PlantFiles: Coral Bark Japanese Maple Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'
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Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From woody stem cuttings From softwood cuttings From semi-hardwood cuttings From hardwood cuttings By grafting By budding
Seed Collecting: N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
On Apr 15, 2011, OaklandGuy from Oakland, CA wrote:
Purchased a 15 gal one a couple of years ago. Love it. It really brightens up the yard in winter. Just watch out for leaf burn - protect it from hot, dry wind, and leech excess salt from the soil.
One question. I'm thinking of buying more. When I came across some 5 gal plants with poor color (totally grey in the trunk and barely pink at the new twigs), the grower tried to convince me that they need to grow to 15 gal size before the color intensifies. I think it's B.S. as the young twigs should have the brightest color, but I don't have experience growing one from 5 gal. Comments?
On Jan 28, 2011, NWSeattleite from Seattle United States wrote:
Planted a small (~4.5 ft tall) one of these 5 years ago in partial shade (afternoon sun only) in recently (and deeply) tilled earth just north of Seattle. It exploded and has more than doubled in size. It has hit its '10 year size' in half the time. Love this tree. The bark is beautiful and the tree is very lush (gets plenty of water).
On Nov 15, 2010, Pdewhitt from San Jose, CA wrote:
I just saw a whole lot of these growing in the Getty Museum Gardens in Los Angeles. They were bare of leaves, shrubby vase-shaped and spectacularly colored - red, orange and yellow. The garden is in full sun, but is on a mountaintop and gets ocean breezes, so that probably moderates the heat. I'd like to try them in San Jose. Any input?
Add on: Just realized they were probably not maples but were a variety of dogwoods. Oh well, they were gorgeous. Could they grow in Northern California?
I've had a small (originally 4' tall) Bloodgood Japanese Maple for two years here in Dallas and it has done very well even after a very hard freeze last winter and a very hot summer in the 100's many weeks in the summer. It is on the North of the house in mostly dappled shade during the summer.
On Aug 30, 2010, Dodgeum from Waxahachie, TX wrote:
I bought this plant from a nursery and they planted the first
in May 2009. It died. They replaced it in May 2010 and now
the leaves are completely dried up and the coral bark is turning dark gray/black. I think the heat is to intense in the summer time in Texas for these plants to survive. Possibly if they were put out in a more shaded area the chances of survival would be better.
On Apr 17, 2010, jeffhaines from Raleigh, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:
We have had good luck with our coral bark in North Carolina. It started out in Winston-Salem, and we moved it with us to Raleigh. It moved well and will soon be in its third year in its new spot. We have good bark color in the winter. We have it planted in a partly shady to shady woodsy area.
On Jan 1, 2010, urbantransplant from Marshall, VA wrote:
This tree has done well since I planted it in full sun but mostly dry soil. It had grown to about 4 1/2 ft tall when a bear passing through my yard (looking for my birdfeeders) he broke it clean off at the base. I saw the tree laying there in the morning and the next day it was completely gone despite a search of my property. Was there something about this particular tree that attracted the bear? I'd like to replace it.
I live in Oklahoma. I planted a coral bark Japanese maple last fall. It was beautiful. It never lost its leaves. This spring its golden leaves were still on it. This summer the leaves started to turn brown and curl up. the existing branches with leaves never grew. The new growth is looking like weeds. I read an article that talked about a disease caused by the bacterium Xylella Fastidiosa, which clogs the plant's water-conducting tissues. It is spread by spittlebugs, leafhoppers and treehoppers. The article said there was no cure for it. I do not want to just chop it down. Please help.
On Sep 7, 2009, dakotadad from Plymouth, MA wrote:
Three years ago the 4 foot Coral Bark Maple caught our eye since everything looks so dead in the winter and the red bark brightened the garden. Here, adjacent to Cape Cod, it is growing magnificantly, sometimes too fast as a vase shaped 8 foot plus shrub with three main trunks and a multitude of arched pendulous branches.We like this tree full and unpruned to shade the A/C. Planted without any stakes in peat moss, cricket manure, loam, sand and super phosphate, with four inches of cedar mulch, in 5 hours of full sun the tree responded well. Winter die back of current season new growth is modest.. Today was the first signs of autumn with the beginning of its yellow leaves. Maples, including this, one require weekly deep watering and I avoid sprinklers which encourage surface rooting. Also the last watering is done BEFORE the ground freezes solid. The roots will continue growing during most of the winter and I freeze al my plants wet.
On Jun 5, 2009, turektaylor from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:
here in NE NC, mine is only if full sun in the AM, then dappled shade the rest of the day. very acid-y soil from the pines and large maples overhead. i too, trim unruly branches on top and continue to remove all lower branches to 4'. it creates the nice shaped 'canopy top' that makes them so appealing.
On Apr 25, 2009, blumburg from powell, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:
Planted mine last spring and the leaves scorched a little in full sun in Powell Ohio in the summer despite lots of watering. The coral bark was beautiful all winter. Now there are only a few leaves at the base of the tree and the bark has turned mottled grey brown. I'm guessing it froze, but maybe some disease?
On Jan 11, 2009, catcollins from West Friendship, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
This is a really beautiful tree, but the jury is out on whether it is good for this area. We had two. One died in its second year for no apparent reason despite being in a sheltered position with full sun until 2pm. I suspect that it caught some type of blight - died from the bottom up. The other has been doing okay for 3 years now. Some winter dieback but this one is fully exposed to winter winds, full sun. It does tend to shoot out in strange directions and needs to be trimmed to shape. Beautiful bright foliage, excellent winter bark. Other types seem to be much more reliable and just as pretty.
Sango kaku is a very 'twiggy' vase-shaped upright japanese maple which grows quite tall but in the right place and if you were lucky enough to buy one with an outstanding red bark, can be quite a centerpiece. I personally do not like the 'twiggy' look so I remove a lot of the inner twigs and artistically shape my coral bark the way I want it to look. I also have it in a place where pieces of it hang into view in my diningroom window as you sit and eat. I posted a photo of mine so people could see it the way it can look if you personally also don't like the 'twiggy' look. This one seems to be a fast grower and available everywhere--it is not expensive. Buy an inexpensive junior-sized (not infant) one at your local hardware store that is well shaped and had the most RED to its bark.
On Mar 21, 2008, oscarkat01 from Rochester, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have had great luck with this plant. I have one in a partial shade location. The other is in full sun with a western exposure. There is a tiny bit of tip die back in the winter here. I never get leaf scorch even in full sun.
On May 2, 2007, Davidsan from Springfield, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
I know it's a great tree perfect can't go wrong BLA BLA BLA ...My personal experience is it is a piece of JUNK for this area ...maybe in Jm friendly areas but not here ...burns in summer dies back in winter ...DON'T waist your time. I find all the coral bark Jm's hard to grow in northern areas my Japanese sunrise didn't make it either ..but I will say and say it LOUD and CLEAR that the Japanese sunrise is so FAR superior in every respect to the sango it is a no brainner ...I cant recomend it for my area cause of my experience but if you live in a more JM friendly area buy it before that stickin stupid insipid Sango!!! David
On Sep 11, 2003, sgmdoc from Tuscaloosa, AL wrote:
I purchased my Coral Bark from a Japanese nursery in Washington then flew back to Tuscaloosa, Alabama (U.S.) with it and six other plants. It has been growing in Tuscaloosa since 1995. Today as I was having some pine trees removed they dropped a 40 year old pine on my Coral Bark.
On Nov 21, 2002, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
There are newer varieties of Coral Bark Japanese Maples, but this is still one of the best. Often available at a good price in local nurseries, the leaves turn clear yellow in fall; cold weather turns the bark and branches bright red. Color is not quite so vivid on older wood as tree ages, but it remains a striking specimen, particularly when backlit. New leaves are a bright clear green with red margins. This is a vigorous, upright tree. Also known as 'Senkaki'.
Like most Japanese Maples, does need a partial shade location. Our hot dry California summer weather tends to crisp the leaf edges; mine has a late afternoon sun exposure and has suffered some damage.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, (2 reports) Mentone, Alabama Springville, Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama Conway, Arkansas Haskell, Arkansas Bakersfield, California Chico, California El Cerrito, California Garberville, California Morada, California Newcastle, California Oakland, California (2 reports) Oakley, California San Leandro, California Santa Rosa, California Calhoun, Georgia Cumming, Georgia Smyrna, Georgia Chicago, Illinois Georgetown, Kentucky Kenton Vale, Kentucky Louisville, Kentucky Lafayette, Louisiana Millersville, Maryland East Pepperell, Massachusetts North Plymouth, Massachusetts Novi, Michigan Marion, Mississippi Verona, Mississippi Madison, Missouri Reno, Nevada Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey Ringwood, New Jersey Rumson, New Jersey Toms River, New Jersey Rochester, New York Zena, New York Charlotte, North Carolina Elizabeth City, North Carolina Hendersonville, North Carolina Matthews, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports) Euclid, Ohio Gates Mills, Ohio Mansfield, Ohio Bixby, Oklahoma Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Beaverton, Oregon Maywood Park, Oregon Monmouth, Oregon Salem, Oregon East Norriton, Pennsylvania Lima, Pennsylvania Inman, South Carolina Lexington, South Carolina Seven Oaks, South Carolina Walhalla, South Carolina Arlington, Tennessee Morrison, Tennessee Dallas, Texas (2 reports) Heath, Texas Genola, Utah Hot Springs, Virginia Lexington, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Newsoms, Virginia Battle Ground, Washington Black Diamond, Washington Concrete, Washington Edgewood, Washington Edmonds, Washington Five Corners, Washington La Conner, Washington Langley, Washington Renton, Washington Seattle, Washington (2 reports) Tanglewilde-thompson Place, Washington Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin