Japanese maple under red maple?

sunnytopJuly 16, 2011

My landscape designer is suggesting putting a weeping form of Japanese Maple beneath the canopy of an established Red Maple. I am questioning his competence. I'm wanting to take the Red Maple out because I can't grow flowers under it. He thinks I would miss the shade canopy ( which is north of the house anyway) and offered this suggestion to replace the viburnum doing poorly with this other maple. Which should I do, remove the Red Maple so things already there can grow larger or leave it and put Japanese Maple beside it? Has anyone heard of a Japanese maple able to flourish in such conditions?

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It does seem a bit risky I have to say. Melanie who posts here has grown J. Maples in nice pots (see the 'reconfigure' thread) perhaps you could try this then you can easily move it if it looks sad.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 5:52PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I don't think you have to move right to questioning his competence. I would check first what assumptions each of you is operating under.

If you have given him instructions to produce a certain kind of environment in the yard, shade may be an essential part of that and perhaps he can't produce any other source of shade in the short term and is concerned you'll not be happy with the outcome if there isn't enough shade. Or something. He may also be making some assumptions about how much you want to water your plants.

I de-shaded the north side of my house with the removal of a tree and it does get sunny as the sun veers around in the afternoon. New trees are just growing in enough to make an impact 4 years later.

If there is a chance you will be removing the big tree at some point within 5 years, the pot is a very good idea for another reason - you'll have to get the little maple out of the way of falling tree parts. They do grow well in pots, especially if the pots are big enough.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 8:09PM
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I'm afraid a pot would not withstand our winters and there is nowhere to sink it into the ground over winter but that sounds like a good idea. I had a Japanese Maple once in a pot and it was too heavy to move so I waited for a son to move it and freezing weather set in before he could get here. Thanks for the comments. I think I'll leave the tree there for now and have then coppice the viburnum so it is not so gangly. The viburnum was there before the tree was so maybe it just needs a haircut to rejuvenate it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:49PM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

There's no reason the proper pot, properly treated (coated with a sealant on the inside), couldn't withstand a Nebraska winter. You MIGHT have to bubble-wrap the pot to protect the tree's roots. Works surprisingly well...I've had great success growing JM's in pots. I'm in zone 7, so I don't have to bubble wrap. Up there, I would. A couple of layers ought to do it...Worth a try!

I grow mine in pots because I am doing my landscaping in phases. Also---because I am an addict and have to buy the JM's BEFORE I have a place for them...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 4:13PM
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