

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    Thank you both for your answers! I am so happy there might be a way for me to make this work (I was really at the point of totally letting go of the whole idea...).

    To be honest, I dont know a lot about botanic in general or maple in particular. I love trees, I am determined to do what it takes to make this work, but there is still a few things I dont understand all too well. That and the fact that english is my first language, and you can figure I am easily lost in all what Ive been reading online lately...

    This being said, I did my homework and I know a bit better what Id like (though the main point is to find a tree that will be able to survive Québec...). I would love to find a red variety or cultivar, preferably not a dissectum. I especially like the Fireglow color and the Suminagashi leaf shape. I would like a smaller tree (though I realize I can consider it will grow more slowly given our 6 months of cold...) and I intend to learn how to properly prune it in order to have a nice, esthetic shape eventually. And that's about what I figured so far. From the list you provide, mjplax3, my favorite would have to be the Bloodgood or the Osakazuki (though its a green one). Does that help?

    Im thinking about buying the Japanese Maples: The Complete Guide to Selection and Cultivation which is discussed in the thread you suggested, Gomero. It looks like a wonderful book and a good reference. I suppose Ill be able to read more about the hardiness of each tree, right?

    Marie
     
  5. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    The Acer palmatum cultivars listed above are generally considered winter hardy in the ground only down to zone 5. You might have more success growing one in a container, as long as you have a suitable place to overwinter it, such as un unheated garage. (Minimum temp. for containers > -10°C).

    The related species Acer psuedosieboldianum is more hardy and I believe suitable for your zone but as far as I know is only available as green leafed forms.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. Pixelkarma

    Pixelkarma Member

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    Thanks for the information, maf. That is unfortunately what I had understood about those cultivars, the zone 5 thing (a few kilometers and Id be ok!) As for the Korean Maple goes, its definitely a too large tree for my needs and space (there is already a very large lilac tree there, and I cant have anything more than 6 feet tall in that spot).

    Ill look into the possibility of growing it in a container... if i understand well, that would allow me to plant a zone5 tree as long as I find a proper place to store it for winter, thats already that!
     
  7. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Of course, if you are only a few kilometres away from Zone 5 there is always the small possibility you might already have a zone 5 microclimate in your garden........particularly if you live in an urban area.

    Edit: Funny Gomero should mention zonebreaker in this thread, see here for his just posted report on what survived in Northern Sweden this year: Northern Sweden damage report. 'Yasemin', for example, is a red leaved cultivar.
     
  8. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    i suggest acer tegmentosum....
     
  9. Pixelkarma

    Pixelkarma Member

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    So in the last few days, I was lucky enough to walk into a couple of very nice japonese maples in my area. A few Crimson Queen and a Shishigashira in a public garden and a beautiful Bloodgood on the side of a house... just two streets from mine!

    I will try asking questions to these people concerning the care they are giving their tree... but all in all I am very happy as these stands for proof it is possible to grow them in here!
     
  10. wonderlen

    wonderlen Member

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    I planted Korean maple in my zone3/4 Calgary yard. And its a very hardy tree and its very underratted IMO. The leaf are elegant, you got purple blooms, and got insane crimson red fall color.

    Now in term of going to be a big tree, its still in Japanese maple group and very slow growing. Even more so in this country. My tree is only grow about 3-6 inch a year.
     
  11. Elisabeth

    Elisabeth New Member

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    Hello Wonderlen,
    I'm also in Calgary and have bit the bullet in trying to grow a Korean Maple too. I'm from Vancouver and am craving a Maple leaf, however I can get it!!
    I see your post was from many years ago and am curious how its doing today?
     
  12. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    If you have luck with Korean maple and feel adventurous, you may want to look at these cross maples grown by Iseli nursery. I have heard of people in MN and WI growing Jack Frost successful.
    Jack Frost® Collection | Iseli Nursery
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  13. Elisabeth

    Elisabeth New Member

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    Thanks JT1, I checked them out- awesome! Great to have an alternative and/or if I have success with this one, I most definitely will be wanting more!! Thanks for this. I also checked out their website and they had some helpful planting instructions that I will use this weekend when it goes into the ground.

    Might I ask, do you think a west location will be ok for a Korean? We get chinooks up here in Calgary so I'm thinking keeping it in cold is best- any idea?
    Thank you,
    Elisabeth
     
  14. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    At first thought, I was thinking Chinooks are really big helicopters. Google helped me realize that you are talking about winds down the mountain and a rapid warming up (Adiabatic warming) and subsequent cool down.
    Chinook wind - Wikipedia

    Frost crack in the trunk is a concern when the tree has full afternoon sun during Winter. This is when the sun warms the trunk in afternoon above freezing. Once the sun sets the bark is rapidly cooled as temperature plummets causing a crack on the NW side of the trunk. Something to consider. Sometimes a near by evergreen can offer a micro climate as a sun and wind break. But it's best when a tree has slow increases and decreases in temperature so Adiabatic warming may work against you. This is where the SE side may keep the temperature better regulated. Many times "cold hardy" trees can get stressed and die with wide swings in temperature in a short period of time. Shade from afternoon sun, mulch, and snow cover all help resist these wide swings in temperature.

    When we push the zone of a tree in my area we plant it on the East side of our house with some SE exposure. This offers protection from the strong winds we get off of Lake Erie to the North and West. We add extra mulch to the root zone in fall. We also use 0-10-10 as a winterizer in September. We find out where the tree was grown. If it's from a area with mild winters like SE states or Pacific NW we go a step further and protect the tree and canopy with Dewitt frost cloth for a Winter or two. I have also used it as a sun and wind break for sensitive plants when needed. Snow cover is always a great insulator too allowing trees to survive temperatures down below their cold hardy limits.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  15. Elisabeth

    Elisabeth New Member

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    Oh boy!
    That is all very good information and now I will reconsider.....I’ll let you know how it goes but I’m feeling a change of plans to the SE should happen. I must discuss with hubby ( man digging hole )
    Have a wonderful long weekend ( Canada Day up here! ),
    I appreciate your time writing JT1, Thank you.
    Elisabeth
     
  16. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Happy Canada Day! Thanks, glad you found the information useful.
     

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