I am thinking of planting another JM this spring & was considering the Red Dragon. The leaves on yours look very healthy, however, I've noticed in some of the other photos, Some have leaves with white spots?? What is the cause? I do not want to plant a variety that is suceptable to insects or disease. What advice do you have for a novice? Also, do you prune yours to give it tree look? Any information you wish to share will be appreciated. Thanks.
Too much shade & humidity is what I have noticed with Acers with white spots. No, I don't prune mine, the JM takes on it's own shape which by default is a tree, this particular variety has of course serrated leaves and grows slowly. The bottom branches are longer than the top ones and continue to extend relative to the trees size so that it continues to have that treelike appearance, (as it should).
My advice, (I consider myself a novice until I plant 100 trees), would be to get a tree with a very sizable root ball, the bigger the better, preferably directly from a nursery you can pick the tree up from. This particular tree was about 2' tall when I bought it, but weighed about 60lbs when I planted it, also plant the tree in an area where it will not be disturbed whatsoever. They take a long time to heal and continue growth.
It's now about 3½' tall, but it's spread has doubled to about 4'. it's still surrounded by 1 foot of snow this very minute, so I haven't gone near it for the last 5 mos! lol!
- good luck and best wishes! ☺
Ps - one other thing: plant and forget these JMs, they like to be left alone and not fretted over, with a big enough root ball they have the strength to survive most diseases, ...the less intervention the better! (all I hear when I get close to mine is " don't touch me, don't touch me, leave me alone!!" -and so I do what it says!) hee hee!