Four tiny maples

I can’t help myself. Despite declaring that I would stand fast, and not fall victim to a buying frenzy caused by my typical impatience waiting for spring, it has happened anyway. Still, this is only a single order, and a small one at that.

Orange Dream Japanese maple is grows slowly to ten feet and is best sited in part shade. I have the perfect spot.

Orange Dream Japanese maple is grows slowly to ten feet and is best sited in part shade. I have the perfect spot.

Four tiny Japanese maples arrived by parcel delivery this afternoon. There is not much to them, as I knew when they were ordered, and it will be years before they grow to a size substantial enough to be planted out into the garden. For now, they will be potted into small containers, then moved into larger pots after a few years. These will be grown on the sunnier patios until the time when they can be planted out, though these are smaller growing maples that could conceivably be kept in pots, which could work out nicely.

Higasayama Japanese maple is a small true with variegated foliage, but much different from other variegated maples in the garden.

Higasayama Japanese maple is a small tree with variegated foliage, but much different from other variegated maples in the garden.

As discussed in recent weeks, I was smitten by the yellow twigged Japanese maple ‘Bihou’, which is not commonly available in garden centers, but is grown by a number of mail order suppliers. Except for its yellow stems, I don’t believe that ‘Bihou’ is very exceptional, but it’s unique amongst the maples in the garden, and that is enough.

Johin Japanese is a small tree with exceptional autumn foliage.

Johin Japanese is a small tree with exceptional autumn foliage.

So, the order was begun around this maple, but a common problem in shipping by parcel is that the delivery cost for a single item is quite high, and often there is a considerable value in adding a second or third item. In this case, a fourth tree rounded out the order as I scanned the online catalog to find one treasure after another. To my thinking, I was quite restrained in only purchasing the four. There were a dozen or more maples that tempted me, but where would they go? And, what would my wife say?

With four small trees, my patience will be tested waiting for them to grow, but I have little doubt this will turn out to be a wise purchase.

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9 thoughts on “Four tiny maples

  1. You are singing my song! I had to plant a small grove of Japanese maples this year, as an “intervention” in my addictive hoarding of them in pots. Luckily, this grove is the perfect solution to a hitherto neglected and overgrown sideyard under a large oak tree. One of them is “Bihou”, which I was lucky enough to find in a good size at a local garden center. And yes, the yellow twigs are gorgeous. Good luck with your babies!

  2. You’ve given me a great idea to fulfill my Japanese maple cravings when I don’t currently have space (or the bank account) for full size trees. Patio pots it is!

    • The Japanese maples I’ve selected will all remain ten feet tall or less, and since their form is upright they will not take too much space on a patio.

  3. Dave, I am anxious to get planting also. However, I moved recently and alas my plant catalogues have not been forwarded. Might I enquire as to your source, or two for Japanese maples. I have a porch and deck waiting for pots of them. Thank you so much. The British gardener.

    • Since I was resigned to purchasing small trees I shopped by selection and price. The inexpensive maples were purchased at japanesemaplesandevergreens.com The trees are small, since they are one year grafts, but they’re as good as I expected.

      • Thank you so much. I’m not in a hurry, this is a new house and half acre garden with a blank slate. I shall be here for many years to come.I have been reviewing your previous blogs and have found them very helpful. I am gardening in central Virginia at the base of the Shenandoah mountains. Probably the same zone or similar to yours. The British Gardner

      • A 1-2 year old maple graft is likely to take another 3 years before it amounts to much. At the moment I have three other seedling maples selected from the garden that I’ve potted because they have intriguing foliage, so I’ll enjoy watching the entire batch.

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