Ask a Question forum: What Japanese Maple is best for late afternoon sun

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Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Mar 21, 2015 3:36 PM CST
I'm redoing a large bed along my front walk to front door. I am thinking a Japanese Maple would make a good focal point. The area is 15 by 30 ft. The area gets morning shade and will get strong afternoon sun. I worry JM may not be good in that spot. I read an Emperor 1 can take quite a bit of sun. I'm open to ideas. Funds are limited and I won't be trying to fill the space right now but will plant a variety of evergreens, shrubs and some accent perennials. We are in Missouri, so hot summers are the norm (zone 5 or 6, depending). Thanks!
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Mar 27, 2015 4:36 PM CST
Welcome! to ATP Chili. Here are some links with info as to size etc for sun tolerant Japanese maples. I hope this helps.

http://www.lakesnursery.com/cms/index.php?page=tags

http://www.newgarden.com/notes/2013/4/24/best-japanese-maple...

http://www.gardenguides.com/130174-dwarf-japanese-red-maple-...
Name: Lynn
KC, Missouri (Zone 6a)
chili
Mar 27, 2015 9:26 PM CST
Thanks, those links are helpful.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Mar 28, 2015 9:34 AM CST
You are most welcome. I have Bloodgood and it gets all but the after 2PM CST sun directly, and the afternoon is dappled bright light. It has never had a problem here in the hot and humid South.

Another small tree you might like is the Japanese Magnolia. I have Jane and Susan, part of the "Little Girl" series of crosses between Magnolia liliflora and Magnolia stellata. They are very heat tolerant and the fragrance is wonderful.

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 28, 2015 5:33 PM CST
I'd be cautious of the words "sun tolerant" though. To me this always says "this plant would really do better in the shade".

You're going to spend quite a bit for a Japanese Maple, and you want to put it where it has the best chance to look great, not just 'tolerate' its location. I think blazing afternoon sun would certainly make just about any Japanese Maple tree struggle.

Is there any space on the west side of the spot where you could plant another tree that would throw a little shade over it in the afternoon? Maybe a pergola?

How about one of the Black Lace Sambucus instead? Elderberry (Sambucus nigra Black Lace™) They have very similar foliage, but might be more tolerant of the sun, and would also not be such a big investment. They also grow a lot faster, and can be pruned to look like a shrub or tree, to whatever size you want your feature to be. Japanese Maples are notoriously slow growers.
Elaine

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Mar 29, 2015 10:10 AM CST

Plants Admin

I have to agree with dyzzypyxxy that a Japanese Maple will take years to mature and your careful research is certainly warranted. Contacting the Missouri Botanical Gardens might be your surest bet. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/about/additional-info...

Even in my climate where many Japanese Maples are treated as full sun trees, some leaf burn can occur in particularly hot and dry summers. It's usually minor and so not objectionable and doesn't significantly affect the trees.
Evan
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Mar 29, 2015 11:17 AM CST
Here is a link to the Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder info site for Japanese Maples. It should be fairly accurate for your needs, Chili. I hope this is more helpful for you.

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...

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