Friday, November 09, 2007

Toyama Nishiki... For A Little Color

Acer palmatum Toyama Nishiki is quite the interesting little maple. Toyama is a city in Honshu province, and Nishiki-e is an ancient (1760) innovation in Japanese block printing, where multiple blocks were used, each with its own color, in order to produce multi-colored prints; undoubtedly the name was applied to this maple because of its multi-colored leaves in spring, with cream, pink and green swirled through the lacy leaves (they obviously aren't too shabby in fall either, with chartreuse, yellow and fiery crimson). This is a relatively small (perhaps four feet tall by six feet) bushy, cascading lace-leaf maple. It requires very careful siting because of its propensity to sunburn if it gets so much as a whiff of afternoon sun ( I thought I had mine in a pretty protected spot, but had to move it to a shady ravine). It's all worth it, though in spring and fall; due to having to settle in all over again after being sunburned, then moved, my tree is still a baby... it's going to be spectacular when it gets larger.
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This is very, very beautiful. If it were to grow only to 6 feet or so, I would really be interested in this variety. I am intrigued by the varied coloring in the different seasons. :-)

I did a little google search and found several sites with varying opinions as to height. One site mentioned 10 feet. Would a person be able to prune to keep it at 6 feet?
You know, I've noticed widely differing estimates on size for this maple. One thing with JM's and height, is that a lot of it depends on whether you have a "high" or "low" graft (mine is a very low graft.
Did you find it in Iowa City?
Hah! No, Iowa City is not exactly a Mecca of the garden nursery world. I get most everything through the mail.
Mail order recommendations?
Stop tempting me with these gorgeous pics of Japanese maples! :) Now I'm going to spend the whole winter trying to figure out if I have a place to put 1.
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