Best Japanese Maple for Hot, Dry Climate

Colorado

Mame
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I’m planning to order some seedlings from Evergreen Gardenworks. Among other things, I’m going to order a Japanese maple. This will be my first maple of any variety.

The selection Brent offers is quite extensive. The cultivar descriptions are great, but don’t really touch on which variety might fare best in my hot, dry summer climate. For example, I believe I’ve read that the dissectum varieties do not do well in extreme heat.

Any advice on which cultivar might have the best chance of not just survival, but thriving? Thanks!
 

leatherback

Masterpiece
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I would say.. None of the Acer palmatum. You probably have a killer climate for all of them.

Trident maple would probably thrive though?
 

Colorado

Mame
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Haha! I appreciate the input. I am planning to order a trident as well. The palmatums are just so beautiful and interesting to me that I want to at least give it a shot...if I lose a ~$20 seedling then at least I can say I tried!
 

Cofga

Chumono
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Why not check with the folks at the arboretum in Denver and see what they suggest?
 

Shibui

Chumono
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How can one have a seedling named cultivar? Every seedling is unique so it should never be given the name of the parent. Seedlings from a named parent may have some of the characteristics of the parent but the reorganisation of the genes during sexual reproduction will ensure there is a new combination in the resulting seedling, not to mention any additional genes from an unknown father.
Seedlings of any named variety of Acer palmatum are simply Acer palmatum. You can give any seedling a name but please don't use the mother's name for it.
 

Shinjuku

Mame
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Here in Sacramento, summers are very hot and dry. The saving grace during summer is that often, but not always, the Delta Breeze blows in around 7:00 pm or so with cool air from the Pacific Ocean and cools down the 105 degree temperature to the upper 60s over the course of the night. Even so, the summers here are pretty brutal, though not quite as bad as what Smoke has in Fresno just a little south of me.

So I have to adjust. My Japanese maples have to receive full shade starting by around 9:00 am, or else they’ll burn in the summer sun. I also add organics to the soil mix for water retention and water twice a day in the summers. Even with that, my Japanese maples don’t really thrive. Or at least, I haven’t figured out how to make them thrive here yet.

So I’ve accepted that I may never have great Japanese maples in zone 9b, so I focus on other trees better suited for my climate.

My lesson for the day: Beware the curse of Climate Zone Envy. Focus on trees that grow well in your climate.

My second lesson: Ask Brent at Evergreen Gardenworks. He’ll suggest the cultivars with the highest chance of success for you.
 

Colorado

Mame
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So
How can one have a seedling named cultivar? Every seedling is unique so it should never be given the name of the parent. Seedlings from a named parent may have some of the characteristics of the parent but the reorganisation of the genes during sexual reproduction will ensure there is a new combination in the resulting seedling, not to mention any additional genes from an unknown father.
Seedlings of any named variety of Acer palmatum are simply Acer palmatum. You can give any seedling a name but please don't use the mother's name for it.
Sorry, they’re cuttings. My mistake! Still new at this ;)
 

moke

Shohin
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I just had a gallon of this delivered from amazon, I'm hoping it will help toughen my maples up a bit.
we will see this summer because we are definitely very hot and dry here in Utah where I'm located.

1553116353491.png
 

Colorado

Mame
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Here in Sacramento, summers are very hot and dry. The saving grace during summer is that often, but not always, the Delta Breeze blows in around 7:00 pm or so with cool air from the Pacific Ocean and cools down the 105 degree temperature to the upper 60s over the course of the night. Even so, the summers here are pretty brutal, though not quite as bad as what Smoke has in Fresno just a little south of me.

So I have to adjust. My Japanese maples have to receive full shade starting by around 9:00 am, or else they’ll burn in the summer sun. I also add organics to the soil mix for water retention and water twice a day in the summers. Even with that, my Japanese maples don’t really thrive. Or at least, I haven’t figured out how to make them thrive here yet.

So I’ve accepted that I may never have great Japanese maples in zone 9b, so I focus on other trees better suited for my climate.

My lesson for the day: Beware the curse of Climate Zone Envy. Focus on trees that grow well in your climate.

My second lesson: Ask Brent at Evergreen Gardenworks. He’ll suggest the cultivars with the highest chance of success for you.
Thanks for the feedback! Just what I was looking for. I do have an email out to Brent, so I’ll report back.
 

rockm

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I’m planning to order some seedlings from Evergreen Gardenworks. Among other things, I’m going to order a Japanese maple. This will be my first maple of any variety.

The selection Brent offers is quite extensive. The cultivar descriptions are great, but don’t really touch on which variety might fare best in my hot, dry summer climate. For example, I believe I’ve read that the dissectum varieties do not do well in extreme heat.

Any advice on which cultivar might have the best chance of not just survival, but thriving? Thanks!
What JMs do landscape nurseries in the area offer? That would be the guide I would use to get the right variety. Dont' have to buy them from the landscape nursery, just see what they have that will live in your climate.
You might also look through here for heat tolerant varieties.
https://www.mendocinomaples.com/
https://www.mendocinomaples.com/growing-japanese-maples-in-hot-climates
 

Japonicus

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I just had a gallon of this delivered from amazon, I'm hoping it will help toughen my maples up a bit.
we will see this summer because we are definitely very hot and dry here in Utah where I'm located.

View attachment 233250
1 gallon How many trees do you have moke? I use 1/4-1/2 Tsp/g.
It can raise pH according to the label. If you buy their K-L-N beware of Amazon.
It carries a short expiration date, and most poor feedback is just that on their site.
Stone Lantern just got some in and it's good to 11/7/19.

I would consider moving to St George, UT but pretty darn hot.
Looking for a strategic place out that way when I retire between there and Wyoming.
 

moke

Shohin
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1 gallon How many trees do you have moke? I use 1/4-1/2 Tsp/g.
It can raise pH according to the label. If you buy their K-L-N beware of Amazon.
It carries a short expiration date, and most poor feedback is just that on their site.
Stone Lantern just got some in and it's good to 11/7/19.

I would consider moving to St George, UT but pretty darn hot.
Looking for a strategic place out that way when I retire between there and Wyoming.
I have many trees, but I only have 5 Japanese maples in various stages. They did well last summer until the end of the scorching temps and dry humidity began causing leaf scorching. So I’m hoping it will help. St George would be a great place to retire, but you are right about it being hot. I’m further north near Salt Lake City we see temps from -20 in the winter to 111F in the summer.
As far as the water pH I have always adjusted mine with pH Down or Sulphuric acid along with fertilizer, I mix a large tank then pump from the tank to water my trees. I do this due to the very hard water in my area before treatment it’s around 8.9pH.
 

Japonicus

Omono
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I have many trees, but I only have 5 Japanese maples in various stages. They did well last summer until the end of the scorching temps and dry humidity began causing leaf scorching. So I’m hoping it will help. St George would be a great place to retire, but you are right about it being hot. I’m further north near Salt Lake City we see temps from -20 in the winter to 111F in the summer.
As far as the water pH I have always adjusted mine with pH Down or Sulphuric acid along with fertilizer, I mix a large tank then pump from the tank to water my trees. I do this due to the very hard water in my area before treatment it’s around 8.9pH.
ProTekt
I often have problems with the silicone precipitating and getting flaky in the bottle and plugging my watering can.
If it has precipitated, it no longer could be as effective. Just watch for that, equipment may have to get back flushed.
I use a sharp round tooth pick to reopen the holes in my watering can. Last bottle didn't do this.
Our pH is N 6.8-7 and ~150-160 ppm TDS. Hard but much worse in Arizona 800+ppm in places.
 

n8y

Yamadori
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Here in Sacramento, summers are very hot and dry...
I'm in Chico and have accepted leaf burn as a part of the process. J. Maples grow well here, with the right shading and soil conditions. I was also able to grow a couple in Albuquerque. They're tough trees.

And if you're ordering from Evergreen, Brent has similar conditions to @Shinjuku and me. @Colorado -- You're much drier than us, but you can do it.
 

chansen

Shohin
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I’m planning to order some seedlings from Evergreen Gardenworks. Among other things, I’m going to order a Japanese maple. This will be my first maple of any variety.

The selection Brent offers is quite extensive. The cultivar descriptions are great, but don’t really touch on which variety might fare best in my hot, dry summer climate. For example, I believe I’ve read that the dissectum varieties do not do well in extreme heat.

Any advice on which cultivar might have the best chance of not just survival, but thriving? Thanks!
I live in the greater Salt Lake area, and live in approximately the same environment that you do (elevation, temps, humidity, etc.). I have my japanese maples under 40% shade cloth all day once it stays hot (usually hitting the 80s). I use a "normal" bonsai soil mix (lava, akadama, pumice), and in the peak of summer I water multiple times per day.

Wind and sun protection are a must, but with those you can grow acer p. just fine. I protect mine in a temperature controlled greenhouse in the winter as well. Most acer p are winter hardy, but I just put everything in the greenhouse for the winter. Trident maples are more tolerant of the heat, and less tolerant of the cold.
 

Colorado

Mame
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I live in the greater Salt Lake area, and live in approximately the same environment that you do (elevation, temps, humidity, etc.). I have my japanese maples under 40% shade cloth all day once it stays hot (usually hitting the 80s). I use a "normal" bonsai soil mix (lava, akadama, pumice), and in the peak of summer I water multiple times per day.

Wind and sun protection are a must, but with those you can grow acer p. just fine. I protect mine in a temperature controlled greenhouse in the winter as well. Most acer p are winter hardy, but I just put everything in the greenhouse for the winter. Trident maples are more tolerant of the heat, and less tolerant of the cold.
This is great, thank you! So do you have the “standard” acer p.? Or any specific variety(s)?

Mine will winter in the unheated garage. My bench gets morning sun and afternoon shade. I can also move them to the (mostly) north side of my house, if necessary, where they’d be in shade for 95% of the day.
 

amatbrewer

Mame
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In Yakima (central Wa State) we have hot dry summers and cold dry winters, just not the altitude you do (1k' elevation. Average rainfall ~2". Single digit humidity most of the year). Red & vine maples do quite well (but I understand are not all that suited for Bonsai) and we have many large maples of various varieties around my neighborhood (no idea what type). I also have a Lions Head (Shishigashira) in a 5gal nursery pot. I have found the need to protect some of my trees (e.g. maple and dawn redwood) from the worst of the summer sun to avoid burnt foliage, some partial/dappled shade is all I have found is necessary in my area.
Hope this is helpful.
 

bonsaichile

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Thanks for the feedback! Just what I was looking for. I do have an email out to Brent, so I’ll report back.
I live in Denver, and I have A. palmatum kiyohime and Sharp' pigmy. I've had them for a couple years without a problem. Just protect them from the noon/afternoon sun in summer, water them everyday and you should be fine. Beware of the winds. They won't kill them but they might scorch the edge of the leaves.
 

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