Japanese Maple Collection
Japanese Maples are one of the most impressive plants in the plant kingdom, and as you will discover here, I have a bit of a passion for them. Enjoy my Japanese Maple Collection!
The above two photos are my Golden Full Moon Japanese Maple. When this tree breaks dormancy in the spring the leaves are almost florescent green. Very eye catching. As you can see from the close up, the sun does nip the edges of the leaves by mid summer, but in this location this tree gets intense afternoon sun, so it really does hold up quite well.
It's also important to note that we are zone 5, northern Ohio. Very close to Lake Erie. When that lake freezes over, it gets quite cold here. Often down to or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. For the most part, these Japanese Maples do well here. But there are times when we see winter damage, and often it happens to older trees.
These two pictures are one of the Red Laceleaf Weeping Japanese Maples that I have in my landscape. In the close up you'll notice some green color. Just a week before I took these photos Pam and I trimmed all of the plants in the landscape, including the Japanese Maples and this green color is foliage that was not exposed to the sun before we trimmed. Now that it is visible, it will color up nicely.
Note that we trim all of the plants in our landscape in mid July every summer. That's when they need it the most, so that's when they get trimmed. It's also important to note that we "go after" these Japanese Maples with regular hedge shears. Most people are afraid to trim their Japanese Maples, and at best clip a branch here or there. We shape ours like we would any other plant in the landscape, and I can assure you, they love it. As a result we get nice tight, full plants that people drool over.
The above two photos are the Butterfly Japanese Maple in my landscape. This is a really cool little tree. It's not a laceleaf, nor does it weep, but the leaves have a very interesting cut edge. And as you can see, they have beautiful variegation and the new growth in the spring is nothing short of breath taking. The new growth comes up out pink. This is by far one of my favorites, but then again, how do you choose?
I've got three of these Goshiki Shidare Japanese Maples in my landscape, and because they are a variegated plant, they all look similar but different. The reason for that is because they are variegated and when the propagator takes the scions (cuttings) for grafting they are taken from different places on the stock plant thus creating variations. The variegation may be more pronounced on any particular branch on the stock plant, and that pronounced characteristic gets transferred to the new plant. And that makes for some very interesting trees as you will see!
I've got three Red Laceleaf Weeping Japanese Maples in my landscape and to the best of my knowledge they are all three different varieties. Two of them I'm not 100% sure of the variety because I bought them from a retailer, and they were not properly tagged.
Which is why I always tell people, "If you don't have the tag for any given plant, then you really don't know for sure what it is. No matter how many experts you ask!"
As you can see, this Super Red Laceleaf Weeping Japanese Maple looks just like the other two, and I know they are not the same variety. And there are more varieties than you can imagine.
This Goshiki Shidare Japanese Maple is one of the newer additions to my landscape. I mentioned that I paid $350.00 for this plant on the message board and people have been asking me to post a picture, so here it is! I took this photo at the end of July, but you should have seen this plant in the spring. It was almost pink!
A friend of mine has two or three very large hoop houses just full of beautiful Japanese Maples like these. These things are very long growing projects, but they do about 1,000 new ones each winter. Looking down through those hoop houses is like being in fantasy land! I've never seen so many beautiful plants in one place.
Notice in the top photo how this tree is a little open and doesn't have really great shape? That's why it's important to trim these things, so you can balance the head, and at at the same time get some of those open areas to fill in.
Waterfall Japanese Maple is a laceleaf weeping variety, but it is light green in color. Although most people like the red ones, this tree will really wake up a landscape. Just look at that foliage!
This impressive little tree is a Lions Head Japanese Maple. Very slow growing. You have to look closely at the top picture because I accidentally framed a PJM Rhododendron in this photo so it looks like it's part of the Japanese Maple. Sorry about that. But again, this is a Japanese Maple with yet another branching habit, and very different foliage. These things grow very, very slow, thus when you do find one they are usually pretty expensive.
I told you that I had three of these Goshiki Shidare Japanese Maples in my landscape, and that all three of them are very different. When I saw this one at my friend's nursery I went home, grabbed my spade and started pulling out plants to make room for this tree. This is one of the most unusual Japanese Maples I've ever seen. It's also a laceleaf weeping variety. The variegation was even whiter when I first planted it. I can't wait to see what it looks like next spring.
So there you have it! My Japanese Maple collection, and as you can see I am pretty passionate about these silly plants.
by Michael J. McGroarty