Sangu kaku...red bark appears only in winter?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by user4, May 10, 2006.

  1. user4

    user4 Member

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    Hi everyone,
    My name is Kevin and I live in Los Angeles, California

    I've been looking for a Sangu Kaku for a while and am very happy to finally get one at Home Depot. ( 15 gal.)

    Although I am pleased, I am confused with the Sangu Kaku I've purchased.
    To what I've learn about Sangu kaku, the barks are supposed to be red. But mine are not.

    Is it because of the season? The barks will only turn into red in Winter time?
    I am confused...
    Any input will be appreciated.
    Thank you.



    PS: the twigs are showing in a red color, but the the barks are not.
     
  2. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Kevin,

    You're right.

    Sango kaku twigs are red but the old bark turns to grey.

    And the red of the twigs is more intense in a cold winter.
     
  3. user4

    user4 Member

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    Thank you Andre for the input.

    So I guess it is normal for my Sango Kaku 's barks not to be red in late May.
    I was wondering if Home Deopt gave me a wrong plant.... :(
    But now, I feel much better :)


    This is my first Sango Kaku. I am excited to see it's fall and winter color for the first time. May most of my questions be answered as the seasons come.
     
  4. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here's mine one month ago. It was still a good red but we have a much more colder winter here in Paris than in L.A.

    The few Acer palmatum I have seen in L.A streets were not very healthy. There's one on 3rd avenue near "The grove" and its leaves were very dry. I think the LA climate is not very good for this species but I hope your Sango Kaku will do fine if you put it in a shady place.
     

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  5. user4

    user4 Member

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    wow, that s pretty tree. :)
    beautiful color in leaves and barks.

    the one i bought is bigger, but the leaves are not showing the pink to light green/yellow color variation like yours do. Not to mention about the bark, mine has no color....? ( haha, have i exaggerate it ?)

    puzzled..........Well, I am guessing its because of the season again.
    I will find my answer later in the year.


    I will bring up photos of mine Sangu kaku next time...

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers
    Kevin
     
  6. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    My own Senkaki (Sango Kaku) has pink bark throughout the year
    My tree is at least 10 years old
    Maybe, as Andre says, it is your climate? It really would be helpful to see a pic of your tree
     

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  7. user4

    user4 Member

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    Hi everyone, here are picutures of my Sango Kaku.

    It does not shows red bark, but does have many red twigs.

    Although it does not look like other Sango Kaku I've seen on the web, I am convinced it is Sango Kaku because the lable says so.

    Question:
    If you look at picture Coral5, you see there are two red leaves. and whenI touch it, it feels like a seed is sitting in there.

    Anyone know what those are?
    If those are seeds, can I plant them?

    BTW, how can I tell the age of this tree from looking at its size?

    Thanks a lot.
    Kevin
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2006
  8. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    There is often label mistake so that's not a proof.

    These are seeds but not mature. You have to wait til fall and then collect it to sow in spring 2007.

    Difficult to answer without a picture of the trunk and those tree are usually grafted. So the seedling part is usually about 5 years old and the scion could be of any age. But the fact that your tree has seeds proves that the scion has been collected on a (at least) 15 years old tree.
     
  9. user4

    user4 Member

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    whis4ey, your tree looks amazing. :)

    which part of the tree is the scion and which part of the tree is seedling?

    I am a complete newbie on trees..

    Do you mean this tree is at least 15 yrs old?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2006
  10. Andre

    Andre Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  11. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  12. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Sam, the old Senkaki (Coral Bark Maple) or what we called
    the true Japanese form is not the same plant as Sango kaku
    (Coral Tower). There are a variety of differences in these
    two Maples. The bark color of your Maple is more consistent
    with Sango kaku rather than Senkaki with its more coral in color,
    almost a salmon pink in color. The lower trunk colors are the
    same on both Maples but as Andre pointed out the branch color
    in Sango kaku can indeed turn to a grayish color here later in
    the year whereas Senkaki will have red colored twigs and will
    have coral branch color year round. There is even a finer line
    that separates Waka momiji Red Stem and Sango kaku as
    opposed to Sango kaku and Senkaki. Mr. Vertrees to my
    knowledge never owned a Senkaki to know this Maple well
    at all. The one glaring post in the Vertrees books was that
    the Japanese did not see strong Fall colors on their Sango
    kaku when we could see glowing gold tones even in Fresno.
    The reason is that the Maples were not the same plant.
    Senkaki produces light yellow tones with some red flecks
    but is not a strong Fall color producer. There has been
    one so-called new Maple from Japan shown in this web
    site that is nothing more than a "washed out" seedling
    version of the old Senkaki Maple. People have not grown
    enough seedlings from Senkaki to have seen the wash out
    in bark color occur naturally.

    The leaves are not the same color at all as Senkaki will have
    a noticeable light green leaves whereas Sango kaku will have
    darker green leaves with the newer growth being a yellow
    green here in a warm climate. The second flush of new Spring
    growth will be the yellow green. We can have early Summer
    growth that will be green again and then see the late Summer
    growth here be the yellow green again. The Senkaki life span
    is much more measured in time than a Sango kaku generally is.
    The Senkaki I am familiar with has a life expectancy of around
    20-30 years whereas Sango kaku can live considerably longer.
    As the Senkaki Maple ages we are in for a delight as the Maple
    will become a variegate for us. In about the last 3-5 years of its
    existence, mine was the last seven years, we will see pink in the
    new growth almost year round and we will also see reticulation
    in the leaves very much like the light form of Shigitatasu sawa
    but with a pink overtone. The variegated leaves become much
    smaller in size on this Maple than the other leaves have been and
    these variegated leaves are very tender to hot winds as it does
    not take much to scorch them. Even when the leaves do become
    desiccated they will turn pink allover before they shrivel up on us.
    If enough leaves on a twig or a branch do become scorched there
    will not be any new growth to emerge from that twig or branch.
    It is the Maples way of saying sayonara to us and the entire twig
    or branch will soon die on us. The last few years we will see a
    lot of this slow decline with not a lot of new growth put on by
    the plant but we will still see some sparse new top growth but
    what a show of color we will see as the Maple is doing this
    transition.

    Not very many people have seen it happen but once you've
    seen it you'll not ever forget it. Senkaki is much more susceptible
    to Tight Bark than Sango kaku is. We can say that the Tight
    Bark helps the Maple achieve the variegation better and it does
    but we are dealing with the end of the Maple no matter what
    we try to do for it. Severely prune it and not much happens.
    Bonsai prune the roots and top and the plant just sits there.
    Fertilize it and again no real added new growth or change in
    the leaf color comes from it.

    Yes, Kevin, your Maple is a seedling from Sango kaku. What
    will confuse people is that the old Sango kaku that came into
    the US from Japan is not the same plant more prevalently seen
    in Europe. The seedling that came out of Oregon confuses the
    issue even more.

    Jim
     
  13. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    If that is true then we most definitely have different plants in Europe with the same name as you do in the States
    My first Senkaki died suddenly for no apparent reason a few years ago
    I now have two plants. Both have a good bright coral bark, and even the main trunk retains that colouration
    I can not see any of that in Kevin's plant. And his leaves are definitely a much darker green than I am used to in these plants
    Maybe the climatic difference has a lot to do with it
     
  14. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Look at the size and color of the leaves of Kevin's plant.
    This is a seedling form of Sango kaku but it is showing
    the effects of fertilizer to be that rangy and especially
    that large leaf size. Nitrogen applications can wash out
    the coral coloring in the branches but then again this
    form will not ever have the coloring of Sam's Maple
    being in the Los Angeles basin as that area does not get
    the evening coolness these Maples require to turn a good
    coral or red in Winter and sustain that coloring. It took
    a while for color to show but I did get the coloring on
    both my Beni kawa and the Japanese Sunrise this year
    and the color held pretty well and sill shows up albeit
    not as rich in color now.

    The Europeans to their credit do not have the number of
    mixed seedling forms that we have here in the US. It was
    not a priority to mix in seedlings with named forms just to
    sell a plant at the retail level in Europe. Some of the wholesale
    nurseries here knowingly introduced seedlings into the trade
    under the old Maple name. It is just that many more people
    do not know that and others have not recognized that some
    of these Maples are a seedling form of as opposed to the
    old nursery standard Maple. I wish it weren't so but it is.

    Jim
     
  15. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That is a practice that is frowned on severely here in Europe
    A plant sold as 'Senkaki' is supposed to be Senkaki. If it is a seedling, then it invariably has differences from the parent, and should be sold clearly as 'Seedling of Senkaki' or whatever plant it is
    Hence the bulk of plants available here are grafted
    When I purchase a new plant of a 'named' variety I invariably look first to see how clean the graft has been. If there isn't one I refuse to pay the price :)
    Unfortunately the high prices available for named cultivars makes this 'sharp practice' very profitable, and, as you say, very few indeed of the public are even aware it is happening
    Are you telling me that Kevin is not going to get a strong colour from the bark of his maple where he lives?
     
  16. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Europe has their own problems with names of their Maples
    as there has been some real disarray in what the Maples were
    named when they first came into Europe and what those same
    Maples are named now, especially with the common name
    spellings of so many of them and they knew better is what
    I find so grating. Do I have to go back and reference the
    spellings in the Maples of the World and Vertrees 2nd
    edition books and "play" them against the Vertrees/
    Gregory book, the Maples for Gardens book and the
    Illustrated Guide to Maples book and the RHS also? So,
    in effect, they are not immune or alone either in screwing
    some of these plants up. All of us have done our part to
    mess things up in some way, yes, even me to some extent.

    Well, yes, I am saying that Kevin will probably not ever see
    the richness of coral bark color in the Winter as your Maple
    is showing.

    Jim
     
  17. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The maples I buy here are invariably imported from Holland (Esvelds)
    I remain impressed by their quality
    Italian imports can be a little more questionable at times, and indeed less hardy in our climate here
    It seems that confusion in names, wherever it originated, is here to stay
    I, like yourself, will try to keep my own principles intact
     
  18. user4

    user4 Member

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    Hi Jim, Andre, and Sam
    thanks everyone for the inputs.

    I actually learn more about this tree after I bought it..
    I am kind of sad to see Jim mention about my Sango Kaku might not get coral winter color.. :(

    I guess I should've done better research before I buy a Sango Kaku.
    Nevertheless, I still think the leaves are pretty and I still like it.

    Another question I have is:
    are Seedling of Sango Kaku and a Sango Kaku itself different?

    if I am buying a new Sango Kaku, is a grafted Sango Kaku better? Or should I buy a seedling of Sango Kaku?

    Thanks again.
    Kevin
     
  19. user4

    user4 Member

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    Hi guys, I think I kind of find the answer I was looking for.

    I read on another thread that Sam says, "Japanese maples seldom come true from seed".

    I would assume grafted is better than seedling.

    Cheers.
    Kevin
     
  20. oscar

    oscar Active Member

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    The Hillier manual only mentions Sango-kaku as Senkaki, so if as mr shep says there is a seperate form know also as Sango-Kaku, should this form not be renamed? who is responsible for the correct naming of plants......if its the RHS here in the UK should they not be directed to this thread?
    I'm pretty sure i have both forms on the nursery (i wondered why the first batch of Senkaki did not have a good coral red bark) I will clearly label the difference in the two forms.

    buy a grafted Senkaki, now you know what to look for.
     
  21. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes, Senkaki and Sango kaku are two different Maples.
    The hard part is we are dealing with one of them that is
    not well known as it was not outlet to a lot of people
    on purpose so many people around the world may
    not have ever seen the Maple or the true form of it.
    That is not their fault, that is ours for not introducing
    a marginal growing plant into the nursery trade. When
    Sango kaku came along we saw a far better growing,
    more universal plant and later after it had been grown
    in a variety of locations, here in the US, in Europe and
    elsewhere it got a following as a solid performing
    landscape tree in a wide variety of growing climates.

    I am not taking issue with people looking for and
    buying only grafted plants as we are being foolish
    not to until we have been taught and know what a
    Maple is supposed to look like in comparison that
    is on its own roots or came about from air layering,
    a cutting or from layering. My best advice for people
    is to have an idea what the Maple is supposed to look
    like before we buy it as then we are less likely to be
    fooled by it later. We have to select grafted Maples
    as our guarantee that we are getting a named form but
    in the last 20 years or so several seedlings have also
    been introduced into the nursery trade just to deceive
    people. I agree wholeheartedly with Sam and have felt
    strong about this for years that if we are to introduce a
    seedling Maple and sell it as a Bloodgood, we have to
    ensure that we let others know it is a seedling and was
    not a propagated plant from Bloodgood. No one is
    saying that this is happening in Europe like it has
    happened here. Europe has a history of not trying
    to deceive people on purpose but we do have some
    people here that have been rather unscrupulous just
    to make a fast buck today and be out of the business
    a short time later.

    I'll defend Esveld with my life if need be but that does
    not mean that I cannot openly challenge some of their
    common name spellings or the identification of some
    of their Maples shown in their web site.

    It would be perfectly fine or acceptable to do that if
    everyone was on the same page, that we all knew
    that a Jiroh shidare in Europe is the same Maple
    as Jiro shidare is here in the US. What matters is
    that someday we will have both Maples in a nursery
    for sale and the owner of the nursery will not be able
    to tell the Maples apart, even when they are supposed
    to be the same plant. What happens next is that people
    will see the two names and not be able to know that the
    Maples are the same plant and will go ahead and buy
    them, propagate them, sell them and the cycle goes full
    circle when it should never have happened. The bottom
    line is who will stop the deception or will this charade get
    out of hand like some other Maples have and then it will
    be too late to do much of anything about it as both
    Maples have now entered the nursery trade the world
    over and people will just throw their hands up in the air
    and say well, it is too late to do anything about it. That
    sort of thing has happened while people and a Society
    or two have sat on their hands, watched it happen and
    like good old boys representing the rest of us did or
    said nothing about it.

    If we knew the history of the Jiro shidare Maple
    we would know that the plant was one of the
    exceptions to have been selected out in Japan,
    sent to the US for evaluation purposes, sent
    back to Japan as grafted plants and then named
    in Japan by a consortium of people that felt
    that the Maple should be named after Jiro
    Kobayashi for all of his dedication and work
    in the nursery trade as well as being instrumental
    in helping Japanese Maples become mainstream
    in various countries and for this we owe him a lot,
    more than you will ever know!

    The Maple was named in honor of Jiro Kobayashi
    and even today many people in Japan do not know
    that and honestly I wonder if they even care. So,
    we have a butchered named of Jiroh shidare floating
    around in Europe in complete disrespect to a man
    that had tremendous, direct impact on a number of
    Maples coming into the US and Europe and this is
    how we regard the Maple that was named after him.
    You bet, it becomes personal to all of us that knew
    and revered the man! I would feel almost the same
    way about Dick van Gelderen if a Maple of his was
    treated in the same manner and unfortunately I am
    sorry to say that it has happened with Garnet as we
    see Garnet misnamed and mislabeled more often
    than I care to mention. It is all disgusting to me to
    see this sort of stuff happen and because it has
    happened that is precisely how certain, select people
    have not only failed Mr. van Gelderen and all of his
    years of serious dedication to Maples to help us along
    and help better educate us but they have failed all of
    us and I'd like to know the reasons why?

    Enough, time to move on to the next issue.

    Jim
     
  22. neko musume

    neko musume Active Member 10 Years

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    hello kevin,

    i know how it feels to find out you didn't get the maple you thought you were buying. the more i read on this forum about how confusing the lineage is on some of these trees, the more i'm resigned to just getting the best specimen that i can find, and not caring ( too much ^_^ ) whether or not it is an actual named cultivar.

    i can afford to have this attitude because i'm acquiring different trees strictly for their beauty and not for business. but oh what a mess.

    i'm actually guilty of having recently gotten another sango kaku myself, despite knowing better.

    i didn't find out until much later, thanks to a thread in this forum,
    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=4659&highlight=sango+kaku
    that it was highly unlikely that i'd ever see that red of a bark color again, because our temperatures don't get cold enough in the winter time.

    the first one i got because the bark was a pretty, deep red color and the leaves were a great contrast with their light green color.

    the second one i got because the bark was such a lovely vibrant shade of red that i just couldn't resist. and actually, the leaves have turned out to be a lot different from my first one.

    but in any case, seeing what mr. shep has just written so extensively about the history of this tree, i think it's safe to assume that i myself have two seedlings. oh well ! ^_^

    i'm glad to see you still think it's a pretty tree and i hope you hold on to it, because it seems like a really healthy one. please read up on how not to over fertilize it to prevent it from continuing to put out unnaturally long shoots.

    do you plan on putting it into your landscape.

    don't get discouraged ! ^_^

    n. musume
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2006
  23. user4

    user4 Member

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    Hi neko musume,

    I am going to keep that Sango Kaku I have and take good care of it. :)

    I'd actually took down two 10 foot trees in my backyard to put Japanese Maple into my landscape. hehe, it was a lot of work, but I think I can make it pretty again.

    After these disscussion, seems like my Sango Kaku is not a true form of Sango Kaku. That's ok because it looks great still. I am exciting to see its Fall color.

    neko musume, I see you also live in Los Angeles area, where did you get your Sango Kaku that shows coral bark??
    I would like to visit that place.

    Thanks
    Kevin
     
  24. neko musume

    neko musume Active Member 10 Years

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    west los angeles nurseries

    hi kevin,

    there is a collection of small nurseries in west los angeles that is on sawtelle ave. which is just north of the 10 freeway, west of the 405, between santa monica blvd. and olympic blvd.

    they are all within three blocks of each other so it makes it really convenient to just go and park once, and just walk to all of them.

    most of the maples they carry have tags showing that they originate either from sommer or monrovia nurseries. my two sango kaku had sommer tags.

    you should try to check them out sometime soon because it's just now beginning to heat up into the upper 70's and 80's and the maples won't look their best for too much longer.

    thanks for your reply and good luck with your tree ! ^_^

    p.s. actually, the huntington library over in pasadena is going to be having their annual plant sale this coming weekend. it gets a little crazy but the last time i went, they had a few red and green maples in one gallon containers. members get to go on sat. the 20th, but non-members like myself have to wait until sunday, the 21st. it's actually worth it to go, because they offer a variety of plants you won't find in any nursery and which are geared toward performing well in our climate here in southern california.

    sincerely,

    n. musume
     
  25. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi,

    Can you see graft marks? I ask because I actually have 4 different (all pretty small) Sango Kakus, and they are all slightly different, although all grafted.

    I think that there is some variation depending on the parent plant and provenance. I have noticed in particular that cultivars originating in the large Spanish nurseries tend to show a little less typicity. I have a few of these -- they're cheap! -- and certainly in the case of Sango Kaku the bark color is paler.

    This said all 4 examples I have keep very nice color on branches.

    -E
     

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