This was the 3rd year I've ordered bare root grafted Japanese Maples from Del's Japanese Maples. I've ordered about 100 each time. I'm already deciding what to order next years as he has a huge selection of hard to find cultivars.
The trees have arrived wrapped tenderly in newspaper and in perfect condition. I hydate in buckets of water for at least 24 hours before planting. I keep them out of hard feezes for a year. By the end of the second summer, the trees have filled out and challenge 3 year plants at local nurseries.
Del knows his Japanese Maples. He has actually developed some named cutivars.
Have never tried rhododendrons as they typically do not do well in my area; but Del has suggested I try them in raised beds so, based on his tip, I will.