Looking for a cultivar suggestion

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Hey guys,

I thought I'd pick your brains for a bit. I have a small spot in my front yard that I would like to adorn with a Japanese maple. My only requirement is that it be a dwarf because it will be planted in front of a window and underneath the eaves of the house. I live in zone 9a and it gets really hot here in the summer but this site is protected from the wind and is in total shade - though in early spring before the leaves on a mulberry tree come in, it does get some filtered morning sun. Can you think of any cultivars that would still look okay without much sun to give it color?

Edited to add: the two cultivars I thought of were Geisha and Coral Pink. I appreciate any other suggestions.

This message was edited Feb 24, 2010 10:29 AM

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

i have a small giesha - not sure how i feel about it yet, still to small - had not heard of coral pink, it looks nice - have you thought of beni hime?

i bring this in for the winter here, although you could plant yours easily.

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I hadn't thought of beni hime yet but I'm adding it to my list of possibilities, thanks. I checked with a (somewhat) local JM seller and they have it in stock so that increases the chances that I will get it.

The coral pink looks nice, but I'm having a hard time locating anyone that grows it that can ship to California.

Marin, CA(Zone 9b)

Gardensox, have you looked at Lucile from Whitman farms? Great great trees, honestly.
And further, maybe Forestfarm?

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Beni hime may not do too well in your heat. I would probably not pick that one but who knows..If you can find them... Ryuzu or Ojishi would do much better. Coral pink looks like a winner seems very hardy but that is not a consideration to you ..it is a stout almost Japonicum looking tree when bare of leaves .. with leaves it is very nice...I really like it..how well it would do in your sun is a ??.. another sun hardy dwarf is Beni ubi gohan a linearilobum and Koto maru..both take some sun Beni unbi is good in sun and wind. You are correct no one except west coast nurseries can legally ship to you but some do .Some folks will do anything for a buck without reguard to rules and regulations... and folks go along for a cheap price ..but legally it is a no no.. Lucille is very good at whitimans .. Forest farms is not my favorite ( to say it nicely) but others like them .. you will get much better treatment from Luucille, that much I can say without any hesitation . I think I gave you another name before that is super reliable. Dwarf cultivars are never easy to find and putting prerequisites on them for a certain area makes it even more difficult Good luck. Davidsan

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I knew it would be hard to find the right cultivar for the right place . . . but I figure by narrowing it down I'll increase my chances of being happy in the end.

Stanford, CA(Zone 9b)

Fairy Hair is a possiblity. I bought it from Greer Gardens I think.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I can't suggest particular cultivars, but Mendocino Maples is a good vendor and they've got a wide selection. Although Mendocino has a much cooler summer climate than you do, they probably know enough about which maples would do well in your area to give you some advice if you call them.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Doss. I found a cool picture of Fairy Hair online. Looks very interesting. I checked Greer Gardens but I don't think they have Fairy Hair right now. I'll keep searching for it though.

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Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

Fairy hair is a really cool with the finest leaves of any JM . There has been for years a search for the finest thinnest leafed cultivar .. and they can't get finer than this linearilobum. Being so fine it grows like a snail and is hard to graft .. it is also very sun touchy .Even in the north it must be grown in virtually complete shade . and even in shade if it gets too hot it will defoliate and not shoot secondaries .. this increases it's slow growth rate...but seems to do no harm and it thrives the next spring. For folks in Doss's area it is perfect for others it must be treated as a novelty and cared for carefully to get the longest leafed... "non bare branch " look.. It is otherwise not too hard to grow just hard to keep pristine. But your reward will be a super cool small tree that is a great eye catcher. I would definitely NOT recommend it for your area it is just too hot IMHO.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

david how would fairy hair do here?

Springfield, IL(Zone 6a)

I keep mine in a pot .. it is so slow growing it looks like a perfect container plant .. You are not that cold there so it might do ok planted out but I am not sure ...Potted FH do very nicely and you can move them around to get the perfect siting ... As I said they are NOT persnickety and or delicate but the leaves are both very fine and wispy ( like hair) which is not a sun worthy combo. I waqs trying to think of another plant to compare it to, JM or otherwise and came up with nada .. I guess the name itself 'Fairy Hair' moniker is the best comparative example although mythic. David(san)

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

thx - will have to put on the great jm list - would probably keep in a container as well - the shade area here would it difficult to plant

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Gardensox, what did you ending up gettting (if any?)

I also need a dwarf, that tops out at 4' preferably red in color, it will get moring sun

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I actually bought two that could go in this site. I got a Sharp's Pygmy and a Diana's Gem. Right now I'm trying out the Diana's Gem in this spot. It's only supposed to top out at around 2 1/2 feet tall so it should fit my spot pretty well.

Here's a link to the tree: http://www.topiary-gardens.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7_8&products_id=25

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