Worth it?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by maplesandpaws, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I was at one of the local garden centers today and found a lovely 15g Red Dragon; the price on it is $315. Is this worth it? The tree was taller than me by about a foot (in the cedar box, so lose at least a foot in height), and I'm 5'1". It was probably as wide too.
     

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  2. patdero1

    patdero1 Active Member Maple Society

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    Offer 250
     
  3. MrKimsMaples

    MrKimsMaples New Member

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    It looks nice to me and if I were in the market for another red dragon I would be tempted. We bought our red dragon from Johnsons several years ago and have been real happy with it. It is proving to be a slow grower, so if you are wanting one that size I would jump on it.
     
  4. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Argh!!!!! I need more money, lol. I stopped in at another local nursery to check out their maples; they are currently on sale for 50% off. They have some lovely Seiryu priced at $295, which after the discount would be less than half the price of the Red Dragon. They had a few Red Dragons, but nothing close to what the other nursery had. I cannot get both, much as I would love to. So, I need opinions.

    Which would you get if you were in my shoes? The location would be the same, our courtyard garden which is roughly 9ft x 11 ft. It gets full sun from 9am to late afternoon/early evening in the height of summer.

    If I get the Red Dragon, the plan was to erect lattice over the garden to help break up the sun (another expense), and I would be fairly limited as to what else I could place in the garden simply due to the size of tree, both now and as it grew. But it does have a lovely form, and I do love my little Red Dragon I currently have in the back yard.

    If I get the Seiryu, it would save money both on the purchase price and the fact that I would not install lattice over the garden - Seiryu can take full sun for most of the day, correct? Again, I'm in Kansas, so very intense summer sun. The canopy would act as my 'lattice', and I would be able to have more/other plants in the courtyard as well (I currently have several of my smaller potted maples here, plus a few other perennials, etc). This is the Seiryu; in the pot, it's a good 10-12ft tall and probably 5-6ft wide anyway.
     

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  5. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Would go for the Red Dragon every time make an offer fingers crossed and hope!!!
    These cultivars grow for fun, mine seems to have put so much new growth on this year it looks very pretty at the moment and the fall colours are superb and very intense.

    The Seiryu looks nice but if that was mine i would plant it out first for a year, then take about a good 3/4 foot off the top and try to get it more rounded and closed in foiliage wise, looks far to leggy and whispy at present.

    Both my Seiryu's are in full sun but take into account we don't have alot of very sunny days in the UK and both are flurishing, pruned them both last year but you wouldn't know they had been touched they have just put so much new growth on again.

    Buy them both:) yea!! were only here once!!!
     
  6. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    For a courtyard garden I think the Seiryu makes more sense. As it grows bigger and taller it could gradually be limbed up, if necessary, so that people could walk beneath it and people and plants could sit in the dappled shade. A "regular" dissectum like Red Dragon, on the other hand, would tend to make a blob in the centre that you have to walk around and as it grew wider you wouldn't be left with much space. IMHO the mounding type dissectums look better growing in open space whereas an enclosed space like a courtyard is more suited to an upright tree.

    Seiryu can take full sun in most regions that I have heard about, it is a robust and unfussy tree. I can't comment on Kansas sun specifically but as long as you can grow some other palmatums in full sun then Seiryu should not have a problem.

    I agree with Roebuck that some of the leggy growth on top needs to go. Too floppy to add anything meaningful to the structure and looks like it would be potential winter dieback wood if it is too soft. Up to you whether you trim it before the winter or wait till next year.
     
  7. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    maf, you bring up some very good points, thank you. Our courtyard is about 12' wide by 9' deep (not counting the concrete porch), and there is a small brick wall that the sidewalk goes through to enter the area. I've attached pictures; they aren't the greatest, but due to the size, it's hard to get the whole area in one picture.

    I did end up deciding to go with the Seiryu, I just couldn't beat the price for the size of tree. And I've wanted one for a while. Not that the Red Dragon isn't stunning; if I am somehow able to come up for the money for both, it will definitely be coming home with me - I would just need to find a place to put it, lol. Your comment about it looking like a big blob in the courtyard, that is something that kind of tugged at the back of my mind. While it wouldn't completely fill the garden at it's current size, I worried about it being too overwhelming for such an enclosed area.

    I will have to move a few trees around when we plant the Seiryu. Where the Filigree currently is (you can see it in the attached pictures) is roughly where I want to put the Seiryu, though of course I'll have to pull it out a little further past the eaves (Filigree is in line with/just inside the eaves). Filigree will then go where I have my Hana matoi planted in the back yard. I have been toying with moving Hana as it isn't getting as much sun as I thought it would, and so is quite green. I have also been toying with moving my Red Dragon since it, too, isn't getting quite as much sun as I'd hoped and has greened out quite a bit.

    So, my dilemma is, which tree do I want to plant in the courtyard to go along with the Seiryu? The trees I have that would fit nicely in the courtyard, both in size and sun exposure, are Hana matoi, Red Dragon, Kawaii, Aekan Ie's, Sherwood Elfin, and Olsen's Frosted Strawberry. I had toyed with moving Red Dragon to the courtyard, up against the courtyard wall, as it would get a lot of sun here. And, the thicker leaves, mounding form, and difference in color would play off the Seiryu quite nicely. But, do I want another dissectum there? Aekan Ie's takes lots of sun very well, is still deep, deep purple, and being linearlobum, I'd get the contrast in leaf texture and color. I know it's a smaller, mounding tree, so the shape would be complimentary too. Olsen's, too, would offer contrast in leaf shape and color, and would still have a mounded form. Sherwood Elfin would offer contrasting color and form, but once again, similar leaf shape, just like with Hana and Kawaii.

    Which would you choose to go there???
     

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  8. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Well, whoever bought the tree initially returned it, because it was sitting at the nursery earlier this week again. Told hubby that I still really wanted it, but resigned to the fact that I probably wouldn't due to buying the Seiryu earlier this summer and the fact that there were no sales going on at the time. Came home from running errands yesterday to find it sitting on the patio :D I think I picked me a good one - tree and hubby! lol

    Yes, I am confident it's the same tree - I've attached a picture I took of it yesterday. Probably going to up-pot it for the winter (a little extra insulation for the roots, plus it's probably horribly root bound in that box) and then, provided we aren't moving, figure out where to plant it next spring. The cedar box is 18" (outside dimensions); the wooden planter I was going to use is 22-23" wide; as you can see, they are about the same height. Is this planter big enough, or would a 26" planter be better? I know, too, it will depend on how big/compacted the rootball is...
     

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  9. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

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    No advice on the planter, but just wanted to say the Red Dragon has a really pretty shape.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    An enclosed courtyard is exactly the kind of space where a weeping lace-leaf Japanese maple needs to be as these do not work well with other trees and shrubs in the open landscape much of the time with their combination of two abnormal features: weeping branches and dissected leaves. As a general rule the more horticultural a plant variety is the more artificial the setting needs to be for it to look thematically correct, so to speak. With flower shapes a design device that has been suggested is placement of double flowers near the house, semi-double flowers some distance out and single flowers at the farthest reaches of the garden. Since weeping lace-leaf Japanese maples are so "doubled" in construction siting them where the surrounding landscape cannot even be seen is probably ideal. With taller growing trees in proximity a conflict of scale can also be produced as weeping lace-leaf Japanese maples have a dwarfed appearance yet still tend to appear as trees with their single trunks and dome-like crowns, particularly during the winter when their branching structure is fully visible.

    At 12' wide the space asked about could accommodate ones of these trees for decades. And pruning to control size without completely spoiling the shape is possible. J.D. Vertrees apparently pruned most of his collection of Japanese maples to contain them within his garden, wrote a chapter advocating this in his Japanese maple book.
     
  11. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Glad to see you finally managed to aquire the Red Dragon a little suprised to see it's present colour though? who ever aquired it before you must have kept it somewhere very shady, the beauty of this tree is it's wonderful red colours in the spring turning to a deep plum in the summer then finally the most amazing intense scarlet in the fall.

    Speaking personally if this was my tree the first job would be to remove from it's current "prison cell" the root ball on this will be huge and very tangled and will require a good deal of root pruning/trimming i would even give this a good blast with the high pressure cleaner to try and remove most of the present medium which it will be encased in.

    Again if this was mine i would seriously think about putting this back into the ground and let it regain growth vigor and rejuvinate itself then maybe in a few of years time place back into a larger planter if you think it would look better there.But where ever you keep it please make sure it's in the sun (it will reward you thrice fold))

    What ever you decide please post a picture when you take it out of the planter would love to see the root system ,looking at the picture i would say that's been in there for many a year and it's nice to know that you are going to breath new life into it again all the best.
     
  12. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Ron B, the courtyard already has a large addition; I bought a Seiryu earlier this summer and has been providing some wonderful shade there - and done exceptionally well (ie, next to no leaf burn) given the fact that we planted it during a 90+F week in July and it has received full sun roughly 10hrs a day. I'm hoping for not too much die-back this winter; the courtyard faces WNW so those winter winds funnel in ever so nicely. :(

    Roebuk, there is a chance we will be moving in the near future, plus I'm not quite sure where I want to put this beauty, so it will be going into another pot for the winter. As for the color, we get pretty hot here, so I think that was likely a factor too with it greening out. My little Red Dragon is all green now, with only a few hints of red, but I think it needs a little more sun than what its current location gets. If we end up staying, then the plan is to put it in the ground come spring. I'm hoping to do the repotting this weekend, so I will do my best to remember to take pictures as I'm (more than likely) fighting with the rootball.

    As for location if/when I plant it, I have two in mind. One I think would allow it to shine, and it would be ideal there, BUT it would get the north winds in winter. It would be in the backyard by the shed (backyard faces ESE) and just the way the street/yards are oriented, the north wind funnels just nicely through the back portion of the yard. The other location would be at the 'bottom' end of the retaining wall (again, backyard; we have a walkout basement). It would look very nice here, but it would get a little more shade - however, it would have more shelter from the north wind.
     

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  13. MrKimsMaples

    MrKimsMaples New Member

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    I'm glad you got that Red Dragon, it will look great wherever you put it. Congratulations.
     
  14. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Well, that was a project - though not as bad as I had feared. We had to break apart the box to get the tree out, and as you, Roebuk, and I both surmised, it was quite pot-bound, but not as bad as I was expecting, honestly. The soil was also of excellent quality (it's an Iseli tree), another bonus. I was able to loosen the roots roughly 2-3" in pretty much all the way around, and lower the soil line on top for the most part; one side, however, was more compacted than the others, so I couldn't do as much there as I had hoped.

    I did prune off several crossing/rubbing branches that I knew had to go, but left some others that I can either fix/re-direct (hopefully) come spring by wiring them, or ones I was unsure of at this point. I did have to cut off two larger branches unfortunately, but the branches they were crossing were larger and will eventually fill in the new gaps. I did pick up a different, larger pot (a 26") just in case, and I'm glad I did. The tree would have fit into the one I had, but barely, and would most certainly have needed repotting again next year. And truthfully, I like the look of the tree in this pot much better. :)
     

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  15. MrKimsMaples

    MrKimsMaples New Member

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    That looks very nice Andrea. One question, what do you use for soil when up potting like that and where do you source it here in town?

    Thanks


    Kim
     
  16. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sounds and looks like you did a good job Andrea.
     
  17. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Thank you! (And thank you as well maf :) ) I use a few different things in my mix. I use roughly equal parts pine bark mulch (not the nuggets), turface (or haydite, but I prefer turface), Fox Farm Ocean Forest potting soil, and Hapi Gro compost. I did change things up slightly today, and tried the Fox Farm Coco Loco potting soil, and I think I will be using this from now on (had never tried it before, it's coco coir-based).

    I get my mulch from one of the box stores, the turface is harder to find though. The only two places locally I've found it are Ewing Irrigation and John Deere Landscaping (I had to special order it at the latter; the former usually stocks it, but can run out). I prefer the MVP to the Pro League. Haydite can be found at Hong's.

    The Fox Farm soil I get at Hillside Feed and Seed; you can find it at the other nurseries in town, but Hillside is by far the cheapest. This is also where I got the Hapi Gro, which is a new product they started carrying this year. It's a composted pine bark, something I've been looking for for a long time locally.
     
  18. ROEBUK

    ROEBUK Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Looks far better in the round planter, should look good for next year!! but do try to keep it in some sunlight because once the colour returns you will love it even more.I do appreciate you have far more intense summers in the US than what we have over here in the UK so mine doesn't really suffer from leaf scorching (try it and see?)

    Still a lovely looking tree though.
     
  19. Schattenfreude

    Schattenfreude Active Member

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    I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO jealous of you, Andrea!! Congrats on the new addition!

    Kevin in KC
     

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