Premature offering of tentatively named palmatum varieties

Discussion in 'Maples' started by mjh1676, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    Did you ever bother to ask Esveld where
    they got their Maple from, who named it
    an Aureum and when it was named
    Aureum? I believe Aureum was named
    by Nicholson in Great Britain in 1881. I
    did not mention England in my last post,
    did I?

    There were Japanese Maples in the US
    before the Gold Rush! The oldest dissectum
    on record outside of Japan was found near
    Marin in the 70's. The counting of the annual
    growth rings after its passing amounts to a
    Maple older than Esveld's Aureum, if their
    date is correct. I agree though, we cannot
    compare a deceased Maple with a live one.

    You made your point in that there may have
    been some cultivated Maples propagated at
    Esveld before I gave them credit for.

  2. Esveld

    Esveld Member

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    Boskoop, Holland
    Having read the thread on premature introduction of Maples, I would like to add one or two thoughts myself. We have been growing Japanese Maples in our family bussiness for almost 150 years now, as I am the fifth generation in our family doing so. The last 25 years the number of Acer palmatum cultivars virtually exploded, so I agree that many of them would not have been introduced if people would have had a wider perspective than just their own backyard. Our own selection criterium has always been that you can recognize the "new" maple from at least 5 metres. It should have original characteristics which will distinguish it from other established Japanese maples.
    One exception was made for our latest introduction Acer palmatum 'Firecracker' that looks not very different from other red leaved Dissectums, but will grow almost twice as fast....

    Cor van Gelderen
  3. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    A most welcome to this forum.

    From an old purist view, many of today's
    new introductions have not come from
    seedling selection but have arisen from
    limb sports that have been grafted. The
    problem here is that so few of these new
    grafted sports have had enough time to
    know if they will hold up over time without
    significant changes seen from what was
    then a few years ago until now. Also, we
    have been suspect in our ability to choose
    specific rootstocks for grafting. In my view
    and also shared by some of my mentors in
    Maples, more importantly, specific species
    rootstocks chosen of which when confronted
    or asked about the propagator cannot tell
    with certainty which species rootstock they
    used to graft their promising limb sport onto.
    It is bad enough much of the time that so
    many people cannot distinguish between
    Acer palmatum, Acer amoenum and Acer
    . For many years knowing which
    cultivars are which species forms did not
    matter much to me until we started to graft
    these plants. It does make a difference in
    grafting Acer palmatum onto Acer amoenum
    rootstock and then taking those grafted plants
    and graft onto Acer matsumurae for the next
    generation plants. The reverse situation can
    also be true by originally grafting Acer palmatum
    onto Acer matsumurae and then taking those
    grafted plants and grafting onto Acer amoenum.
    In some circles gathering seed from those second
    generation mixed blood plants have resulted in
    unusual seedlings showing some characteristics
    of both species form plants but with a few
    seedlings that are not quite like either parent
    as well. With this in mind do we have a bona
    fide Mendelian genetics hybrid seedling or do
    we have a suspected "asexual", manufactured
    seedling we want others to think and believe
    is a genetic hybrid? In today's world which
    the new prospective plant is does not really
    matter. From a genetics view stating this
    new plant is a genetic hybrid may be far
    from conclusive but from a practical view
    with knowledge of the genetic components
    used to develop this plant, we can assume
    that genetically this plant is not the same
    as the original Acer palmatum plant was;
    prior to it being grafted and after two
    interspecies graftings later the resultant
    seedlings can no longer be perceived
    as being true blood Acer palmatum any
    longer. We have had plenty of instances
    in Citrus by using Oranges grafted onto
    Lemons and then take that Orange and
    bud or graft onto a Mandarin that have
    had some interesting results from those
    Orange x Lemon = Orange - Orange x
    Mandarin seedlings. What can be
    automatically assumed is that the
    second generation seedling probably
    is not genetically the same as the original
    Orange was.

    The beauty of Esveld is that you can
    compare seedlings with enough existing
    mature plants in the ground to know
    if the new promising seedling is different
    enough over time to consider giving it
    a name. What I and others may have
    some reservations about are when two
    unlike cultivars such as Tiger Rose are
    in the trade and are being sold with the
    same name. One is a clear cut reticulated
    Maple and the original plant from Oregon
    clearly was not and in no way are these
    two plants seemingly related to each other.
    It might be different if one plant was a
    variant form of the other but in this
    case one plant originated from Azuma
    murasaki and the other originated
    from Beni shigitatsu sawa.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  4. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    The introduction of a new cultivar is a problem in all popular plants (roses, daylilies, hostas, for example). It seems as though Japanese maples and related maples are falling into the "hot" plant list. It causes problems just as it does in popular dog breeds. Any time there is a huge demand for something, the quality goes down. When I first joined this forum, I was surprised that no one seemed to know anything about the registration process for new Japanese maples. After reading all the comments I am thinking there really isn't a procedure or organization who monitors this, am I correct? The only organization I am familiar with is the hosta society, which has a strict registration process. Forms have to be filled out with information about the origin, genetics, etc. Yes, people can still stick a name on a plant and throw it out there (tissue culture makes that really easy with hostas), but it is really frowned upon and this kind of keeps that to a minimum. The rule of thumb for registered hostas is that you should be able to tell what cultivar it is from 10 feet for it to be considered different enough to be introduced and it should have been grown in the ground for 5 years before introducing it.

    However, that has taken many local societies, state societies and the national donating money to support a group to monitor this and the maple society isn't quite like that.

    I see this as becoming a really big problem very quickly with maples. There were named Japanese maples at our local grocery store for $17. this year for the first time. What are the odds that those are truly the cultivars that appeared on the tags?

    There is such a learning curve with maples. First growing conditions, then you get into the grafts. I planted my first Japanese maple over 15 years ago and it was just recently reading the postings on this site about the life of a tree and how important the graft is. I never paid much attention to the grafts. Once I started looking at mine I was shocked at the difference between the quality of the grafts. Then came along the "supposed" hybrids between palmatums and shirasawanums, etc. I am still skeptical because how do you really know? I mean, in maples do people really cross the two, making sure that they are not pollinated by a bee or something else, or do they just go by appearance of buds and other external differences? Now, Jim is bringing up something else with grafting that I never even thought of. How many people grow seedlings to use as grafts not even considering whether or not they use palmatum to palmatum or whatever? I'll bet a lot. Wow, a lot to digest.

    I don't really see any answer, except being educated and responsible if you're a grower. As a purchaser, pick your sources carefully. Like I said above, this is not an isolated problem with only Japanese maples.
  5. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Kent England
    .....and it continues.Just noticed a couple of nurseries offering their own new maples with bright yellow winter me a sceptic but...
  6. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Well-Known Member

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    Oxford UK
    Hi Esveld

    I hope you are well.

    I’m trying to find some information on the Acer Palmatum Firecracker as I have an opportunity to buy one tomorrow. I’m looking for a new tree for my small collection and although there are a few pictures out there I can’t find as much info on it as I can with many others. It will only be between 3 and 5 years old which I’m happy with but I just wondered what people’s experiences are with it.

    Is this something you can shed some light on?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.


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