I don’t recall ‘Oridono nishiki’ (Acer palmatum ‘Oridono nishiki’) as a constant disappointment, but in recent years new growth on the Japanese maple showed little color. Of course, then its health declined and finally it perished for reasons that are unclear. Its removal was somewhat a relief, though the loss of any large tree is no reason for celebration.
There are numerous Japanese maples in the garden, so the loss of an under performer is not mourned, and in particular since a nearby seedling promises improved color. No doubt, it will be years before this can be confirmed, but new growth on this two year old seedling is more colorful, and colors remain for a longer period. At best, ‘Oridono nishiki’ displayed colored leaf tips that turned to green after a few weeks.
It is questionable, I think, if leaves with mottled colors are beautiful, interesting, or just unusual. Certainly, opinions will vary, but I enjoy watching the changes in color through the year, with more vibrant colors in spring that fade into summer. But, the colors in the photo above are in very late summer, so there’s reason for optimism.
Eventually, the small maple will be moved to a permanent spot, but there’s no hurry, though this must be done in the next year, I think, since it is now growing in the shadow of ‘Twombly’s Red Sentinel’ Japanese maple. ‘Twombly’s’ doesn’t grow too wide, too quickly, so there’s no great rush, and I hope to have a permanent location to transplant it to when the move is made.