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Oct 22, 2021 11:48 AM CST
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener Butterflies Echinacea Hummingbirder Roses Region: Texas
Hi all, I have been following this forum for a few weeks and want to jump into growing a Japanese maple.
Background: moved to this area about a year and a half ago. It's zone 8 north Dallas Tx area.
Due to intense sun, I plan on growing in a container ( 17 inches across, 14 inches high)on my patio. It will only get sun until noon, but could move to even more shade if needed.
Questions: are there varieties that do better in a container? Is it better to try and find it now and plant it or wait until late winter, or spring? Or does it make any difference? I won't be able to easily move the container into a garage, but can wrap it for protection if needed. Of course if another Snowpocolypse like this February is forecast I would make the effort to move it.
Does the initial size of the plant make a difference? Is smaller or larger better to deal with the shock of moving? Thanks for any input.
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Oct 24, 2021 6:26 PM CST
Name: Otto
Chilliwack BC
Japanese Maples
Hi teacup754
When planning to purchase a Japanese maple make sure you look for a grafted variety as it will have the acer palmatum root stock which is very hardy and ideal for container growing.
Pretty much and Japanese maple can be container grown when it has the palmatum root stock.
When it comes to repotting or transplanting your japanese maple it is best to do during the dormant period ( end of October thru mid March).
I did post a new thread in this forum as well with a link to my youtube channel which is dedicated to japanese maple growers. I am sure you will be very well informed and have a better idea which specimen you would like to purchase after having a look at the maples in our private garden
Last edited by OttoBjornson Oct 24, 2021 6:26 PM Icon for preview
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Oct 24, 2021 7:02 PM CST
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener Butterflies Echinacea Hummingbirder Roses Region: Texas
Thanks Otto, I will check it out!
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Oct 24, 2021 8:28 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
All Japanese Maples are Acer palmatum and any Japanese maple can be kept in a container but ...

Some have the potential to grow 25 ft tall and wide. Luckily, some will grow much much smaller. Look for a smaller growing Japanese Maple - it will be much easier to care for.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Oct 25, 2021 5:55 AM CST
Name: Otto
Chilliwack BC
Japanese Maples
The most common root stock used for grafting is the acer palmatum root stock. There are other japanese maple root stocks which are not quite as hardy (acer japonicum is a little more tricky in the colder weather).
As far as growth habits, there are several varieties that can grow quite large but all of them including the fastest growers can be container grown. Here is an example of the acer palmatum "seiryu", my favourite cultivator of all the japanese maples. It is listed as growing upwards of 20' tall. This one in the photo is now 40 years old and I just re potted into a smaller container after doing a root pruning this past winter. Fall colours are striking. The actual height of the tree is just over 6'.

Thumb of 2021-10-25/OttoBjornson/37760d


Thumb of 2021-10-25/OttoBjornson/4c9c86
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Oct 25, 2021 12:40 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
My point is, Teacup754 is a first time Japanese maple grower. A dwarf growing tree is a much better choice. Japanese maples are not the easiest to learn to prune well. I'm glad you've got it figured out but I doubt Teacup754 does considering the questions.

We're here to help new growers/owners, not overwhelm them with our extensive accomplishments.

The rootstock is Acer palmatum (Acer Japonicum is a different tree) but not really something Teacup needs to worry about. It would be better to tell her how to choose a tree with a good graft and the pitfalls of poor choices. Teacup754, make sure the company you choose has a good reputation and the graft is well healed (the graft should be flat with no signs of shoots off the bottom). There shouldn't be any signs of grafting tape or glue. I would also avoid trees with the graft at the top of the trunk.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Oct 25, 2021 1:55 PM CST
Name: Otto
Chilliwack BC
Japanese Maples
Regardless of the type or size of japanese maples they all require the same basic care and attention. That is the format I use for all of my video's to cater to the beginning grower and even experts like yourself may find them useful.
The point about the japonicum root stock was mostly to inform you that not all japanese maples have the same root stock.

I have learned so much about many plants on this forum and I like to pass along my extensive 40 year knowledge of japanese maples in a user friendly manner as well. Perhaps if you watched a few of my video's you will see I do cater to the beginning grower to help them along the best way possible.
Last edited by OttoBjornson Oct 25, 2021 4:49 PM Icon for preview
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Oct 26, 2021 9:28 AM CST
Name: Otto
Chilliwack BC
Japanese Maples
[quote="teacup754"]
Questions: are there varieties that do better in a container? Is it better to try and find it now and plant it or wait until late winter, or spring? Or does it make any difference? I won't be able to easily move the container into a garage, but can wrap it for protection if needed. Of course if another Snowpocolypse like this February is forecast I would make the effort to move it.

Hi Teacup
Back to your original questions, in the attached video I uploaded, every tree would be suitable for your application. Each tree has been in growing in full sun. We don't get quite the heat you do in Texas but we did have a heat bomb of 43C this summer (110F). Also our winter weather is much colder then yours as we get sustained cold with arctic outflow winds and plenty of snow. All the container trees do just fine, no need to move indoors at all.
Most important is your watering cycle during the growing months when container growing. Water daily and water well. When we get extreme heat we water the containers in the morning and evening. When it is raining, of course no need to.
I do have a video on soil mix for your container growing as well on my youtube channel. Very basic mix of 20% sand, 30% bark mulch and 50% composted bark mulch. This allows for great drainage. We also apply one tablespoon of a 6 month slow release fertilizer once each spring ( 16-10-10). Also another more common fertilizer mix readily available at most garden centers would be a slow release (14-14-14).
Hopefully this will help you out in your decision making
*and also even trees that are commonly viewed as too large for containers have a much slower growth rate when container grown their entire life. All the container upright specimens in the video are between 25 - 40 years old and none over 6' tall
Last edited by OttoBjornson Oct 26, 2021 10:45 AM Icon for preview
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Oct 26, 2021 10:37 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I will advise one more time: Find a dwarf variety if you plan to keep it in a container.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Oct 26, 2021 2:16 PM CST
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener Butterflies Echinacea Hummingbirder Roses Region: Texas
Apparently I will have lots of time to find a small variety to plant. I went to two local nurseries and 2 big box stores and they only had Japanese maples at one and they were large trees. I know I saw some smallish ones this spring so will have plenty of time to get ready.
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Oct 26, 2021 2:51 PM CST
Name: Otto
Chilliwack BC
Japanese Maples
Don't forget you would have the option of mail order in the winter. There are some great japanese maple nurseries in Oregon that ship. Years ago we would purchase our root stock for grafting from Pacific Nursery (Oregon) and have them shipped up to canada.

Google is your friend and a quick search will likely give you a nice leisurely evening searching and selecting a young quality japanese maple from an independent grower that sells direct to consumers that can be shipped to your door in January.



Young trees can just be shipped bare root and then pot them up once they arrive.
Last edited by OttoBjornson Oct 26, 2021 2:52 PM Icon for preview
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Oct 26, 2021 6:21 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I like Mendocino Maples, most of mine came from them:

https://mendocinomaples.com/

And Mr. Maple. I haven't personally ordered from them but people on this website like them quite a bit and Mr. Maple might be closer to you:

https://mrmaple.com/

I would look for JMs in 1 gallon pots because they are cheaper and smaller trees acclimate better and grow faster (because they acclimate better Smiling ). I would avoid trees from the BigBox stores as the grafts aren't set or healed well. You could easily pay a lot for a tree that dies in a couple years.

There are 4 maples commonly put into the bigger tub known as Japanese maples:

1. Acer circinatum, Vine Maple, is native to the north western US and Canada. Even though its listed with Japanese maples, obviously its not. I have 'Sunglow' planted in my yard. In the ground after about 7 years its about 3 ft tall. Its a very cute tree.
Thumb of 2021-10-27/DaisyI/35fc60

2. The one on the left is a 35 year old standard Acer palmatum is a 3 gallon pot. The one on the left is Acer palmatum 'Peaches and Cream', 25 years old.
Thumb of 2021-10-27/DaisyI/aea9a2

3. and 4. This one is an Acer shirasawanum or Fullmoon Maple. Its about 7 years old. A. shirasawanum and A. japonicum are very similar in appearance and are both know as fullmoon maples. The main difference is A. japonicum has furry stems.
Thumb of 2021-10-27/DaisyI/3d22d9

Hope this helps.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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Oct 27, 2021 5:52 AM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
...furry stems? Lovey dubby
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Oct 27, 2021 10:36 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
No, not like hamster furry. Rolling on the floor laughing

I have an Acer japonicum 'Emmett's Pumpkin' growing in my front yard. I'll go see if I can photograph fuzzy for you. Its more of a not slick like Acer palmatum branches.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Last edited by DaisyI Oct 27, 2021 10:39 AM Icon for preview
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Oct 27, 2021 10:38 AM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
DaisyI said:No, not like hamster furry. Rolling on the floor laughing


Sad
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Oct 27, 2021 2:17 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Can you see the difference? I should have said furry stems and leaf backs...

Thumb of 2021-10-27/DaisyI/2cc3e0
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Image
Oct 27, 2021 2:19 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
Lovey dubby
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Oct 27, 2021 3:01 PM CST
Frisco, TX (Zone 8a)
Container Gardener Butterflies Echinacea Hummingbirder Roses Region: Texas
I found a local tree nursery farm about 40 minutes away and have been in contact. Smiling
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Oct 27, 2021 6:24 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Great! The closer the better.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Avatar for Cherokeewolf
Oct 30, 2021 5:25 PM CST

Hello
I have been raising Japanese Maples in containers and also as Bonsai for many years. Look for a Dwarf Variety if you want a small tree. There are varieties that only get 3-4' tall and have small leaves. Some of the weeping varieties do not get very tall but can get wide. As for heat tolerance ones I find do well are Tamukeyama, Shishigashira, Orangeola and Ciceri's Dwarf. I live in Southern Oregon and we can get some high heat, over 100. When the heat dome hit this year we were at 114 for a few days. I did not lose any of my maples. There are a few online Japanese maple nurseries. I do not know if we are allowed to mention their names, but there is one in Mendicino, California I have purchased several of my trees from.

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