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May 4, 2020 4:08 PM CST
|One day my friend Lethy and I were visiting nurseries when she suddenly said, "...want a $10 Japanese Maple?"
Well, in my area a healthy one gallon Japanese Maple can easily go for $35.00... more if it is an unusual variety.
"Sure!", I said... so she took me to Aldi's and there, in the middle of an aisle, was a pallet containing numerous one gallon Japanese Maples. All were the variety 'Viridis' and all looked water deprived. I picked out the nicest one I could find... it's trunk had the diameter of a pencil... but it did have a few nice branches... and it looked windswept [a good thing.]
A year in the ground proved it was healthy and growing... but its location wasn't prominent enough to show off its better qualities.
For two years it has been potted and located in front of that metal panel in the photos and its performance has been excellent. It has better red spring foliage, better green summer foliage and outstanding red fall color.
Now that I've accumulated some experience growing this one in a container...
I might go looking for one each of these varieties: Sharp's Pygmy [dwarf mounding form, great fall color], Kasagiyama [vase-shaped, brick red leaves with black veins], Shaina [dwarf form, wider than tall], or possibly Paperbark Maple [Acer griseum].
I should mention that summer heat & humidity and winter temperature fluctuations make growing Japanese Maples in Oklahoma City challenging. Our growing conditions, for instance, will never permit a Japanese Maple variety to get as large at maturity as it would get in, say, Chicago or Saint Louis or Seattle. But they do grow here and they are beautiful... even if stunted by growing conditions.
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