Your favorite jm for all season color & form

Discussion in 'Maples' started by rufretic, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I'm just trying to pick a Japanese maple that will be in a display spot, in view at all times. I'd like something that will be an eye catcher all season long. So I thought I'd get your opinions. What is your favorite? I know it's hard to pick so to narrow it down, I'm looking for an upright with nice form and nothing that will get larger than 15' tall in the next 20 years. I'm trying to stay away from any that will be plain in summer. If you could pick your favorite with those limiting factors, what would it be? Post pics if you have them. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    seiryu, shishigashira, orange dream all fit the bill for me in terms of great year round "showpiece" maples.
     
  3. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society

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    I'm partial to the shirasawanum 'Aureum' - the form and the progression of the leaves from spring through fall are beautiful (as well as the shape of the leaves).
     
  4. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I have seiryu and orange dream, they both are very nice but I'm looking for a little more of a stand out color in the summer. I love shishigashira and have it on my list but not for this spot for the same reason. I agree though, all three of those are showpieces.

    I love everything about Aureum and it's at the top of my list, that's actually my top choice for this spot as of now but the only thing holding me back is it's summer color. Does it hold that yellow-lime green color through the summer? I have autumn moon and moon rise and both are very cool but are not holding a strong summer color and I'm worried Aureum will be the same. The leaf shape and form of Aureum are awesome and would definetly make a great year round display. Do you have any pictures of it in the summer? I'm pretty sure most of the pictures I've seen are in the spring when it has that glowing yellow. If that holds through the summer I'm sold.
     
  5. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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  6. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Great pics! Thanks. You have a lot of jms to choose from, what's your favorite for year round color and form?
     
  7. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    To me, a tree like Ogon Sarasa would be ideal. The color is constantly changing, and the leaves develop golden speckles and spots on them which are highly interesting. Good spring, summer, and fall color.

    Another favorite is Satsuki Beni, which has stiff, slightly cupped leaves with red tips that persist most of the summer. Striking fall colors.

    If you have a sunny spot, Summer Gold is hard to beat. Holds its yellow color well, and has glowing red seeds held straight up above the foliage. Truly a conversation piece.
     
  8. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thankyou! I am still working on my answer. I am heading to a great nursery today with some amazing old gardens. I have one tree in mind that I will snap a pic of, i will post it when i get back along with a few other ideas. Thanks
     
  9. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Wow, nice choices. I now have to have all three after doing a little research on them. This is why I started this thread, to find some nice ones that I haven't heard of yet. All three of those will find spots in my yard. Ogon Sarasa is the only one that would fit this spot. Too much shade for Summer Gold and I have a Tsuma Beni too close so I don't want the red tip of Stsuki Beni so close, I'll find another spot for this beaut. Thanks for your input.

    Sounds good, can't wait to see!
     
  10. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    How come no one mentions 'Sango kaku' (or equiv) any more in this context? It's really a 4 season tree.
     
  11. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I already have 5 of them lol, yes I like them. They are spectacular in the spring, fall and winter but just a plain green through the summer. I'm looking for a tree that will have a summer color that stands out from the typical green and red. Sango Kaku is a very cool tree though, that's why I have them planted through out my mixed forest boarder. I am surprised it doesn't get mentioned here more often as well.
     
  12. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Well I think a large percentage of my small collection has already been mentioned here,so they've all got the thumbs up from me.
    If you want standout colours,have you considered any of the variegates?At the brightest extreme, Shirazz is undoubtably eyecatching and Marlo verges on the gawdy.I can't say their form is particularly great though.These two maybe perhaps too 'loud' for most tastes or companion plants but you may find something else that catches your eye.I must say it's an impossible decision you've gotta make lol.
     
  13. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Lol, yeah, I like "loud" and already have Shirazz. It is far from too much for me. Mine is only a small one though so I don't think I'm getting the full effect yet. I don't think it will have the form I'm looking for, for this spot at least. Most of my jms are in combinations with other plants and trees, like the Shirazz is in the forground of a Hoopsi spruce. The pink in front of the blue should be quite nice in a couple years once both grow a little. But for this spot, I'm looking for a stand alone tree that pretty much needs to have great color and form year round. It will be my only jm that is not in a group planting so I need it to be very special all on its own.

    Variegates are an option for sure, I just don't know if many of them look good year round or they mostly just have a season of stand out color and then kind of fade into summer like the Shirazz. Mine was awesome in the spring but now kind of just has a overall bronze look which I don't really care for. Up close it's still very cool but from a distance the overall look is not very pleasing to me right now. I'm excited to see what it does in the fall though.

    I'm going to look into Marlo, sounds like it might be a good one for me, thanks.
     
  14. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Ok here is a picture of where it will go to give everyone a better idea. I took the picture from standing right outside my door to the patio, where I spend much of my time.

    The red stick tree is where it will go, right now there is a tri color beech there. It's a nice tree but needs to be moved to a spot it will not out grow and with a little more shade, it's getting crisped even with the huge 200 year old oak to the south of it. So this spot does get enough sun to color up whatever jm I choose.

    The first row of smaller trees that will be the direct background are:
    A. Beni Otake, not there yet but will be.
    B. Tsuma Beni
    C. Fireglow
    D. Sango Kaku
    E. Boskoop Glory
    F. Autumn Moon

    The second row of larger and farther back trees are:
    G. Autumn Flame red maple
    H. Three Canadian Hemlocks
    I. Mission Blue Spruce
    J. & K. Hinoki False Cypress
    L. Forest Pansy Redbud
    M. Sunburst Honey Locust
    N. Redbud

    And then the large Oak to the right which is South. This spot gets direct sun in the morning for an hour or two then filtered sun till about 3 when it gets direct sun for an hour or two again.

    Seems crowded I know but the area is larger than it looks, all trees are 15-20' apart from each other. I know the larger ones will eventually grow into each other but that's fine with me, I want it to be a wild boarder with lots of color. :-)
     

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  15. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    That's a lotta maples you're gonna buy,how exciting.
    Don't ask me why but if I was to put a JM there I'd seek out a large lo&wide dissectum....but that's just me :)
     
  16. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I concur. Since you're going to have a variety of sizes/colors/forms in the 'background' to create this nice full border you talk of (will look SO nice!), why put something in front that could/will ultimately block the view of such a nice backdrop? As soon as I looked at the picture you posted indicating where the tree in question was supposed to go, and before reading what is/going to be there in the background, I was thinking that spot was a perfect location to showcase a really nice dissectum.

    For great color interest and variety, Hana matoi is wonderful throughout the seasons (I've got mine in full sun for about 6 hours a day total, split up into 2-3hr chunks at a time, one of them at midday), and it's doing very well - better than I thought it would, given how intense the sun is here in Kansas, especially with the triple digit temps we've had for more than a week. Or, for red, maybe a Red Dragon? Mine is still young, and in a pot, but it's still quite red (not crimson or purple-red, but a nice cherry red) with very little evidence of greening thus far. A green dissectum might be nice, but I think you need something that's going to pop and just grab your attention...

    Anyhow, like Houzi said, my vote is for a big, elaborate, knock your socks off weeper :)
     
  17. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I think you guys might be on to something. That is the reason I didn't want anything that gets larger than 15' in the next 20 years. The thing is, that area is bigger than it looks. All those trees are already there except the Beni Otake. You just can't make them out from that far away and they are all fairly small right now between 7-10'. A dissectum would look good there but I was only looking at uprights because I would rather have a little more height than width because I like to have a bit of open grass for the dogs and kids to play in. Plus, on the other side of the oak to the right, I do have a stand alone Red Dragon planted. I'm open to dissectum suggestions but it would have to be yellow or varigated in the summer months. I already have Red Dragon, Tamakuyama, Ever Red, Garnet, Orangeola and Waterfall.
     
  18. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    How big an area are we talking about then? If you want something a little more upright with colour, but still small, what about Otome zakura? I only just got mine but am loving it so far...

    If you have a red dissectum on the other side of the oak, it might be nice to balance that look with another dissectum, but not a red one like you say. Hana matoi would still work, but maybe for green, either sunset or filigree?
     
  19. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I really like Otome zakura for this spot. From what I've seen the spring color ia outstanding. What is the form like and what color is it in summer? I've only seen pictures in the spring and fall.


    Ha that's funny you picked sunset and filgree because those are the exact 2 I was thinking for this spot. I have to look up hana matoi, never heard of that one. Vertrees mentions that sunset holds yellows into the summer but I'd like to see some summer pics of it. I liked filgree because it's varigated but don't know much about it other than that. Time for some more research.
     
  20. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I've only had my otome for about a month, so I'm not entirely sure what the heat will end up doing to it, but it gets a fair bit of sun in our courtyard, and so far it seems quite happy. But, it's supposed to like sun and heat more than many maples, and so far I can't complain about the color, and the shape is so nice on the one I got from Diana, I'm tempted to bonsai it. :) (Courtesy of Topiary Gardens - awesome lady to deal with!)


    That is funny. :) I got my Hana matoi from Sam at Eastfork (another wonderful lady to work with), and I absolutely LOVE it. So much color all through the year. My sunset is definitely green, though to the slightly yellowish end of the spectrum. I don't have a picture of it in it's current position, which is right in front of our courtyard wall; it gets sun from about 3 or 4 until just about sundown, and there's barely any scorch on the leaves. Seems quite hardy. (From Davidsans) Filigree, I love. The leaves are not so finely dissected as a lot of the weepers, more substantial, but not large or out of proportion. I would describe them as ferny. If I could find a Filigree in red, I would be in heaven. You can see some reticulation and faint spotting in the leaves, but it does fade a bit, at least for me, in the summer. Either way, I love the tree.

    All pictures were taken the beginning of June, which is pretty much summer for us, especially this year. If you want updated pictures of each, just let me know.
     

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  21. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Ah you're right Rufretic,the photo is very deceptive.I'm sure you'll make the right decision as you are actually there,and you're getting a lot of great suggestions,good luck :)
     
  22. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I did not get a chance to read through all the posts in this thread, so forgive me if I am mentioning anything someone else has already mentioned.

    When I first think of a four season tree, I think the most difficult test for most to pass is the winter season. Many are so amazing in the spring and fall. Some are amazing in spring, summer, and fall; but then fail the test come winter.

    So in my opinion, it's important for a tree to have amazing structure or bark (or both)to be great during the winter months.

    Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’ (great tree with a few fall backs, die back being the biggest challenge in some climates. But this tree is starting to become more common in most areas), Acer palmatum ‘Japanese Sunrise’ (it tends to go through the bark color transition slower than ‘Sango Kaku’ with more variety of color, which may make it more interesting to some), Acer palmatum ‘Beni kawa’ (good if you like ‘Sango Kaku’ but are pressed for space), Acer circinatum ‘Pacific Fire’ (leafs out later in areas prone to frost, less susceptible to dieback, interesting leaf shape), and Acer palmatum ‘Bihou’ (so unusual to see that color of yellow bark in nature and the yellow stands out year round. The leaf has an interesting star shape. If you choose this tree it is best to pick out in person. I have seen some where the yellow bark is not as impressive as others)

    I think one that is a goodie but oldie that is many times overlooked in today’s market is Acer palmatum 'Pendulum Julian'. Mine is 25 years old and the structure of this tree is amazing. The leaves go through a nice transition of colors during spring, summer, and fall. My ‘Atrolineare’ is about the same age and it has great winter time structure too with silver bark. But I am sure that a younger tree would fail to impress in winter.

    If you are open to a Chinese maple, I recommend Acer griseum (paperbark maple). This tree has great bark year round. A nice structure. Interesting leaf shape. An unusual green leaf color with light green undersides that contrasts the bark very nicely (it does fall short in color when compared to others in spring color). Excellent fall color and it is the last to leaf out in my garden if frost is a concern in your area) Attached are some summer pictures of an Acer griseum shot a couple of days ago at Girard Nurseries. Here is a link to mine in fall color:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/6531315971/in/set-72157628490507707

    Out of the hundreds of varieties of Japanese maples there may be a strong competitor in all four categories that I have not had the pleasure of seeing in person, but most are only strong in spring and fall. Then they leave something to be desired in summer and winter.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  23. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Thank you for the pics. I've decided to stick with a small upright for this spot but you have given me 3 must have dissectums to add to my list and find spots for. They will actually be my next dissectums I like them so much and are very different from what I have already.

    Right now my top choice is Otome Zakura. The form and size seem to be perfect for this spot and I LOVE the spring color. I'm not 100% sure what the fall color looks like but I'm more concerned with summer color. I'm going to try searching more to see if I can find a picture of one in summer.

    Thank you for your well thought out post. I agree 100% summer and winter are the hardest. I do believe if a tree has nice form, it can be very interesting in the winter without needing color or texture. Of course those are even better but I can't have it all so I'll give up the best winter interest for good summer color.

    I still need to look up the two weepers you mentioned, I don't know anything about them. They wouldn't be for this spot since I've decided to stick with a small upright but I may have to add them some where else :-)

    I think griseum is a very cool tree and have planned on getting the first one I run into at a nursery for a long time but just have not seen one. If I tried hard enough I'm sure I could find one but it's just not at the top of my list right now. It wouldn't fit for this spot because I'm really trying to pick a tree that will have a little more color in the spring and summer plus it would be too big. What happened to the picture you promised of the "one tree in mind" in the old gardens? Edit, never mind, the Griseum is what you had in mind right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  24. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Sometimes one tree can't pull it off alone, so that's where a combination of color and texture can give great interest during the growing season.
     

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  25. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    No problem. :) I took a picture of my Otome just yesterday, so this should give you a good idea of the summer color - we've had 90's and warmer for several weeks, with all of last week in the low 100's. It gets a few hours of sun at midday - not directly overhead, but close - and then 2-3 more later in the evening, and I'm only just starting to see a little evidence of some scorching on the leaves (and it is in a pot, keep in mind), so it seems to be quite hardy. If you do plan to get one, I would definitely suggest contacting Diana at Topiary Gardens, she has great trees and very good prices, and she is SO helpful and friendly.

    Regarding the others, I've attached new pictures of Sunset and Hana matoi for you. As mentioned, Sunset gets a fair bit of sun and reflected heat from the brick wall, but it seems to really like the spot I have it in currently (been there about a month). Hana matoi gets sun later in the day for 3-4 hours (late afternoon/early evening), and it's doing well too.
     

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