Looking for a maple with these characteristics

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Orchidity, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Orchidity

    Orchidity Member

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    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Hi,

    I have many new Japanese maples, all carefully chosen for placement and accompaniment with other maples and plants. For this particular spot, I just need a shade tree.

    I had a huge, beautiful red bud tree outside our kitchen door. This is one of my favorite plants in Spring. Unfortunately it was rapidly killed off by caterpillars. I was able to save other trees, unfortunately not this one. The tree was providing shade to this area of the house, now there is none. I would like to put a maple in its place.

    Requirements:

    10-16ft tall, can go higher
    Main trunk 5-6 ft before branches begin to form, nothing with multiple branches forming low to the ground
    Fairly good spread for shade
    Relatively fast grower (the faster the better)

    Color and characteristics are less important, my primary goal is to provide this area with shade (there are 20 year old hostas and other shade loving plants I'm trying to save).

    Thanks much in advance for your advice!
     
  2. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    marengo usa
    I'm no expert but from the sounds of it, a japanese maple may not be your best choice. It could possibly work if you were to buy a very old and mature tree, already close to your size requirments. It will most likly be very expensive at this size. Otherwise I think it would take too long for a smaller one to reach the size/purpose your looking for. Most of them are fairly slow growing so if your looking for enough size to create shade in the next 5-10 years, you should probably look at some other options. If you liked the redbud but wanted to add some color during the growing season or just something a little different, a forest pansy redbud may work well for you. It has a nice purple color most of the season and darker flowers than a standard redbud. If you know you want a maple, there are many nice red maple cultivars that will meet your shade needs as well and will get there very fast. Most of them get pretty large over time but not much larger than a redbud. If you are set on a japanese maple, I think seiryu could work well for you but I would try to find one as large as you can because even though it's a fairly quick growing japanese maple, it will still take many years to get to 16'.
     
  3. Orchidity

    Orchidity Member

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    Thanks. One characteristic of the landscape is that it's quite rocky, so any large tree will be impossible to plant. There is perhaps enough soil between rocks for something in the 5 gallon size but not much more.

    Japanese maple is of course my first choice, I planted several last year and am quite excited about them. I have also seen maples growing in Japan on rocky hillsides, seemingly with no soil at all, so I presumed it might also be a decent choice for this spot.

    I'm in a bit of a pickle here, this area has gone from full shade to full sun, but to help alleviate the problem I have just built a larger pergola for my wisteria, which should provide some protection. I hope. :)
     
  4. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I would suggest a Dogwood. You could get a pink flowering one that would come closer to the color of your original redbud.

    One thing to consider in this spot - redbuds are THE WORST carrier of verticillium wilt of any tree! Therefore, planting a JM in that spot may be inviting disaster. Dogwoods are immune to verticillium.
     
  5. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
    Normandie, France
    For a maple, how about Japanese Sunrise? Loves sun, pretty fast grower, year round interest...
     
  6. cagreene

    cagreene Active Member

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    Location:
    salt spring island,bc
    If shade is your priority, and you would like a fast growing tree that is in the maple family, I would recommend the large leaf maple. we put one in the yard a few years back, and has become a 25 foot giant that has huge leaves,( easier to rake up, each fall,) large branches and compliments my bonsai collection well. I will post some pictures once I have removed all the bamboo and ties. ( preparing yard now)
     
  7. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
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    I was going to suggest one of the japonica, however, they are usually not just single trunked to that height. They can be trimmed to not have lower horizontal branching. Mine grew fast, a 2' Aconitifolium is at least 15', this year probably close to 18', in 10 years, and I definitely walk under it now.

    Otherwise there are plenty of other trees. I had heard about redbuds and verticilium, as well. I planted a Crepe Myrtle this year that could meet your needs. Some get to 25-30' (fauriei), beautiful trunks that keep tight whether single or multiple, spreading crown and fast growing when established. They like sun, too, more than most maples. You get flowers and fall color.

    Triflorum could be a possibility, too. Mine grew fast, and is getting quite large. I have not pruned it to 6', but will be able to this year if I wanted to. It is a stunning tree--bark, nice leaves, and fantastic fall color. It does well with sun, too.
    David
     

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