New photo tour of our Japanese Maple Garden

Discussion in 'Maples' started by JT1, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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  2. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I'm always so impressed with your yard. I can't imagine the amount of hours you put in to get it to look that good. VERY nice!
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  3. fortyonenorth

    fortyonenorth Member

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    Really beautiful, JT.

    Here's a question from a guy who's coddling a lot of very small plants at the moment. I see that your plants are very nicely spaced for their current size. How do you intend to manage the garden as these plants mature. It seems that things will get tight. Are JMs generally easy to transplant?
     
  4. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

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    JT1, I meant to tell you yesterday that I was late for work as I lost track of time as I went through the entire 'slideshow' of your garden. It is incredible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  5. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thank you all for the positive feedback!

    "I see that your plants are very nicely spaced for their current size. How do you intend to manage the garden as these plants mature. It seems that things will get tight. Are JMs generally easy to transplant?"



    That is a very good question. Time will only tell if my theory’s and practices will work. So far, so good. Without writing a book, I will try to explain my approach.

    I try to buy very dwarf companion plants that are very slow growing and easy to maintain. I buy plants that are old enough that they make an instant impact in the landscape. I have much better success getting these older plants established with nearly 98% success rate. The slow growth rate and maintenance pruning helps keep them the desired size.

    I tried to go with Japanese maples that would be large enough to have an impact in the landscape. Some, I intend to let them grow (mostly the upright varieties). They were placed in locations that would allow them to grow adding height and privacy. They are all spaced accordingly, so that they can grow out without conflicting with each other.

    The majority of the other Japanese maples, I intend to keep them the desired size through a few techniques.

    One is to allow a couple leaf pairs to develop in the spring and then pinch out the leaf embryo as it develops between the second leaf pair. This stops growth, without promoting new growth like pruning.

    Another technique is to plan a couple seasons ahead and remove one out of two leaf pairs (on every pair) on a branch that is destin to outgrow the space. By doing this a couple seasons before the branch is a problem, allows more lite into the branch. The idea is to promote back budding and new branching closer to the trunk. As those branches develop, the original branch can be cut back without creating a big void in the tree. The new branches will have developed enough to keep balance in the tree.

    I always remove long leggy growth. I also look at new developing branches to see if the future growth and direction is sustainable. If it's not, then I remove it while it’s still very young. This allows energy to go to the sustainable branches. It also limits pruning scars that are more apparent when people allow a branch to grow out for several season, then remove it.

    I usually take it one tree at a time and take it slow, trying my best to think before I cut. The maintenance is done in late spring. Sometimes a second round is needed in late July, early August. I find it almost therapeutic and very rewarding, so it never feels like work. I never try to do it all in one day, rather I do it as I feel like it over the course of a couple weeks.

    I also use very low or no nitrogen and rely more on using organic matter in the soil and pine bark mulch that will break down and slowly feed the trees. I also use 0-10-10 late in the season. I feel this keeps the tree healthy, helps harden off new growth for winter hardiness, and promotes healthy bud development.

    I find Japanese maples are easy to transplant. I always try to take as much root mass as possible (especially during the summer months). Most growers here will not move or dig Japanese maples unless it’s spring, before the buds break. I have moved them throughout the growing season without a problem, but some areas of the world are not as fortunate. I take extra time to make sure the fill soil is worked into and around the root ball, eliminating any air pockets (I use my hands, because I like to have a feel for it, rather than using a shovel, this is one of the most important parts in my opinion, so do it right, don't rush or the tree will suffer). Another tip, I always make sure the new site is ready to receive the tree and all planting material is mixed and ready to go, to limit the time the tree is spent above ground. The last thing you want is the tree sitting above ground while you figure out where to put it and then run around getting tools, soil, ect. Be sure to water immediately after planting, completely saturating the sight and adding additional soil where things settle. This also helps eliminate air pockets around the root ball. Continue with a regular watering schedule. Never do it on the hottest day or the hottest time of the day. I have moved several Japanese maples without a problem, but it may not be as forgiving in other parts of the country or world.
     
  6. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

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    Maybe it is part of your profile but I dont seem to see your location nor hardiness zone.

    Do you have a simple list detailing the types of JM in your possession? If so I would love to see it!
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I live in NE Ohio in zone 6. I need to make a list at some point.
     
  8. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Sounds like a lot of work but like you said, if you enjoy doing it, it's not work. I consider working out in the yard more of a hobby than work. I find your technique to be very "instant gradification" oriented. I think it's great and wish I could do the same.
    The only thing I can see that might become a problem with your technique in the future, is if you ever get to the point where you don't want to spend as much physically active time, or can't be as physically active. Then of course you would have all these beautiful trees growing into each other. Of course at that point, you could always remove some and then just let the rest grow.
    I think if I had the time and money, I would probably do it the same way as you are, it looks awesome and you get to enjoy it right away! My yard is going to take many years to fill in but lucky for me I'm pretty young :-)
     
  9. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I am only 35, so God willing I should be able to keep up for a while. But I am recovering from a serious back injury, so that was a hard look at reality. My wife loves gardening as much as I do, so she kept things up.

    If I ever move, I think I will take the trees with me. Otherwise, if I'm still here and they are getting to big, then I will donate them to the Cleveland botanical garden, city park, or to a local Arboretum.
     
  10. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Wow, I would not of guessed. I'm 32 but have the feeling we both are on the younger side for your average gardener.
    I've also thought about how much work I would have to do if I ever decided to move. I plan to stay where I'm at for the rest of my life but of course that can always change down the road. I would also take as many as I could that had not grown too large. And I also have a bad back, herniated disc, so I understand what a pain that can be. We actually have quite a bit in common Haha. One thing we don't have in common is a wife that supports this addiction. Your very lucky your wife is also into gardening. Mine likes what I've done but she doesn't really pay close attention or get involved. But the worst thing is she's already trying to stop me from buying any more trees because she thinks I've planted too many already and she only knows about less than half of them lol. She doesn't really understand how much planning and how many plants it takes to really get a nice finished looking garden or of course that it's never really finished. I just want mine to look somewhat complete but I'm finding that to be very difficult with the amount of property I have and the limited funds. For now I'll just enjoy looking at the pictures of yours and keep dreaming about what mine might look like some day. Thanks for keeping my hopes up ;-)
     
  11. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

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    I would love to be able to visit your garden JT1 in person but I am much to far away for that to be feasible so your slide show is a nice alternative.
     
  12. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    THere is nothing better than looking at beautiful spring pictures in mid-December. Thank you. The pictures are gorgeous. Work on that list:) some I recognize, some I don't, but would love to know what they are.

    I think your method is very Japanese, since they have that space problem and have to keep trees pruned. It works for them, it is working for you. Wonderful.
    Kay
     
  13. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thank you!

    I came up with a list. I am sure come spring, I will realize that I forgot some. Everything listed below is larger and grown in the landscape, unless otherwise noted:

    Acer griseum (Chinese Paperbark Maple)

    Acer japonicum
    'Aconitifolium'
    'Aconitifolium' (6yr grown as bonsai)
    'Green Cascade' (container grown 6yr)

    Acer palmatum
    'Akita yatsubusa' (small 4yr bonsai in training)
    'Amber Ghost'
    'Atrolineare'
    'Baldsmith'
    ‘Bihou’
    ‘Bloodgood’ (grown as bonsai, was 5’ reduced down to 1.5’ bonsai)
    'Bonfire' (loved it, until it died suddenly. Only tree I ever lost)
    ‘Butterfly’ (grown as bonsai, was 5’ reduced down to 1.5’ bonsai)
    ‘Coral Pink’ (4’ container grown)
    ‘Emerald Lace’ (4yr container grown)
    ‘Emperor One’
    ‘Fairy Hair’ (grown as bonsai)
    ‘Filigree’
    ‘Garnet’
    ‘Geisha Gone Wild’ (Grown as bonsai)
    ‘Goshiki kotohime’
    'Goshiki shidare'
    ‘Hana matoi’
    ‘Higasayama’
    ‘Hiryu’ (4yr container grown)
    ‘Kamagata’
    ‘Kagiri nishiki’
    ‘Katsura’ (4yr Bonsai in training, root over rock)
    ‘Kawahara Rose’ (grown in cedar box, still deciding what to do with it)
    ‘Koto no ito’
    ‘Little Sango’ (4yr container grown, maybe bonsai next season)
    ‘Manyo no sato’ (4yr container grown, maybe bonsai next season)
    ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’
    ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’ (1-bonsai true and 2 bonsai landscapes made of several 4yr ‘Seedling from Mikawa yatsubusa’)
    ‘Mikazuki’ (4yr bonsai)
    ‘O jishi’
    ‘Okushimo’ (5’ tree reduced to bonsai)
    ‘Orange Dream’
    ‘Orangeola’
    'Pendulum Julian' 35yr old stock plant from an old local nursery.
    ‘Red Filigree Lace’
    ‘Ryusen’ (5’ container grown)
    ‘Sango kaku’
    Sango kaku (5’ reduced to bonsai)
    ‘Seedling of Acer palmatum’ (7yr bonsai)
    ‘Seiryu’
    ‘Sekimori’
    ‘Shaina’
    ‘Sharp's Pygmy’ (8-10yr, grown as bonsai, 2 others soon to be bonsai in Spring)
    ‘Shin hikasa’ (4-5yr grown as bonsai)
    Shirazz or ‘Gwen’s Rose Delight’
    ‘Shishigashira’ 30-35yrs old, personal friends with the man who grafted it, always container grown, so it’s 6’ tall, very cool tree.
    Shishigashira (6yr old tree, grown as bonsai and 8yr old grown as bonsai)
    ‘Shu shidare’
    ‘Sister Ghost’ (4yr grown as bonsai)
    ‘Skeeter's Broom’
    ‘Tamukeyama’
    ‘Tiger Rose’
    ‘Trompenburg’
    ‘Villa Taranto’ (5yr grown as bonsai)
    Villa Taranto ( 2 - 6’ container grown, sold as ‘Red Pygmy’)
    ‘Viridis’
    'Willow Leaf'

    Acer shirasawanum
    'Aureum'
    'Aureum' (4yr bonsai)
    ‘Autumn Moon’
    ‘Sensu’ (4yr container grown)
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  14. Jalf

    Jalf Active Member Maple Society

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    Dear JT,

    Your photo album was just what I needed on this cold, raw December moring in Massachusetts! Your garden is beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it!

    Jalf
     
  15. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thank you Jalf. I am glad you enjoyed the photos and that my photos were a good escape from this December weather.

    If anyone has time to kill over the winter or suffer from the winter blah (like I do), here is a link to my other garden galleries (spring, summer, fall, and bonsai)

    I hope you enjoy:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/sets/
     
  16. copperbeech

    copperbeech Active Member

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    I am!

    I have a few Qs re IDs

    - the small JM against the wall in photo P5081637a
    - the main subject of P5081640a
    - the left bonsai in P5081643a
    - the red one at the back P1090745c

    Thank you.
     
  17. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I am glad to hear that you are enjoying the photos. Answers to your questions (-):
    -the small JM against the wall in photo P5081637a (Acer palmatum 'Orangeola')
    -the main subject of P5081640a (Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa')
    -the left bonsai in P5081643a (Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum')
    -the red one at the back P1090745c (Acer palmatum 'Gwen's Rose Delight' aka Acer palmatum 'Shirazz')

    All are trees that I am very happy with and do well in my area. Shirazz is one that gets hit with all the winter wind / weather and it never has any die back over winter. Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
  18. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Looks like a rewarding planting of maples.

    Checked out your album, and my favorite pic is this one:

    Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon'

    ...
     
  19. amazingmaples

    amazingmaples Well-Known Member

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    This is a nice display of plans and trees. Great photos.

    charlie
     
  20. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thanks M. D. Vaden. I had a few of my pictures printed on canvas and they are hanging up in our house as art. I am surprised how many people that are not into plants comment on them in amazement. I agree with you that the picture of the 'Autumn Moon' is probably my favorite too. It will be the next one I have done on canvas.

    Thank you Charlie! I really wish I could have made it to the fall meeting to see your collection in person. I was happy to see that Talon mentioned touring your collection in his flora wonder blog! I was surprised, but after thinking about it (not really surprised), when he said that you are one of his biggest customers in WA. Congratulations!
     
  21. Schattenfreude

    Schattenfreude Active Member

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    JT,

    I wish you were MY neighbor..... <sigh> Beautiful yard you have there. Keep up the good work!

    Kevin in KC
     
  22. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hello John,

    Your JM garden is very beautiful and impressive. I view it over and over so many times and wanted to build one similar like yours. I have been collected JM (part. Acer Palmatum) in the last few yrs and get about 40-50 diff cultivars but some in the pots and some in the ground scattered around my back yard. I browsed other sites but they are more into Japanese gardens than just Japanese maples like yours.
    I now would like to arrange them and build a JM garden similar to yours. I have read some of yours answers to others but would you mind to advise me with a few of my questions?. I plan to begin this falls. Much appreciated!

    1. The trees that you plant in the pot, how often you have to repot them to avoid rootbound?.
    2. What do I need to start planning? i.e. design the shape of the landscape, type of border, type of trees that go with each other...
    3. Are you put in the underground watering system or just running the dripping?.
    4. How do you keep up with the weeds?. I saw you recommend using pine bark.
    5. What is the pro and con of keeping them in the pots vs. inground?.

    Thank you so much in advance for any input that you may have,
    Steve
     
  23. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Hello Steve,

    Thank you for the positive feedback. I am glad you enjoyed the photos. I will respond back to your questions and provide some additional information that you may find helpful. But it will probably be mid-july as the next couple of weeks will be busy and there is not a short answer to your questions. Until then, feel free to check out the video tour that I posted in this thread:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=77664

    You may find that the video gives a different perspective that maybe helpful in planning your garden.
     
  24. Atapi

    Atapi Active Member

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    Hi John,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. I do understand your tight schedule and please whenever you have some spare times then you can advise me on planning this JM garden. It is no rush, i can wait.

    Thanks again, Steve
     
  25. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    JT,

    I would really appreciate a slide-show on how you prune your trees. As someone with many rapidly maturing maples planted in close quarters, I am interested in keeping them somewhat reduced in scale without looking like someone took a machete to them. I do cut scions off my trees, but this could hardly be considered shaping.

    Many thanks! Your garden is awe-inspiring!
     

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