Red Japanese maple cultivars

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Hello,

I need some help for choosing a red japanese maple cultivar.
I already have a grafted Deshojo and following the discussion here https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/how-do-i-air-layer-at-a-y-a-p-shindeshejo.32710/ I started to look for a new tree. Found a nursery withing acceptable distance that may have the following cultivars, not grafted.
Acer palmatum Beni Otake
Acer palmatum Beni Schichihenge
Acer palmatum Bloodgood
Acer palmatum Fireglow
Acer palmatum Inaba Shidare
Acer palmatum Katsura
Acer palmatum Okagami
Acer palmatum Going Green
Acer palmatum Osakazuki
Acer palmatum Atropurpureum
Acer palmatum Pixie
Acer palmatum Omurayama
Acer palmatum Red Emperor (maybe Emperor I??)
Acer palmatum Shaina
Acer palmatum Shindeshojo
Acer palmatum Skeeters Broom
Acer palmatum Sangokaku
Acer palmatum Orange Dream

Which one would you choose for a new project? I would prefer a medium size bonsai.
The summers are pretty hot here and I mostly have space to grow the tree on a balcony with direct sun on the afternoons. For that reason I was thinking about the fireglow, developed in Italy with a similar climate.
If needed I could find another place where the tree will have light all day and direct sun for about 3 hours, between 11:00-14:00
I could go to the nursery at the begining of next week. I'm searching the net for more info on those cultivars, but until now most of the info found is regarding growing the trees for landscape and that leaves me in the dark regarding leaf size, internode distance, tree's vigor etc.
Any help for choosing a good cultivar is really appreciated.
Thanks!
 

Johnnyd

Mame
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Hello,

I need some help for choosing a red japanese maple cultivar.
I already have a grafted Deshojo and following the discussion here https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/how-do-i-air-layer-at-a-y-a-p-shindeshejo.32710/ I started to look for a new tree. Found a nursery withing acceptable distance that may have the following cultivars, not grafted.
Acer palmatum Beni Otake
Acer palmatum Beni Schichihenge
Acer palmatum Bloodgood
Acer palmatum Fireglow
Acer palmatum Inaba Shidare
Acer palmatum Katsura
Acer palmatum Okagami
Acer palmatum Going Green
Acer palmatum Osakazuki
Acer palmatum Atropurpureum
Acer palmatum Pixie
Acer palmatum Omurayama
Acer palmatum Red Emperor (maybe Emperor I??)
Acer palmatum Shaina
Acer palmatum Shindeshojo
Acer palmatum Skeeters Broom
Acer palmatum Sangokaku
Acer palmatum Orange Dream

Which one would you choose for a new project? I would prefer a medium size bonsai.
The summers are pretty hot here and I mostly have space to grow the tree on a balcony with direct sun on the afternoons. For that reason I was thinking about the fireglow, developed in Italy with a similar climate.
If needed I could find another place where the tree will have light all day and direct sun for about 3 hours, between 11:00-14:00
I could go to the nursery at the begining of next week. I'm searching the net for more info on those cultivars, but until now most of the info found is regarding growing the trees for landscape and that leaves me in the dark regarding leaf size, internode distance, tree's vigor etc.
Any help for choosing a good cultivar is really appreciated.
Thanks!
Sharps pygmy and Kashima are recommended by many bonsai authors. I have both but they were grafted. I have a Sango on its own roots. It loves full sun. If you are looking for a description of leaf color and size Vertress is the main resource. What is the name of the nursery with those cultivars on their own roots? I would love to pick up a field grown deshojo or shiana.
 

Johnnyd

Mame
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Hello,

I need some help for choosing a red japanese maple cultivar.
I already have a grafted Deshojo and following the discussion here https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/how-do-i-air-layer-at-a-y-a-p-shindeshejo.32710/ I started to look for a new tree. Found a nursery withing acceptable distance that may have the following cultivars, not grafted.
Acer palmatum Beni Otake
Acer palmatum Beni Schichihenge
Acer palmatum Bloodgood
Acer palmatum Fireglow
Acer palmatum Inaba Shidare
Acer palmatum Katsura
Acer palmatum Okagami
Acer palmatum Going Green
Acer palmatum Osakazuki
Acer palmatum Atropurpureum
Acer palmatum Pixie
Acer palmatum Omurayama
Acer palmatum Red Emperor (maybe Emperor I??)
Acer palmatum Shaina
Acer palmatum Shindeshojo
Acer palmatum Skeeters Broom
Acer palmatum Sangokaku
Acer palmatum Orange Dream

Which one would you choose for a new project? I would prefer a medium size bonsai.
The summers are pretty hot here and I mostly have space to grow the tree on a balcony with direct sun on the afternoons. For that reason I was thinking about the fireglow, developed in Italy with a similar climate.
If needed I could find another place where the tree will have light all day and direct sun for about 3 hours, between 11:00-14:00
I could go to the nursery at the begining of next week. I'm searching the net for more info on those cultivars, but until now most of the info found is regarding growing the trees for landscape and that leaves me in the dark regarding leaf size, internode distance, tree's vigor etc.
Any help for choosing a good cultivar is really appreciated.
Thanks!
Also I recommend this book. You will not find this information anywhere!
 

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Sharps pygmy and Kashima are recommended by many bonsai authors. I have both but they were grafted. I have a Sango on its own roots. It loves full sun. If you are looking for a description of leaf color and size Vertress is the main resource. What is the name of the nursery with those cultivars on their own roots? I would love to pick up a field grown deshojo or shiana.
Thanks for the ideas Johnny!
That's the nursery: https://www.elnougarden.com/precios/acer-palmatum, I am not sure if they will ship from Spain to USA.
I called yesterday and they told me the japanese maples are on their own roots. Anyways, google reviews for them are really really bad, almost every review is a complaint about an online purchase, plants arriving very late, orders canceled, plants in bad shape etc etc. So I'm not really sure about them, I wouldn't order online but I have not much to lose if I visit the nursery.

It seems the cultivars you mentioned are not available from them, except maybe shaina. What do you like about it?

I ordered the "Japanese Maples" book on amazon, but unfortunatelly Valavanis book, at $495 will have to wait....
 

Johnnyd

Mame
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Thanks for the ideas Johnny!
That's the nursery: https://www.elnougarden.com/precios/acer-palmatum, I am not sure if they will ship from Spain to USA.
I called yesterday and they told me the japanese maples are on their own roots. Anyways, google reviews for them are really really bad, almost every review is a complaint about an online purchase, plants arriving very late, orders canceled, plants in bad shape etc etc. So I'm not really sure about them, I wouldn't order online but I have not much to lose if I visit the nursery.

It seems the cultivars you mentioned are not available from them, except maybe shaina. What do you like about it?

I ordered the "Japanese Maples" book on amazon, but unfortunatelly Valavanis book, at $495 will have to wait....
I do not have Shiana but have seen it in a bonsai demo by Rob Mahler. It has short internodes. If it is on its own roots I would certainly pick one up. In the states they sell a similar one called fireglow on it's own root. However I have not been able to locate one that has been field grown. If you have the resources I would buy something with at least a 2 inch trunk. Unless you want to plant it in the ground for some time.
 
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They have the fireglow and I'm inclined to it because I understood it tolerates well the full sun.
Growing in the ground is not an option at the moment, I live in an apartment building and I don't have a garden. I plan to grow the plant in a big airpot, on the terrace or the balcony.
 

Shinjuku

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Just to toss one more cultivar at you - I have an Acer palmatum “Red Dragon” in a pot that does very well in full, summer sun. It’s slow growing, lace leaf, and keeps its vibrant red color throughout most of the year. It’s a beautiful cultivar, though I haven’t seen it commonly used for bonsai as much.
 

Johnnyd

Mame
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Thanks for the ideas Johnny!
That's the nursery: https://www.elnougarden.com/precios/acer-palmatum, I am not sure if they will ship from Spain to USA.
I called yesterday and they told me the japanese maples are on their own roots. Anyways, google reviews for them are really really bad, almost every review is a complaint about an online purchase, plants arriving very late, orders canceled, plants in bad shape etc etc. So I'm not really sure about them, I wouldn't order online but I have not much to lose if I visit the nursery.

It seems the cultivars you mentioned are not available from them, except maybe shaina. What do you like about it?

I ordered the "Japanese Maples" book on amazon, but unfortunatelly Valavanis book, at $495 will have to wait....
What is nice about the Vertress book is that it gives a chart with the characteristics of each cultivar. One column is bonsai. These are more adaptable to bonsai practices. Many cultivars are fragile and suseptable to different issues. I had an Orange dream that did not make it this year due to a fungal disease.(I should have checked the chart) They do a nice job of describing each cultivar in the text. Peter Adams book is another great source of information. Good luck and enjoy!
 

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0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
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leaves me in the dark regarding leaf size, internode distance, tree's vigor etc.
Cultivars with 'hime' in their name will be small leaf, short internode varieties.
Also, as a general 'rule of thumb', green leafed cultivars tend to be more vigorous than red leafed ones.

The only thing that is red about Sango Kaku is the bark. Foliage is green-yellow.
Katsura and Orange Dream are difficult to distinguish and neither is a red variety - they express enough anthocyanin in spring to be orange, is all. Subsequently they are green-yellow. Fall color of all three of these is yellow.

Shishigashira is an acer palmatum variety you should consider, though it is green. It has short internodes and thickens fairly rapidly. It can have eye popping red-orange fall color.

Seigen is an outstanding old cultivar that is red in spring as well as red new growth, in the same fashion as shin deshojo, deshojo and chishio, chishio improved. My shin deshojo leaves are speckled green, somewhat like ukigumo. The others mature leaves are solid green. I've had great trouble successfully air layering it. More than a dozen layers have died the following spring because of the cambium dying and cambium being plugged near the soil level. I have only one that has survived. You may want to think twice about shin deshojo.
 
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Thank you all for the suggestions!
Most of the cultivars you suggested are not available there, but I will keep looking.
Anyways, now I have more work to do than I expected but hope to be able to see the nursery soon, and seeing the plants will make it easier to decide.
 

Adair M

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If I may make a suggestion...

Since you are in an apartment, and it sounds like you are relatively new to bonsai, I suggest you avoid the “red” cultivars. They are more sensitive and more difficult than ordinary “green” Japanese maple. No harm to visit the nursery, but almost every experienced bonsai person will tell you that the green J. Maple make better bonsai.

You could probably get a larger specimen of a green maple than one of the fancy varieties.

Then, once you have mastered it, then apply your knowledge to one of the fancy ones.
 

Adair M

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If I may list some of the advantages of greens: they are less likely to burn in the hot sun; you can take cuttings, and have a high success rate; they can be air layered; you can cut back hard, and they’ll pop back out with smaller leaves; you can defoliate them and they’ll put out a second flush of growth; leaf size reduces well; internodes shorten well; you can make them get very “twiggy”.

The red varieties? Not so much!
 
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Thank you Adair, you made very good points.
You are right, I'm new to bonsai. I have some experience growing plants in containers, but not bonsai.
For the next season I'll have some trident seedlings and if space allows I'll look for a green acer palmatum.
 

Adair M

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Tridents are a good start. Easy to grow.

Japanese Maple are less vigorous. They put out a push in spring, and stop trying to grow. Tridents keep on going!
 

Japonicus

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...Seigen is an outstanding old cultivar that is red in spring as well as red new growth, in the same fashion as shin deshojo, deshojo and chishio, chishio improved...
I was going to suggest Seigen since it wasn't in the OP list above. Very nice tree. Loved mine.
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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Tridents are a good start. Easy to grow.

Japanese Maple are less vigorous. They put out a push in spring, and stop trying to grow. Tridents keep on going!
Hi Adair M,
Unsure of your climate but in my zone green Jap Maples never stop growing either. At least in cooler zones one should get 2 flushes - Spring and late Summer.
I do agree though that the red JM’s are less vigorous, and although Chishio and Shindeshojo are not techniquely red maples, they are lovely JM’s and would be my choice to play with.
Charles
 
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Again, thanks everybody for the advice.
I joined a local bonsai club and yesterday I bought an olive and a chinese elm from one of the members, I will make another thread with pictures of them.
For the moment I have to stop looking for another tree, I will have to make more space on the terrace first.
Anyways, it looks like my deshojo is doing well. I received it at the end of June, few days before going on holidays.
It came in a very small pot filled with soggy organic soil, so I moved it in a colander with pumice and coco coir (80/20) 2 weeks ago. Now is growing new leaves on almost all the branches, so I think is acclimatized in its new home. Because the tree has a ugly graft on the trunk I will let it grow and in the future I will try to airlayer some branches.
 

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