Winter Bark

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Kaitain4, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Did a quick comarison of maples in my garden that have a claim to nicely colored bark in the winter:

    A.c. Pacific Fire - last year this plant was like a neon sign. This year, mediocre at best.

    A.p. Ayogi - supposed to have "amazing" green bark in the winter, but it looks like green babyfood to me. We need a better green-barked variety if this is the best there is!

    A.p. Bihou - so far has lived up the the claim of its stunning yellow-orange bark. The color seems to persist on wood that is several yeard old.

    A.p. Japanese Sunrise - nice orange-reds. Definitely worth having.

    A.p. Red Wood - I only have a tiny graft, but the color looks nice so far. A deep, true red.

    A.p. Sango kaku - Very nice color on new wood. Sadly, this is one of my rattiest-looking trees. Branch die-back and sunscald are so bad on this tree that it has gained no height in the 7 years I've had it planted. Considering the axe for this one.

    See pics below. All are completely un-retouched. File names are titles.
     

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  2. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Nice barks. Out of the colours shown, I prefer the 'Sango kaku', very intense and beautiful. Must also agree with the assessment of 'Aoyagi', the specimen my mother has is a dreary pea-soup colour, and seems to suffer from at least as much branch dieback as any of the coral bark types. Maybe it needs very specific cultural requirements to be at its best, colourwise, who knows?

    It would be interesting to discuss which coral bark types retain interesting coloured bark for the most years, and which cultural conditions help in this respect. I have a 'Sango kaku' which still has colourful bark on wood over 10 years old (not as bright as the new shoots, obviously), I'll try and get some photographs and post them in a day or two.
     
  3. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I'll put in my 2 cents worth here.

    Bi hou is stunning. Shows up much better in green backdrops and dark areas than the other coral barks for me. Orange new growth turns to a bright yellow, sometimes almost canary yellow after a couple of years (depending on conditions I assume). We'll see how it holds up to pseudomonas.

    Japanese sunrise has been good for me too. I think I prefer it over the red barked varieties because it tends to change from orangish to shades of yellow on the older wood before it starts to fade. It typically keeps these bright color tones on 5 to 10 year wood. I've seen some pseudomona problems, but it doesn't seem as succeptable as sango kaku.

    Beni kawa is another one that is a deep red. It has very little orange in the coloration compared to sango kaku. It doesn't seem quite as bright but may be a bit hardier, although I have seen occasional pseudomonas problems.

    I don't have an Aoyagi (sp?) yet, but I do have an Ukon. They are very similar from what I gather, and the bark color is also not that spectacular. The bright spring and summer foliage color is more of an interesting feature for Ukon from my perspective. I have never noticed any pseudomonas problems on this one, but I have only studied my specimen as it is not nearly as popular as the red barked cultivars.

    I have had the same experience with pacific fire as well. However, I moved it to a more sheltered location last winter because it was not doing well. I am not sure how heat and humidity tolerant this cultivar (or species for that matter because Monroe has not impressed me either) is for our southern weather.

    Sango kaku is...well sango kaku. Beautiful bark color...but weak. Pseudomonas can take down entire trees in some cases. On a side note I am trying to gather up the different forms of Sango kaku to try and sort them out a bit. I am interested to see if all of the forms (as well as Senkaki) are as succeptable to bark problems.
     
  4. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Matt and Maf,

    Thanks for those thoughts. Matt, I too am a bit skeptical about SK, as there seems to be a great variability in this plant, and I'm not at all sure if I have the actual, true SK. When we were in Oregon at the Maple Society conference we visited some nurseries that had much different looking specimens of SK than mine. Fall colors much more bright and intense, leaves looked a bit larger than mine, etc. I may have a seedling or a graft of a seedling that has been mis-labeled SK by some nursery nimwit (I bought it at a local nursery). Anyone know of a source for the ORIGINAL SK? I would like to compare it to what I have...


    Thanks!
     
  5. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I think the problems go a bit deeper than even having the original sango kaku. We first must determine whether the tree that is described in the text is actually the old sango kaku. The tree we are wanting might actually not even be the old sango kaku.

    I suspect we may have the old sango kaku, the Monrovia sango kaku, grafted seedlings or rooted cuttings improperly named sango kaku, or senkaki that got renamed sango kaku because they thought the two were indestinguishable.

    I am not sure anyone is willing (or capable anymore) to delve into which is which. I am collecting what appears to be different forms of it so I can narrow down which nurseries have which form(s). I don't know if I will ever be able to figure out which form is which, because the books themselves don't even necessarily have it right when we get this deep.

    We also have to ask whether or not the old form is the best form. In many cases new seedlings are selected out because the original has its flaws, and sango kaku definitely has problems. And once a named variety has taken hold, it is difficult to introduce a better variety (ex: bloodgood).

    I am also studying Osakazuki/Tai hai forms, Butterfly forms, a few linearilobums, and a few common dissectums thus far.

    Anyway, if I were to take my chances at an old form of sango kaku, I'd go looking at some of the old nurseries. Iseli has a striking form, but I can't confirm or deny its legitimacy.
     
  6. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    As promised a picture of 'Sango kaku', showing the colour on older bark. Not the best photograph, but the light was poor and the camera battery was low. My best estimate is that the wood on the main stem near the base is a minimum of 12 years old, it obviously does not look pristine, but still has what I consider an attractive colour:
    Sango kaku2.jpg
    No idea if it is the original 'Sango kaku', but it was bought directly from a long established nursery that graft all their own plants.

    Matt, I hope your studies of the various forms go well, please let us know what you find out, it would be most interesting to hear.
     
  7. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    As I recall, there was a thread where Jim (Mr. Shep) shared some interesting information on this respect.

    Concerning bark, I am most interested in understanding how and why bark colours and why it changes colour upon environmental (or other) triggers. My observations are that red colouring (be it in palmatums, circinatums, pectinatums,…) requires plenty of direct sunshine while yellow does not. I have several Bi hoos and their bark is uniformly yellow even in shade. However the same Bi hoo in full sun shows some orange hues in the most exposed branches which could be explained by the presence of some red pigments.

    While there is plenty of literature on the colouring of leaves, I have not been able to find anything on bark. If anybody has links on that I’ll appreciate it. From the observations above, and by analogy with leaves, one may thus be tempted to conclude that red in bark also comes from anthocyanins and yellows from carotenoids. However this is just speculation from my side and I would like to see some expert information.

    Gomero
     
  8. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Gomero,

    I found this brief description of plant pigments that, while not specifically explaining bark pigmentation, does shed some light on the subject:

    I found the information highlighted above interesting. The colorful pigmentations actually assist in photosynthesis, thus bark coloring may be an adaptation for the plant to synthesize more food than just through chlorophyl in green leaves. The down side of this adaptation is that the bark itself would need to be thinner and more translucent to allow the passage of light. Perhaps this explains the higher rate of damage we see on this type of bark as opposed to thicker, brown barks? Just speculating on all this - I'm not a scientist.
     
  9. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I think we must also consider another important pigment group not mentioned there: anthocyanins.

    According to Maples of the World, they account for most pink, red, purple and blue coloration in the leaves of maples. They are light dependent, and the color expression is based on the pH of the cell sap in the vacuole, sugar concentrations, and metal-complexing.

    Another factor that can affect the coloration of coral barks in my experience has been the amount of waxy coating on the stems. This seems to cloud the intense colors giving a greyish cast.
     
  10. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: O.T. selective comments

    The Sango kaku shown in two photos in the second
    edition Japanese Maples book is the old form of this
    plant. I believe Mountain Maples got their original
    Sango kaku from Mr. Vertrees. We have to keep
    in mind that Monrovia sold the old form Sango kaku
    long before they had an Oregon growing operation.

    For Mr. Vertrees to list Senkaki as a synonym
    name then it can be construed that he never
    owned Senkaki. I never saw one at Roseburg.

    An old Maple that is not well known, never really
    was anything other than a collection plant, is
    Waka momiji red stem.

    The Cinnabar Wood Maple also did exist and
    may still be around in some select collections.
    Unfortunately, this Maple was sold years ago
    in Oregon as Corallinum until the bona fide
    Corallinum came into the Oregon nurseries
    in the early 90’s and from then the former
    Maple was sparingly propagated and sold
    from then on. Real sad as the first sold
    Corallinum in Oregon to us was the old
    Cinnabar Wood Maple which is why I
    brought some into the nursery (5) for us
    to monitor back in the late 80’s and later
    compare to our Cinnabar Wood collection
    plants (2). Don Kleim already had the
    Hillier Corallinum Maple in his collection
    long before certain select nurseries in
    Oregon had plants come in of it or
    scionwood come in to graft from.

    We felt that Sango kaku comprised a
    group of Maples much like we have in
    Viridis in which several related forms
    have been selected out and given
    names by which they are sold by.
    Senkaki of the three main Maples of
    the Coral Bark Group has the smallest
    in size leaves. Waka momiji red stem
    has the largest sized leaves with Sango
    kaku in the middle for size. It was our
    personal belief that Beni kawa in Oregon
    came about from seedling selections
    from Waka momiji red stem. The Beni
    kawa in Japan is a dwarf form, almost
    a hime, whereas the Oregon Beni kawa
    can be a semi-dwarf. Not sure if grafting
    this Maple onto green seedling rootstock
    made the difference but it could have by
    way of introducing a standard in the form
    of a rootstock that may have led to a taller
    plant. I know this scenario is probably
    true for Otome zakura in which the
    grafted plants in Oregon from green
    seedling rootstocks are much taller
    than the dwarf forms we had, even
    when we grafted them as well. We
    tried to not leave this Maple on its
    own roots and generally grafted it
    onto Aureum rootstock instead of
    a standard form green seedling like
    what was done most elsewhere.

    The trunk color of the Senkaki is
    usually a coral pink color with the
    advent of sustained cold. Waka
    momiji red stem will keep much of
    its grayish trunk color whereas
    Sango kaku can be both grey
    in base color with noticeable
    pink overtone. Bark color on
    three year old wood is the deeper
    red on Waka momiji red stem.
    Sango kaku can have brilliant
    red where the wood is illuminated
    by light but can have some green
    showing in the shaded, backside
    areas of the wood. Senkaki has
    coral colored three year old wood
    with last years new wood being
    red.

    No, Aoyagi and Ukon are not similar
    at all in my mind, one is a standard
    form and the other is a dwarf form.
    We do have a problem with Aoyagi
    in that some people felt the Maple
    was a semi-dwarf (3m at maturity).
    I've seen some Aoyagi closer to 6m
    in height at maturity. Again, there
    is confusion as to which Maple is
    the green bark counterpart to Sango
    kaku. We felt that the Aoyagi we
    had from Japan was not it just by
    the sheer size of the leaves in
    comparison to Sango kaku. The
    Ukon I've seen in some select
    nurseries in Oregon may be a
    closer fit to being the green Coral
    Bark Maple but the problem here
    is that few Ukon were ever clean
    plants to begin with to really be
    able to monitor them, laden with
    alboatrum and later with Tight
    Bark. Aoyagi had been pretty
    free of Tight Bark but also had
    some problems in some areas
    with twig and branch dieback.
    Generally for us, top growth
    dieback due to too much direct
    sun. Even Mr. Vertrees had his
    Aoyagi somewhat protected from
    hot late afternoon sun in Roseburg.
    Ukon cannot take our Summers
    here without afternoon wind and
    sun protection. It will just burn
    up to a crisp. A nice Maple, if
    we have a clean plant of it when
    given morning sun only however.
    Ukon is a much more susceptible
    plant to both hot and cold wind
    damage.

    Jim
     
  11. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: O.T. Waka momiji

    Waka momiji red stem has the ability
    to yield progeny offspring from seed
    that do not match up well with the
    parent. It is entirely possible that
    several new forms can be derived
    from this Maple just by germinating
    seed and growing those seedlings
    on for later selection and perhaps
    naming. The old Waka momiji
    Maple was not stable in that a
    whole series of plants could be
    selected out from it just by seed
    alone. Even when grafting Waka
    momiji on a green seedling rootstock
    the progeny could look a whole lot
    different from the parent plant. For
    some people this was a good thing,
    for others it was a veritable nightmare
    for those that wanted to keep the
    old form plant intact. A lot of study
    was done on Waka momiji on the
    East Coast and notes were compared
    back and forth to what some people
    saw on the West Coast as well.
    Even a variegated form (Waka
    momiji variegated) came about
    from seedling selections that did
    stay variegated. The Waka momiji
    red stem was an East Coast nursery
    selection that moved West shortly
    after it was determined to maintain
    the red stems. I am not so certain
    that several of some of the new named
    Maples may not be Waka momiji red
    stem form variants. It is quite possible
    to yield a wide range of plants from the
    Waka momiji and Waka momiji red
    stem parent plants. By the way
    Waka momiji is also a Coral Bark
    group member plant with a coral
    grey colored trunk and coral pink
    colored wood during the Winter.
    Last years bark can be red in
    some locations. Herein is the
    problem with Sango kaku, in
    that for general purposes some
    people have lumped both Waka
    momiji and Waka momiji red stem
    in with Sango kaku for resale but
    in actuality the growth habits of
    the three Maples, aside from leaf
    sizes and shapes, are not the
    same. One being a willowy
    upright that usually stays a
    semi-dwarf but can become
    a standard size in overall height
    in some locations and the others
    being a round headed upright
    that are closer to standard
    dimensions. That is not to
    say that a Waka momiji cannot
    yield semi-dwarf and even
    dwarf form progeny from
    seed because it has. Whereas
    Sango kaku to my knowledge
    has not yielded a dwarf form
    that remained a dwarf (2meters
    or less in height upon maturity).
    Sango kaku is the more stable
    plant in comparison to the two
    Waka momiji. Even more
    genetically stable to the
    point of yielding closer to
    true to type seedlings after
    years of being propagated
    by grafting. Sango kaku is a
    very unique Maple in this regard.
    I was told years ago that Sango
    kaku, Senkaki and Waka momiji
    were not related to each other,
    that each one was of its own
    heritage. Thus the three main
    Maples of the Coral Bark group
    of plants.

    Sorry I included Otome zakura
    into the fray. It is not a Coral
    Bark group plant and was used
    solely as an example of one
    Maple that changed in its
    overall height on us after it had
    been grafted onto green seedling
    rootstocks. It is not alone of
    the dwarf types that changed
    (grew taller) once they were
    grafted onto seedling green
    standard rootstocks.

    It was not my intention to mess
    up your very good thread on
    Winter bark color. I'll leave all
    of you well enough alone in this
    thread now. Pardon my intrusion.

    Jim
     
  12. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Jim, I doubt anyone could consider your contribution an intrusion, let alone messing up the thread. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

    On a small side note you have reassured me regarding the 'Aoyagi' I mentioned above. When this plant suffered top dieback it was positioned on the northeast side of a pond receiving both full afternoon sun and light reflected from the surface of the water. Since being moved to a different location a year ago, only exposed to sun in the morning, it hasn't suffered further dieback and seems to be recovering.
     
  13. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    interesting thread!!thanks!
     
  14. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    Unfortunately, my example of winter bark is not a good one. Woke up today to find that the deer find the color of Sango Kaku attractive as well
     

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  15. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Ughhh! I've had that happen and it makes you want to scream!! Then you want to grab the shotgun! They are nothing but OVERSIZED RATS!
     
  16. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I enjoy the look of the striated bark on this maple which is a seed grown plant, about six years old, and am hoping it will remain distinctive with age:
    thewhitestripes.jpg
    Japanese maples grown for coral bark or rough/pine bark are well known, but can anyone recommend any cultivars that have been selected specifically for attractive striated bark? If any are available that are significantly better than the one shown I would buy them in a heartbeat. I have seen a couple of references online to "snake bark palmatums", but have not heard of such cultivars being offered for sale or described in the popular maple books.

    P.S. hope I haven't taken the thread off topic, it is still about bark.
     
  17. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Not sure about the palmatums Maf, but the snake bark maples are brill. I have 'Serpentine' which is progressing well
     
  18. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks Sam, I love the snake barks too, but most are too big for my needs. With its smaller leaves 'Serpentine' might fit the bill nicely, definitely have to have a look at one next time I am at a good nursery or arboretum.
     
  19. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    There was a thread last year on snakebarks:

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=34438

    Coming back to this thread, I would like to ask those of you who are growing coral barks, yellow barks or snakebarks in shade or half-shade to report on color quality. Since there is little written on this, we could all improve our understanding on the cultural needs.

    Gomero
     
  20. danc

    danc Active Member 10 Years

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    davidii "selection", full sun
    P2030271.jpg P2030279.jpg

    arakawa starting to show off
    P2030294.jpg
     
  21. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I really like the bark on that davidii. Cool!
     
  22. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    da, i agree with Kait !nice pics!
     

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