Identification: Maple Tree

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Chinese Maple Girl, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Hello - I have attached two photos from a mature (I think), serrated or serrulated (not sure), seven-lobed maple tree approximately 30 feet tall (rough estimate). The samaras hang down below the leaves and start out green and then turn green and pinkish-red in the summer. I have been pouring over textbooks on Maple trees of the World, but cannot find one exactly like the one in the photos. The leaves look to me like an Acer linganense from one of the books, but that seems to be very rare. At first I was looking at the Acer robustum and Acer campbellii, but those do not seem right either. Someone working for my real estate agent said that they were "Chinese Maple" trees. Any assistance would be appreciated.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Liable to be Acer palmatum.
     
  3. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree with Ron. It is not robustum or campbelli. There is a lot of natural variation in palmatum, if you glance through the MOW companion book "Maples for Gardens" you will see some that resemble yours (more or less).
     
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Most likely Acer amoenum, usually treated as a subspecies of Acer palmatum in western literature, but recognised as a distinct species in its native Japan.

    There are some good pictures in this link that may be helpful for comparison:
    http://mohsho.image.coocan.jp/acerph03.html
     
  5. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply. I will look into this.
     
  6. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply. I will look for this book.
     
  7. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply. This is promising. The samaras are not that pink, but I assume that there could be some differences.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, that is not a diagnostic characteristic.
     
  9. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Good call maf

    here are some thoughts but by no means an identification of your treee

    Ap 'Hogyoku' is one of the more common older amoenum I have heard of planted in the gardens. Ap 'Osakazuki' is another common amoenum tree but the samaras are a different color and it tends not to be as tall.
     
  10. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Thank you for this response.

    Is it unusual that I have never seen flowers on these trees? I actually have three of these trees (one ~ 30 feet tall, one ~ 20 feet tall and one ~ 7 feet tall) and have owned this property for about 7 years. Is it too hot for these trees to flower here in the southern United States?
     
  11. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply. It is amazing how many different species of maples trees there are. I will look further into this information.
     
  12. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    If it had samaras, it must have had flowers before them! Clearly the climate is not unpropitious, given the size your trees have attained.

    Accepted taxonomy would, I believe, refer to your tree as Acer palmatum subsp. amoenum. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  13. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    I appreciate this information.
     
  14. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, Emery, accepted by some and not accepted by some others. Let's say there is some disagreement on the subject ;-))

    Gomero
     
  15. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Hi Gomero, I would be interested in your thoughts. I am very much a novice on the subject of Maple trees, but am interested in learning as much as possible about this subject. Thank you.
     
  16. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, I have nothing to add, I agree with Maf's ID. And, personally, I follow Japanese botanists considering A. amoenum as a separate species.

    Gomero
     
  17. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    is one sensations of japanese botanist or have check with analysis of DNA?
     
  18. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    and why not matsumurae is a separate species?in one recently news letter of The Maple Society are subspecies ,i follow Maple Society ;-) :-)
     
  19. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    Thank you for this information.
     
  20. Chinese Maple Girl

    Chinese Maple Girl Member

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    This is all becoming confusing. I had seen some photos of matsumurae, but some seem to have margins too deep compared to my trees.

    At this point I have bought four books on Japanese Maples and am more lost than ever. The closest cultivar that I found was the Osakazuki, but when look at photos on them on the Internet through nursery companies sites they don't look like my trees. The margins are too deep in every photo. There are photos on several websites of cultivars that looked similar to my trees (Omato, Koreanum, Akegarasu, Aureum, Nomura, and Hogyoku), but the descriptions in the books did not seem to match my trees. So, I don't know how to move ahead with identifying these trees. From what I can tell, the color of the leaves is relatively important. Mine have a lighter green leaf in summer compared to other trees around it. It turns bright orange-red to brilliant red leaves in the fall.

    How do you tell which is the correct cultivar?
     
  21. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    With great difficulty! If you add in the possibility that it may be a seed grown tree, therefore not a named cultivar, and it is safe to say you may never know for sure.

    If there are any arboretums or botanical gardens with collections of Japanese maples in your area it might be possible to compare to examples of named amoenum cultivars growing in a similar climate. To be reasonably certain of an ID you would need to compare leaf colour in spring, summer and fall as well as leaf size and shape, bark colour and texture, and the general plant habit.

    I agree the maple looks similar to 'Osakazuki' but I wouldn't be able to positively ID it as such.
     

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