The Q&A Archives: Emperor I Japanese Maple

Question: Last June, I purchased one of your Emperor I Japanese Maple tree from Stoney Creek Gardens in Minocqua, Wisconsin, about 81 miles north of my home. The reason that I selected this tree was that the Monrovia tag on the tree stated that the tree was for USDA cold hardiness zone 4 - 8. This was the first time that I had found a Japanese Maple that was listed for zone 4 where I live. This winter, we had a mild winter, never going below -20 degrees F. Unfortunately, none of the branches on the tree developed any new leaves. I did get two sprouts from the lowest portion of the tree that are developing into new branches.

I recently checked on your website and found that you now state there that the the cold hardiness zone is 5 - 8. Had that been the original rating, I would not have purchased this tree. As I mentioned earlier, we never got below -20 degrees F so the weather actually fell into a zone 5 this last year. I contacted a person at Stoney Creek and she said that the discription I gave her was winter kill. She also said that all the papers that she had said it was good to zone 4 although shee said that shee did not check out your website. She told me that if I was going to keep the tree, that it would probably not develop into a tree but would be a perenial shrub where new growth would replace the old growth. She suggested wraping the tree in burlap ans stuffing leaves inside it or covering the tree up with snow to insulate it. I am not sure that either of these will help the plant survive. She said that she would give me in-store credit for the tree if I wanted but not a refund.

My question for you is why the discrepancy between your website, your product tag and the paper work that the reseller has. Has history of the plant shown you that it will not survive in zone 4? What about a mild winter like zone 5? I have not decided what I am going to do yet. I will be up in Minocqua on July 1st and will probably have to decide by then.


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