Maples that are proven performers

Discussion in 'Maples' started by DougieMapleSeed, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    I've collected around 40 varieties of Japanese Maples so far, and I've noticed that some varieties are vigorous and healthy while others just stagnate and fail to perform or live up to the hype. Unfortunately it seems the world is bloated with many cultivars that probably should have never been given a name in the first place, or are mere collector's curiosities. I'm tired of spending money on trees only to be disappointed. I want to see mature specimens in my lifetime. Before I go throwing more money away, I'd like to hear suggestions of proven performers; especially in terms of vigor. I know the lists have been done of everyone's favorites, and I've read those, but I'd really like to hear about trees with growth rates that rival the species.


    Some of my cultivars with exceptional vigor:


    'Bloodgood'

    'Arakawa'

    'Seiryu'

    'Ryu sei'

    'Trompenburg'

    'Glowing Embers' (Dirr version)

    'Lionheart'

    'Sango kaku'

    'Palmatifolium'


    Some of the usual suspects I realize, but they are popular for a reason. Also I'd be open to suggestions for other species of Acers as well.
     
  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The Acer japonicum cultivars do the best for me, so far, in regards to standing up to wet snow and/or ice loads and needing less pruning. Good fall colour, strong and well branched.
    Acer griseum seems quite good, too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  3. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    Thanks. I do have Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium', but I haven't had enough time to assess its vigor. Exceptional fall colors for that cultivar.
     
  4. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    You might like A. japonicum 'Vitifolium' then, too.
    Seems the rootstalk will have some bearing on the trees vigor.
     
  5. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    Thanks, I don't know that one. I'll give it a look.

    I do wonder on some of my stagnate trees if a poor rootstock is to blame, or is it just the cultivar's nature.

    The bark of Acer griseum is beautiful, and I do have a young seedling of it; what size should I expect of a ten year old tree?
     
  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Depends on your conditions, I guess. It hasn't been a fast growing tree here and the seedlings are likely quite variable.
    I think the one here is a little too shaded, it's about 20' in 25 years without fertilizers. It doesn't get to be a large tree is my understanding.
    I've never noticed it being grafted and thought they were all seedlings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  7. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hey guys. I think there's a great deal of variability due to both climate and understock. For example, I have two 'Deshojo' from the same stock plant, grafts are similar, only diff is the stock. One grows like a weed, the other just sits there.

    By the same token, in my climate Trompenburg is quite slow, it's not hot enough at night during the for it to get going (I assume). Japonicums are really much slower than palmatums here.

    A. griseum is a slow grower by all accounts and in my experience too, but is a very worthwhile tree. Some of the new griseum x triflorum or griseum x nikoense hybrids are meant to be considerably faster growing.

    Trying to remember the name of a Georgia developed JM that does super well in your area, anyone else?

    I'd propose asking the question of the Nichols Bros at Mr. Maple, since they do a lot of business in the south.

    -E

    P.S. Couldn't agree more about the proliferation of cultivars...
     
  8. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I couldn't agree more.

    'Bloodgood' : I have an 'atropurpureum' that was one part of a "forest" of 5 grafted trees sold as bonsai with no other tag tha "bonsaï", and it's the only survivor of my Dr Strangelove experiments... ^^.

    I suspect it's very close to 'Bloodgood'. Anyway, it's always been in a pot, and stays most of the time in full sun until 12, then dappled shade for the rest of the day and it has just begun to turn to dark green. I'm pretty sure that if I had enough room to plant it in my garden, it would have been much bigger now.

    acerp_atro01_170719a.jpg

    Here, the main problem is how to avoid sun-scorch, all the more than almost all my trees are potted trees. It can be an advantage: I can aways move those that suffer from too much sun in a shaded place (when I can find one). For instance, my 'Trompenburg' stayed in full sun (8-19) until a week ago when I noticed that the leaves were turning more yellowish than green. I've put it in all-day shade since then:

    acerp-tromp_170719a.jpg

    One of the A. p. that I was surprised to see so resistant to climate and pests and diseases is 'Butterfly'. This one gets sun from 8 to 14, and no leaf scorch:

    acerp_but01_170719a.jpg

    PS: we've had no rain for days, and even weeks. Yesterday, it was over 30°C in the afternoon. Today, my thermometer showed 25°C at 9:30, and now at 7:30, it's 29°C. I heard the sound of thunder in the distance, and still no rain. I fear a possible hail storm tomorrow...
     
  9. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Regarding the understock affecting the vigor, I've noticed that some growers use the small seeded Acer palmatum, while others use the large seeded version. Any opinions on which understock is best, or if there are any advantages to one or the other?
     
  10. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    Also I read that Acer griseum can be successfully grafted onto Acer Rubrum. It seems to me like the dramatic difference in growth rates of these two species would end up creating a monstrosity of a graft union, anyone have any experience with this?
     
  11. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    If you can remember where you read it, I'd love to see the reference. On the face of it, seems unlikely since they are not closely related at all. I definitely see your point about how that might make for a bad graft union. There's an unfortunate practice here to use sycamore (pseudoplatanus) or norway (platanoides) as "universal" understock for species that are difficult to grow from seed (or get seed) and graft on anything else. I've got some very ugly graft unions as a result...

    -E
     
  12. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society

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    Have noted over the years that one of the best groups of JM cultivars for extremely strong growth rates either in containers or the ground are the various members of the 'Matsumarae' family.
    All my reticulates are putting on tremendous amounts of branching over the years to the point where some which were planted out years ago as young grafts are now having to be up lifted and containerised to slow them down !! purple ghost's been one of the fastest growers (culprits) i have seen.

    Omure yama , Oregon sunset , Hessei , Sazanami , Mirte, Nicholsonii , Burgundy lace these are just a few of my other 'Matsumarae' trees which just seem to never stop putting on good growth rates, plus they look damn pretty come the fall!!

    Anyways to get back to some pictures to show a point on growth rates on the 'Matsumaraes' the 1st picture shows a group of four two year old young grafts from the summer of 2015 top left Autumn Glory, top right Amber ghost, bottom left Sister ghost, bottom right Olsens frosted strawberry.

    Pic 2,3 Autumn glory, January 2016,2017 note the brach growth in one year, and finally the tree pic 4 this summer, measures 47 x 28 x 28 inches
    Pic 5 ,6 Amber ghost January 2016 and finally this summer measures 31 x 24 x 24 inches both cultivars kept in containers.
    Pic 7, 8 Sister ghost January 2016 to present day ground planted and measures 24 x 24 x 16 inch
    Pic 9 , 10 Olsens frosted strawberry January 2016 to present day again ground planted and measuring 28 x 24 x 14 inch

    One thing all of these four trees have in common is that they have all been V grafted , now wether this makes any difference i couldn't really say as i have other cultivars with other grafting techniques which are doing perfectly well and growing quite happily, but they always seem to look a stronger graft and fit pefectly into the under stock plus they blend in well over the years and do not seem to leave a ugly graft union ?

    Would agree with Dougie Maple Seed and emery there certainly is an over growth of various new maples entering the market, me i just like the good old fashioned boys that come out the same year after year, no suprises no die backs and no poorly badly grafted trees which won't last the course. My newest cultivars are the reticulates which have only just been entering the UK over the last five years or so but which are common place in the US .

    Reds, Yellows, Golds, Purples, Oranges, Creams thats all i need really keeps me happy :) :)
     

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  13. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I'm in north Alabama, so not too different from you in terms of climate, but I've only been here a little over a year, moving from Kansas where literally every maple CRAWLS. This is due to the extreme heat in the summer (everything goes semi-dormant in summer for 2-3 months) and slightly longer, but much colder and drier winters; as a result, we have a 3-4 months in spring - along with the severe weather - and very early summer, and then a couple of months in fall after things wake up but before the cold rolls in. I had more growth last year from nearly all my trees than I did the previous 3 years in Kansas.

    I've got a species trident maple planted in the backyard that's growing like a weed; roughly 3ft tall at the start of spring, and now over 7 ft tall and keeps on growing.

    In Kansas, I had a Shinju (palmatum) that put on about a foot height and width a year, but it was 6ft tall when I got it and planted it; the smaller one I have here is still in a pot and while it's grown, it hasn't been much. I want to plant it this fall and I'm hoping next year I'll start to see more of the growth rate of the other one I had.

    Murakumo (palmatum) has grown well for me, and I LOVE the spring color on it, but it's a hard one to find. Matthew grows well for me too, and loves the sun, though again it can be hard to track down. Viridis (dissectum) is quite robust, as is Kuro hime (dwarf), Anne Irene (sport from Summer Gold), Olsen's Frosted Strawberry (palmatum), Nuresagi (palmatum, my favorite upright purple/red). I no longer have it - sold for the move - but Momoiro koyasan was decently vigorous in Kansas so it should put on even better growth here.
     
  14. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    I think I read that on the blog of Talon Buchholz of Buchholz Nursery.
     
  15. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    Roebuk... thank you for the recommendations. I do have 'Omure yama', and you're right it has grown fast, despite much air layering abuse at the hands of me. I looked up 'Autumn Glory' in Vertrees 4th edition and it had a lot of negative things to say about it; your tree on the other hand looks to be performing well. I also have 'Purple Ghost' but I haven't had stellar performance from it, and I wonder why it is called "purple" considering that it's red at best and there are other cultivars far more purple than it, maybe it just doesn't like my climate.
     
  16. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    Maplesandpaws... Thank you for your suggestions. We are definitely in similar climates. I can relate to what you said, my trees put on most of their new growth before the heat of summer and then again after the summer heat finally breaks, but during July and August they seem to just rest and endure the heat the best they can. I've noticed some Trident maples around town doing well, so I grew some from last year's seed; can't wait to see them mature.
     
  17. DougieMapleSeed

    DougieMapleSeed Active Member

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    I also have 'Butterfly' but it's been pretty slow growing for me; however, I didn't expect it to be vigorous, and I planted it in deep shade because I figured a variegated cultivar would need the sun protection. Good to hear that it is scorch, pest, and disease resistant. Now I'm wondering how well it would do in a sunnier spot in my garden, but I do have problems with sun scorch in my excessively hot climate.
     

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