Green Maple Tuesday, Jun 2 2015 

I know, Japanese Maples are supposed to be red. But, some of our seedlings are green, and a lovely green it is. Besides they go flame orange in the fall. And yes, the trunk is green.

Now if only I could a)find and b)get to grow a cut leaf seedling.  I had one, that one in a million (quite literally, anyone need a Japanese Maple seedling?), but it died.

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Japanese Maples Sunday, Nov 2 2014 

Japanese Maples aren’t usually planted for their fall color, which is a pity. Our various seedlings tend to fall into two types of color: pure scarlet or flame orange. (and a lot of muddy ones where the red just doesn’t quite do it, but is definitely red) A few are orange. The greener the bark, the oranger the coloration in the fall. In general, the orange/green have relatively green summer foliage, which is probably why they are less common (until recently we tended to select on the basis of summer foliage).  For one reason or another, we decided to plant two rather nice green ones flanking the drive, I decided I liked them, and we have since added several more. Which means that we have succeeded, somewhat not accidentally in developing what (in several decades) will be a real grouping of orange maples in the Rabbit Hole drive, an accomplishment that really was only apparent this year, as several are very small still.  The fall color, no surprise, comes from the two different parents, along with the trunk/twig coloration. The orange seems to come from the fine cut-leafed dwarf maple parent, the red from the bigger, rather coarsely cut full sized parent. The red is always a pure color with no shading on the leaf. The orange tends to shade towards the veins/edges, creating an appearance similar to Stewartia or Dogwoods, where the tree is not a single color.

Unfortunately, the coarser shape appears to be the dominant gene in determining leaf shape, though the orange ones are slightly finer. Only one ever approached the parent type, and it died on me (naturally). Red is also the more common fall color.




Orange: (all of these are still fairly small), but you can see the green cast to the bark on branches over about 2 years in age, which is the giveaway; the reds have purple bark.


Japanese Maples in the Fall Thursday, Nov 7 2013 

I mentioned in passing that I don’t object to Japanese Maples, which is good as we have a number of them…Although some of the more strict ‘native plants only’ group would argue for them being invasive; they don’t fit the definition very well here.  They grow much too slowly to compete with native maples or oaks, (assuming of course there are native maples to seed the area).  They do, however, germinate and grow.  We started with two: a finely cut dwarf and a fairly coarse purple/red back in the 1920’s.  They have crossed over the years and have produced many babies: some with finer cut leaves than others; some with good fall color (brilliant orange or scarlet), some that are an OK purple/red; some that have green summer foliage (always orange in the fall), some with dark red summer foliage. 

IMG_4099 The original dwarf, finely cut one.  You can see a branch of the other original in the top left corner.  Sadly, this dwarf is not long for the world, this photo was taken three years ago, the top branches have since died.

IMG_4090 One of the babies with a fairly typical medium fine cut, this one is almost green in the summer.

IMG_2141 Two of the offspring, the closer one is a genuine scarlet in the fall, the other is noticeably more purple/maroon.  That is accurate color in the photo. 

Specialc099One of the earliest photos that show the original two in 1957.

IMG_4763 The same maples in 2012. This maroon color is the standard for most of the offspring as well.

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