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Get it now or wait till next season (shirasawanum 'Aureum')?

(Zone 4b)

I have regretted not having space on my small residential property to accommodate a JM; specifically I am smitten with the Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' ("Golden Full Moon"). But life is too short for one's plant desires to be restrained by lack of space ;) and I had decided that next spring I would to squeeze one of these maples into our perennial shade garden.

But I came to discover just this week that a nursery about 45 minutes away still had a few leafless "Golden Full Moon" in stock at a season end sale price for a 6 gallon size ($174 reduced from $249). As well given the lateness in the season I did determine that there is a one year warranty on these trees.

And given my distance away from this nursery they were good enough to send along 2 rough photos of two different "Golden Full Moon".

I believe they are each about 3 feet tall.

What do you think? Is there much to choose between these 2 in terms of the basic 'bones' of each? I guess I should ask if either look good enough in terms of their structure?

Thanks in advance for your advice and experience.

Thumbnail by rouge21 Thumbnail by rouge21
Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

Get one - do you have a garage to over winter one in? Or you can "plant" it in its container in a protected place in the yard.

I keep mine in a container year round as they are supposed to be iffy in our zones - i picked up the similiar moonrise last year that will be planted out next year as it is supposed to be hardier.

As for which one to buy i think number 2 is better right now, although number 1 can be trimmed to improve its shape.

(Zone 4b)

Thanks for the reply and encouragement "wha".

I hadn't considered leaving it in the container in the garage (if I was to get it this week). Given that the plant should be dormant at this point and with the nice November weather we are experiencing the ground is still fine for digging, so I was thinking of digging that hole and putting it in it !

(And my intention has always been to have it in the ground in my garden ie not be a container plant.)

And here I was thinking that #1 had more potential than #2 in that there were more 'interesting' branching for that one.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

you are wecome - i suggest choosing which ever tree you like since you will be the one to see it each day.

I like 2 because it has a nice strong tree structure. 1 looks to have a lot of "sucker" growth that i trim off to promote stronger truck and main branching.

(Zone 4b)

Quote from wha :
I like 2 because it has a nice strong tree structure. 1 looks to have a lot of "sucker" growth that i trim off to promote stronger truck and main branching.

Then you probably like this one which I just found. It is in a 15 gallon pot and is almost 5 feet high and if you can see it has been pruned to promote a stronger trunk with a dominant foliage crown.

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Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

actually the one to the left with a lower truck might be my choice :)

(Zone 4b)

I am not sure it is an "Aureum"...maybe. You like the lower trunk to have more lower side branching rather than having a 'lollipop' like JM? But in any event a 15 gallon container is a good size.

(Zone 4b)

"wha", I picked up this 5 foot high 15 gallon "Aureum" yesterday, to be planted this weekend. Here is a better picture of it:

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Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

nice one - looks like it is also in burlap - make sure there is no wire around the root ball too and remove it - a couple years back i helped a friend plant a large jm and we found that the nursery had moved the tree into a larger container and left the burlap and wire on and the roots had grown through it - it was quite a project to remove the wire and trim the roots.

This message was edited Nov 25, 2012 10:21 AM

(Zone 4b)

Good for noticing "wha". I did cut the binding string which was in part wrapped around the base of the 'trunk' and I pulled back and cut away the burlap from the top. The roots had grown through the burlap on the sides so I decided to leave well enough alone given the time of year and left that alone.

Given that I am in a colder zone then you I am wondering on how often should I water this newly transplanted tree. I would imagine that given its dormancy the roots won't absorb as much of the water as it would in the spring and summer. So my concern that if I keep watering it then at some point the ground will freeze and possibly leaving the root ball sitting in frozen water.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

the burlap will not hurt the roots - it will rot away.

not sure i would water it at all since it is dormant now.

This message was edited Nov 26, 2012 3:36 PM

Milford, DE

I wouldn't even plant it now. This is a very difficult plant to take care of on a normal basis.

(Zone 4b)

Too late now Dave.

I am hoping that it being dormant will make the move into the ground less traumatic. As well I understand that the larger the "Aureum" the more likely it will survive the winter.

It is in a sheltered location; I have surrounded the base with lots good mulch and even put a windbreak of burlap around it.

(But if all this fails there is a warranty on this tree...2 years in fact).

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