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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    That is very true. I just love every picture I've seen of your garden, it's wonderful! Your doing a great job. That's the look I'm trying to accomplish around my boarder but I'm working with way to large of an area with way too small of trees and I can't afford to keep buying them, especially large ones lol. Are yours planted with mature size in mind or do you plan to prune or move as they grow through the years? I think that's part of the reason I'm having such a hard time is I'm trying to plan for the future but that means it looks very bare for now and probably will for many years until these slow growers start to fill out the space.

    The more pictures the better! Thanks again for helping me get a better idea. I'm getting really mixed results trying to find out what this tree looks like in summer. Some places that sell them say green, some say maroon and of all the pictures I've found it looks more on the green side but the ones that have this maroon color are beautiful. It must be sun exposure related. Yours looks very nice right now.

    The only other issue I've found is the form seems more bush like than what I thought. Some pictures it looks perfect but a lot more I've found are much more bush like than what I want. I'll get this tree either way because the spring color alone is something unlike anything else I have but I'm going to keep searching for this spot for now. Or like JT1 said, maybe I'm just asking for too much out of one tree. I might start thinking about adding a couple of these new trees to the boarder to add many more colors and then just leave this spot open to view the whole boarder instead of trying to have one tree as a display.
     
  2. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Some food for thought...
    My garden was several years in the making. About seven years ago I had absolutely no interest in landscaping or Japanese maples. I bought my first home and the rest is history.

    My taste in plants and design has changed dramatically over the past four years. It would not be possible financially for me to reproduce in a season, what I created over the past four years. It also would be impossible to source the material used all in one season. A garden is a work in progress and so is your style and taste for plants. The skill to maintain a garden and keep everything healthy is a work in progress too. My Grandfather reminded me, when we bought our home, that Rome was not built in a day. So take it slow. The end result will be much better in my opinion. But then again, many who know me say I am a very patient person, so it's easy for me to say take it slow.

    Consider doing some research to see what materials you can source locally (local, meaning within an hour’s drive or maybe a little more). When I first got started, my concept of what's available locally was what's available at a popular garden center down the road. In my world that was where you went if you wanted something for your yard. Now I stop by there from time to time and laugh to myself at their very boring and limited selection along with their inflated prices. (They will be happy to sell you an overpriced Bloodgood for the Southeast corner of your house, because that is the only Japanese maple that grows in our area and it must be planted on the SE corner to survive…LOL !!)

    What I have found is that those who grow and sell the things I think of as great are the ones who have a love and passion for growing, not those focused on volume. Some of the coolest places to go are on that 45 to 60 mile range from my home. They are not usually the largest or fanciest place, but they sure have the rare and unusual things you can't find at any box store and their quality and prices are amazing in comparison. Shop around and don't limit yourself to just one place, otherwise your creativity will be limited by what that one place has available at that time. You begin to understand who specializes in what and who to go to for specific things; and of course who to stay away from too.

    Once you start to build a relationship with the owners and staff and they realize you have a passion for plants, you will begin to realize how willing they are to help you find the things you want. Some have a relationship with local wholesalers or wholesalers in the NW. Many times they can order in larger material for a much better price than what you pay for buying and shipping something via the internet. Now if it's ordered from a local wholesaler, then you may get it next week. If it's from a national wholesaler several states away, then you may need to be willing to wait until next spring. For me it has always been worth the wait.

    Now I think internet sellers have their place and I have a few friends I have met over the past few years that sell on the internet. So I am not saying it's a bad thing. It's a great way to get things that you can't find anywhere else.

    But in my opinion, if you buy small you have to be extremely patient for it to grow into something that has any impact in the garden. If you design much of your yard using things bought on the internet, then you may move before it starts to develop into something that has impact in the garden.

    Is buying 1-3 year grafts really cost effective? After you pay the high price for what you’re getting and pay for shipping, you could buy something locally for that cumulative price and have something larger that will have more impact in the garden. Not to mention, the larger stuff is easier to get established and much less fragile. So over all, the chance for success is much higher. Growing new grafts is hard in comparison. There is a much smaller margin for error. Sometimes you may do everything right and the graft fails unexpectedly.

    In my area you can get a nice Japanese maple for 100-150.00. Sure you can spend more for much older specimens, really the sky’s the limit. But overall, I feel spending an extra 50.00 can get you something that has instant impact in the garden. It’s easier to get established and overall has a much better chance of surviving that first year in your garden. So are you really saving when you buy small? Let the growers take the loss on the weak trees and you can pick from the strongest survivors that made it through the first 5 to 8 years. I think overall you will save in the end and be much happier with your garden. Sometimes the turtle wins the race. Take your time building something great and save yourself time waiting for something to grow and save yourself the headache feeling you wasted your money when that small tree does not make it.

    Plus there is nothing better than going and picking out what you like and bringing it home and seeing the impact it makes in your yard. Rather than opening up a box to see what you bought for the first time, then with a sense of imagination wonder what it may look like when it grows up. Oh and some who sell online graft in such a way that it creates a weak point in the trunk that can’t stand up to high wind or heavy snow later in life. It saves them time, but you pay the price.

    For some, buying online is a great way to go. So I am in no way saying it's wrong. But all too often I see people who buy online thinking they will be patient, but then become impatient and start to fertilize in an attempt to save years of growing time. You can't make a tree something it's not and when you try the results are never good. Some lack the commitment it takes to grow something so young and fragile. Others, it's the only way to get the things they want in their area. Some are highly successful and love the idea they grew the tree since it was 1 year old.

    My advice is to take a realistic look at what you want and what you are willing to put into it (time, money, skill, and level of commitment, ect) What works for me may not work for others and what works for others may not be right for me. You are in a good place right now, doing research to find the right trees for your garden. Next it's good to think about what’s the best way for you to execute a realistic plan to make it all happen, weighing all aspects and available resources.

    Remember sometimes the best things in life are not right out in front, you have to be willing to search for it. Sometimes the search is the best part because you learn so much and meet some great people along the way. For now, I can't walk down the street and find a Japanese Maple and rare plant store, but if I could then my yard would no longer be unusual.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  3. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    You bring some some excellent points JT...

    Something a lot of us have a hard time with, me included. I'm in the same boat, after moving to our new place (where we plan to stay for many years, barring anything unforeseen), I have a lot of plans for the yard. I have to keep reminding myself it doesn't all have to be done this year...

    I have really come to realize this. I started collecting maples last year, after loving them from afar for many, and I started with the small 1-3yr grafts for a few reasons. A) I could buy several cultivars I was interested in for the price I would pay for a larger, single tree; B) Since I was new to growing maples, I felt that if I ended up losing some due to my own ignorance/ineptitude/etc, it wouldn't feel quite as bad as losing a tree I paid a lot of money for; and C) You always mess up initially, and need to learn from your mistakes (see point B, lol).

    However, having started out this way, and learning a lot in the past year from this forum and elsewhere about how to care for my maples, I am starting to change my tune. The little babies are so sensitive as compared to larger, more established trees, and I have lost nearly all the 1-2 year grafts I purchased last year - some were my fault ultimately, some I have no idea why, and others I attribute, in part, to the extreme climate (especially in summer) that Kansas has. I am now being more picky and deliberate in buying my trees, purchasing nothing under 3 years old, preferably a bit older/larger.

    Unfortunately, I am still stuck with purchasing online or by mail for the most part as nearly all nurseries in the area - box store and independent - carry the same small selection of trees, and at rather exhorbitant prices. Thankfully, there are nurseries like Eastfork, Topiary Gardens, Davidsans, etc, whose owners are passionate about what they do and their product, and want to share their love of maples with others, and help them along the way if needed.
     
  4. jacquot

    jacquot Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Tough one out of so many, but I'll add Koto no ito and Oregon fern. Just superb.
     
  5. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    in this period my preferite is Tsuma gaki ,together Yellow bird
     
  6. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Just like to say Congratulations! JT1...was passing time searching web about JMs...on the image search your photos were at the No.1 spot for at least one of them...obviously a lot of people appreciate your lovely garden :)
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Wow Houzi thats great to hear, thank you very much! I posted my first picture last August and had no idea that I would have 90,000 views almost a year later. I am working on a new photo tour and hope to have it posted by next month. Thanks again for sharing the positive feedback :-)
     
  8. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    where is the link?:)
     
  9. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Hi Alex66, here is the link to my photo stream on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/japanesemaplegarden/ Galleries are the icons located on the far right side of the page. The gallery "Japanese Maple Garden Tour" is the most popular (photo tour of the front and back yard, from last summer) and it’s the 5th gallery on the right side of the page. We also have bonsai, spring garden, and fall garden picture galleries along the right side of the page. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
     
  10. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    many thanks!!!! i share your very beautiful gallery in facebook group "maples"
     
  11. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Thank you Alex66 ! ! !
     
  12. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  13. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    In your "display area" is there going to be full sun? I don't think Aureum would do well in full sun. In Marengo, I think I might go with one of the cut leaf japonicums, especially if you have full sun.
     

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