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I would really love to get a Japanese Maple. I can choose either a pretty much full sun or mostly shady spot. I live in Missouri...so, Zone 5 with VERY clay-like soil. Is there a particular variety I should look for?
I have three different types of JMs in my yard of varying heights and styles. I think you would be best served by going to a landscape gardening center. You should be able to learn what grows best in your area as well as tree size and cost. A gardening center that does landscaping should have the best experience and may be able to recommend some sites they have done and you can view.
Hi ChicagoKristt, I also grow these lovely specimen shrubs trees, I grow the type that are slow growing and can be set out in large containers with the type of soil they may require as you already know, they all like different things therefore depending on the type you select, you can somehow accommodate most.
Also grow the more tree size but, because we live close to the sea, these type4s are always a battle regarding storms can strip the beautiful leaves from those like shredding paper but again, IF you get forewarned about the storm brewing, I can throw fleece over them to give some protection, the others that grow into full grown Maples I don't grow due to the size and therefore the need for protection from wind burn,
I don't want to alarm you re wind damage as it is purely rep of my own environment and probably wont be a worry for you but what I am saying, there are many, many types, colours, textures and leave shape and pattern that you will find what suites your area best.
I like the idea from Cathy re looking within your own area as these people will be able to either get what you want for you, or give you addresses of where they are already growing in your neighbourhood.
Also try your book store in the garden area and search out tree's for zone 5, even try the local library for books as they often have pictures of the just planted and mature ones too so you can get an idea of Hight / Spread after say 10-15 years also remember with tree's, the spread / width also gives an idea of the spread the roots under-ground need too.
Good luck, hope this also helps a bit and don't forget to look for the autumn colour also.
Let's know how you get on, WeeNel.