Saoshika

Discussion in 'Maples' started by tjcher, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

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    Hi Everybody--- Hope all is well.

    I've done some searching and come up with a few pictures, but little information on Acer Palmatum Saoshika.

    Anyone growing this that would care to share any information (hardiness in your zone, growth rate, problems, wind resistance, sun preferences...)?

    Would be most appreciative!
    Tom
     
  2. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Hi, I've been growing a small Saoshika in a container for about six years now, originally bought as a one year graft. I have only increased its container size slowly over the years so the growth in this case has been slow, but even so it has remained healthy, with no problems or dieback that I can remember.

    As for hardiness, it has probably never encountered temps below about -8 or -10°C, the winters are relatively mild here compared to parts of the US, and is fine with no winter protection. This year I am giving it more sun than it is used to (about 7 hours I guess, early morning till about 1pm) and in midsummer the topmost leaves are assuming a slightly stressed reddish tone, but nothing to be worried about and no leaf burn.

    I really like Saoshika, the leaf shape provides an interesting contrast to most other Japanese maples. Here are a couple of pictures, the first taken on the 22nd of May, the second taken 28th of June and showing the red colour I mentioned and a nice contrast with Kiyohime in the background.
    saoshika1.jpg saoshika2.jpg
     
  3. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    It's my favorite cultivar, mostly because of the leaf shape. Mine has grown outside in the ground for perhaps 10 years. It doesn't seem to have direct hardiness issues--I'm in zone 5 or 6, and it gets down to 0 F every winter, and to perhaps -15 F every few years. But I have lost one significant branch to vascular fungus, some variant of what in this forum we often call verticillium. It's possible that this is an indirect result of cold--I don't know. And this year, to my disappointment, it has quite a few small dead twigs, on almost every branch, yet it still has many apparently healthy leaves. An ominous sign. Two 60-foot tall Norway maples in my neighbors' yards have died of a vascular disease in the last few years, and I suspect that they are shedding vast numbers of spores onto my maple collection.

    It's a gorgeous plant, very much worth having. Mine gets about six hours of direct morning sun each day, but I think it would take more, and it's in a rather sheltered location, so I can't say how it would tolerate wind.

    Best of luck.

    D.
     

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  4. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

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    Wow! Thanks so much for the information. I really appreciate your photos and comments. I'll just have to get one of these!
    Tom
     
  5. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    As for growth rate--I would say it's pretty typical for a non-dwarf palmatum, about a foot a year, at least for the first 10 years, and probably slower later on.

    Yes, get one--fall color varies from year to year on my tree, but it can be breathtaking.

    D.
     
  6. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Location:
    Normandie, France
    I have a small saoshika, in ground in its second summer. So I can't really say it's established yet. Last summer it colored very early (and an absolute brilliant red) in August and lost its leaves, but this year it seems well enough. It didn't put on a lot of growth this year, but that's normal for a maple that's still getting established (for me anyway).

    It gets full sun for most of the day (Normandie sun not being the same as LA) and is exposed to a fair amount of wind. There is no sign of leaf burn this year, in spite of the unusually hot and dry June and early July we had.

    As for hardiness it survived the exceptionally cold winter (-22C minimum) that killed more than a few maples including palmatums, and damaged many others. I don't see any sign of bark freezing, which seems to be what happens.
     
  7. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Live in Mapleton, Illinois, zone 5
    I got one because Dan said it was his favorite and he lives in similar conditions as I do. I just got it last summer and it made it through -20 F. last winter with no dieback whatsoever and is making good growth this year, looks really nice. I'm hoping that it will continue, scary to read that Dan's had some dieback this year. I lost some older maples this spring, too. I guess you never really know...
    Kay
     

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