Finally Arakawa!

Velodog2

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Visited Meehan’s today mostly for soil (not, as we discussed, dirt. One dishes dirt, while one purchases soil) but had to also dig through the greenhouses a bit and found this maple with some potentially nice lines.
29972582-0FE7-40B6-A492-582EDD5C06FF.jpeg

I did not realize what it was until i showed it to Martha who said it was a cutting grown Arakawa, at which point I offered to let her double the price if she wanted. You can see the bark splitting at the base.

My initial thought was to prune it like this:

00C78772-078A-4C68-8109-AB332E51C1B9.jpeg

Which looks better in 3d than in the pic. But now, for some reason after learning what it was, I’m thinking less radical, more like this:

B20E4A68-016E-409A-B0CD-E2622E4778F3.jpeg

The slightly unfortunate swelling around the thick branch stub will have to be worked on. Regardless of its development stage or potential I’m just happy to have one of these finally and look forward to it’s long slow development.

I also came home with a nice old variegated porcelain berry and a “little gem” spruce.
 

Mellow Mullet

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I don't want to burst your bubble, but I don't think that that is arakawa. It is hard to tell from the photos, but I don't see any corking, if it is a big as I think it is, it should be showing a little corking on some of the bark. Could we see a close up of the trunk? or maybe of that bud that is opening?

John
 

Velodog2

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No not my beautiful bubble! I mean tbh I didn’t even really notice the bark until it was pointed out, although I should have.

C4AE1F9E-0326-41DA-84FE-4F183F3504CC.jpeg

That is probably the deepest furrow it has thus far and it doesn’t show well in the photo. I can’t say with authority that it is Arakawa but the bark is certainly not normal palmatum, and frankly if Martha says it is cutting grown Arakawa then she is likely the one who grew the cutting or at least otherwise knows the provenance with some certainty. I will be able to see the leaves soon and get a better confirmation. There are some slightly blurry buds shown there as well. What can one tell from a bud?
 

Velodog2

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Here’s a better pic of the bark at the base.
D571F23C-8D4A-443C-B86A-9CF610E00D51.jpeg

And one of it after reducing the scar a bit and pruning it back and adding a bit of wire to adjust the emergence angles and direction of the branches. I dunno. I like it and think it has a lot going for it considering it’s stage of development.
7A10BD6C-581C-4B5D-9A98-C4922F69BE67.jpeg
 
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petegreg

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I'd say the top portion is Arakawa, grafted on JM understock. Arakawa maples can be air-layered successfully.
 

Mellow Mullet

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I was thinking that might be the case, too. But the bark that is forming on the top part (the light colored rings) don't look cork, or at least like mine starts making bark. I know that there are a couple of different species of cork bark maple so maybe this one is different than the one that I have.

 

Velodog2

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Well interesting. Again, I obviously trust the source implicitly for being honest as well as not easily fooled. But we will have to see how this falls out as those certainly do appear to be different cultivars. The corking looks different and even the immature bark is a different color.

Alas, I’m ok either way, although I’ll feel a bit foolish if it turns out not to be. Well more than a bit actually, but if the shoe fits ...
 
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Mellow Mullet

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Well interesting. Again, I obviously trust the source implicitly for being honest as well as not easily fooled. But we will have to see how this falls out as those certainly do appear to be different cultivars. The corking looks different and even the immature bark is a different color.

Alas, I’m ok either way, although I’ll feel a bit foolish if it turns out not to be. Well more than a bit actually, but if the shoe fits ...
Well at least she didn't take you up on the "double the price" offer, or did she...
 

Velodog2

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Lol, no she didn’t double it. Their prices are more than reasonable and I was ready to happily pay what they were asking even if was a non-cultivar.

Googling Arakawa images gives what seems to be two types of trees. Some with bark similar to yours, what I would refer to as warty, with green twigs and some with bark more similar to mine, that I would consider fissured, with red twigs. So perhaps there are two cultivars that are mistakenly interchanged.

Does anyone know the names of the other “rough barked” cultivars? Google isn’t helping with this and my Vertrees was misplaced years ago.
 

miker

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Honestly, that straight section of trunk bothers me a bit, as the tree currently stands. Air-layering might be a good plan.
 

Velodog2

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It could be ‘Ibo Nishiki’, it looks similar to the description @Brent offers in his catalog:
View attachment 184674
Well done Brian, and thanks. The description does seem to fit well. Pics I can find still show some wartiness but that bark is probably more mature than anything on mine. I will follow up with the seller to see why they said what they did, although I think I’m with the consensus here at this point that this is not Arakawa. There was a little cognitive dissonance when they called it that as it did not seem to fit the vague recollection of what that should look like I had in my head and so in that regard this is a good outcome. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if it turned out to be ibo nishiki based on Brent’s evaluation, except oh yeah I have to fall on my sword now to regain honor for my mis-cultivaring this tree. I would still like to try an Arakawa someday, except they do seem to be unusually difficult to make into a good tree which could in fact be part of their allure.

Honestly, that straight section of trunk bothers me a bit, as the tree currently stands. Air-layering might be a good plan.
I see your point certainly and appreciate your honesty, but that section doesn’t really bother me. My eye seems to like the balance of the left, right, left movement with the spacing that it has. I think a lot has to do with the placement and angle of the first branch and the angular space created under it. Or something. Time will tell if I continue to like it.
 

Velodog2

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Martha got back to me regarding this. It is indeed cutting grown, from a tree in their landscape about 40 yrs old. She described the bark as rough and slightly shaggy, but not corky like pine bark. She can’t remember it’s origin.

So apparently she was not being precise in her use of the term Arakawa. The good news is I can see the mature bark on my next visit and it will be fun to ID the actual cultivar and settle this finally.

So until then I will leave with the crudest virt in captivity, drawn apparently with lipstick, showing the general lines I see when I look at this and what direction I will take it, all using branches that currently exist. Not the best maple perhaps but I still like it’s balance.
C77B4486-0D3A-4997-91E8-72EDC0402C9A.jpeg
 

W3rk

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Interesting find, good luck with your development and identification.

I'm actually looking to head out to Meehans probably this weekend. Did you notice how their stock of Trident Maple or Japanese Larch looked?
 

Velodog2

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Thanks!

They have plenty of tridents of different sizes available. Didn’t happen to notice any larch but I wasn’t looking either. They are probably there. Enjoy!
 

Smoke

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I am mostly turned off at the internode size. I see some places where it grows what looks like as much as 4 to 6 inches between nodes. It is very hard to get a nice maple look from such a coarse tree. Maybe with judicious pruning you can make do, but then you end up with a severe weak tree.

just sayin....
 

Velodog2

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Smoke - it’s had some strong growth lately it seems but there are short internodes near the trunk on most branches - the only parts of the branches I will ultimately keep. I already pruned much of the leggy growth away and probably should have gotten rid of it all. My confidence with maples is improved a lot but not 100% yet. Still prefer conservative.

Some of the twigs I’ve left are not too coarse. It should scale back ok I’m gonna guess. Hell if you want to get particular it even has some inverse taper at this point. Still like it and gonna try it anyway if only to see what the bark ends up looking like. Should be interesting.

Thanks for the comments!
 
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Velodog2

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I was able to look at the landscape tree it came from today at Meehan’s and get pics of its bark. It was growing in the shade of other trees in a back part of their large property and was not very attractive I’m afraid. It’s form was rangy and unruly, and it’s bark was kinda raggedy. She had obtained it from a nursery near here in Carlisle PA that had specialized in JM before (we think) going out of business, and did not remember the cultivar, if it was one. Regardless, it doesn’t appear to be the proposed ibo nishiki as its new stems were not bright red. Still a mystery. Here are the pics. It’s possible it could work as a bonsai.
97B8FE8F-DA68-4AB2-90EF-F2E601E16F5C.jpeg155BE2F3-54F6-4E5A-A71B-B0B82368B744.jpeg26C82945-B62E-4A86-B3DA-4406B6DD90A0.jpeg
 
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