Trident Maple vs. Japanese Maple cold tolerance? Difference between cold hardiness or tolerance to low-colds?

Bonsai Noodles

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When I look at the USDA Cold Hardiness ratings for the trident vs. Japanese maple, I saw that the trident maple can tolerate as low as zone 4, whereas Japanese maples can only go to zone 5. But when I read online, I saw that trident maples are a bit more susceptible to cold damage/death in winters? Why is this the case? Is there something interesting going on, or is cold hardiness not the only factor to keep in mind with these trees?
 

zanduh

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You have to remember that USDA ratings are based on trees in the ground and are not specific to root systems in containers. Because of the nature of having our trees small in pots you basically should treat USDA ratings as a general suggestion that should be followed up by asking people around you what their experiences are
 

Bonsai Noodles

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You have to remember that USDA ratings are based on trees in the ground and are not specific to root systems in containers. Because of the nature of having our trees small in pots you basically should treat USDA ratings as a general suggestion that should be followed up by asking people around you what their experiences are

I see; that's so interesting.

Would be interested to hear what people's general experiences are with trident vs. Japanese maples in the winter.
 
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When I look at the USDA Cold Hardiness ratings for the trident vs. Japanese maple, I saw that the trident maple can tolerate as low as zone 4, whereas Japanese maples can only go to zone 5. But when I read online, I saw that trident maples are a bit more susceptible to cold damage/death in winters? Why is this the case? Is there something interesting going on, or is cold hardiness not the only factor to keep in mind with these trees?
I am quite surprised to read that. Around me it is common knowledge that JM are more hardy than Trident maples JM are .
 

Bonsai Noodles

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Yeah, it's also interesting to see this is also corroborated by Brent @Evergreen Gardenworks. He has trident maples as rated for lower temperatures, but they're also "unusually susceptible to cold damage."
 

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PA_Penjing

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I’ve read that trident maple put out a “fleshier” succulent root system, versus the Japanese maple which is woodier. So, if the tree is In the ground and the roots are protected, I guess maybe trident could be hardier. But when you put a tree in a shallow dish it exposes the roots extremes they wouldn’t see naturally. “You lose a zone in a pot” is a mantra I used to hear a lot. Haven’t recently
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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This is addressed in M. Hagedorn's book "Bonsai Heresy, 56 Myths Exposed"

And his explanation, with references revolves around the tolerance of roots to cold is significantly less than the above ground trunk and branch and leaf bud tolerance to cold. Roots are more sensitive to cold.

A second issue is susceptibility to late season frosts and freezes. Some trees wake up rapidly from dormancy, and can be killed by late season frosts. In the interior of USA we often have late winter thaws, followed by returns to very cold temperatures. Trident is known to be susceptible to this issue. Where a native tree species to the midwest will stay dormant for weeks after the nights go above freezing, trident maples and to a lesser extent Japanese maples only need a few nights above freezing in late winter and they begin growing. Then when cold returns, buds get killed.
 

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