I know our local UPS man sold out the maple trees two week-ends in a row, So I thought I would do a little research on our trees and share with everyone. I have planted my trees in pots and am going to try my hand at Bonsais.
Acer palmatum ‘Inaba Shidare’
One of the best lace leaf cultivars for hotter climates, it’s name means “like the cascading leaves of the rice plant” and has been grown since at least the mid 1800s in Japan. The leaves in early spring are very dark purple and I have heard them described as almost black. As summer approaches they become more red, then turning bronze before being one of the last maples in our gardens to finally give in to the Georgia heat and turn green. Fall color is usually bright fiery red. Some people consider the cultivars ‘Inaba shidare’ and ‘Red Select’ to be the same but they are not, these cultivars are very different. ‘Inaba Shidare’ grows much more vigorously, tolerates more sun in hotter climates and is not nearly as pendulous as ‘Red Select’. The color changes during the seasons do not match either. A lot of plants available in the trade labeled ‘Inaba shidare’ do not seem to be either variety.
Common Name: Japanese maple
Type: Deciduous shrub
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 6 to 10 feet
Spread: 8 to 15 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Description: Red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Flowers: Flowers not Showy
Leaves: Colorful, Good Fall Color
Tolerates: Black Walnuts, Rabbits
Uses: Street Tree
Easily grown in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in sandy loams. May be grown in full sun in the northern parts of its growing range, but prefers some part afternoon shade in the southern parts (including St. Louis) of its growing range. New foliage may scorch in full sun locations in hot summers areas, particularly if soils are not kept consistently moist. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Avoid hot and dry sites. Site in locations protected from strong winds. Pruning is best kept to a minimum, but if needed should be done in late fall to mid winter. Spring or summer pruning often results in significant bleeding.
‘Inaba-shidare’ is a dissected Japanese maple that typically grows in an upright, rounded but cascading form to 4-6′ tall over the first ten years, eventually maturing to 10′ tall and to 12′ or more wide. It is noted for its lace-like foliage that emerges deep purple in spring, matures to purple-red by summer and finally turns bright red in fall. Palmate, 7-lobed, purple-red leaves (to 6″ long) are deeply cut and dissected. Small reddish flowers in spring are somewhat attractive on close inspection, but are not showy from a distance.
No serious insect or disease problems. Potential disease problems include stem canker, leaf spots, fusarium, verticillium wilt, botrytis, anthracnose and root rots. Potential insect pests include aphids, scale, borers and root weevils. Mites may be troublesome. Foliage tends to leaf out early in spring and is subject to damage from late spring frosts. Chlorosis may occur in high pH soils.
Japanese maples are generally grown for their attractive foliage and shape. Specimen/accent or group around the home or yard or patio or periphery of the border or rock garden. Good sun-dappled under-story tree. Somewhat cascading form can be showcased by planting his cultivar near a pond or water garden. Can be effective in containers.