Friday, September 12, 2014

My favorite plant this week: Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku'

I've always loved Japanese maples.  Even in my former, tiny garden, I had two of them.  So, although the climate of my current garden is hotter, drier, and far less shady, I had to have some here as well.  I currently have 3, of which Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku,' also known as the coral bark maple, is my favorite.  I brought it home in 2011 with only the vaguest idea where to put it.  It ended up planted in a bed alongside our garage, facing the vegetable garden, where it has done surprisingly well thus far.




As you can see, 'Sango Kaku' is already sporting its autumn colors, and has been for perhaps a month already.  In May, it was mostly green but still flaunting its trademark coral trunk and stems.



In its current spot, it gets morning sun and afternoon shade, which may account for its healthy appearance.  In my experience, Japanese maples here do best with some shade.  This one had shown little in the way of tip and leaf burn, although I've read that those problems may become less prevalent as the tree matures.





In contrast, my poor A. 'Purple Ghost' is a stick, with only a tenuous hold on life.  I placed it on the southeast side of our property, where it was blasted by sun during the hottest time of the day; buffeted by Santa Ana winds when they blew; and pestered by raccoons burrowing at its base in search of grubs.  I've moved 'Purple Ghost' to a spot alongside 'Sango Kaku' in the hope that it will soon achieve the same level of health.

Acer palmatum 'Sango Kaku' is my favorite plant this week.  It provides a bright spot in my vegetable garden even when most everything else looks dreadful and it provides me a touch of autumn color, which is hard to come by in Southern California.

Please visit Loree at danger garden to find her favorite plant selection and those of other gardeners.


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

11 comments:

  1. It's beautiful. One of my favourite trees too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love acers, this one is a real beauty. I find that they just can' t stand wind here.Drying out is another problem, but other than that they are very fast growing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a beauty. Young or mature trees, they are always graceful. I also love them, and don't have much shade for them. This year they are feeling the drought.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It amazed me before how tolerant they are of heat but in shade. Then again that's the pattern in Japan. Great choice for a fave :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. A beautiful acer...I wish they were more hardy in my garden.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very beautiful, I love the contrast between the green leaves and coral trunk. I too am a big fan of Japanese maples, but I only own one!

    ReplyDelete
  7. When my in-laws visited from Nashville a few years back they couldn't stop yelling out every time we saw a Japanese maple (and oohing and and ahing over them). We have so many here that it became a bit of a joke. Still they helped me to notice a plant I basically take for granted. Yours is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A lovely tree, I often used it in clients gardens in the UK for the wonderful bark and stem colour. I'm amazed it is doing so well for you, you must be giving it lots of TLC.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this tree having recently planted one in my own garden. Yours is looking really healthy, it must like it's current spot in the garden. I hope your Purple Ghost picks up.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful colors on the Japanese maple. They are lovely trees.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's a beauty! Can't beat it for all season interest with that beautiful bark!

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions. However, with apologies to bona-fide commentators, due to a significant increase in spam, I've eliminated the option to post comments anonymously.