Last year my family and I took a trip to Washington state. Our awesome niece was getting married. There are quite a few pictures in the gallery that I took on that trip.
Anyway, I saw several Red dragon lace leafs maples there. Man they were awesome! Of course with all of the moisture there everything grows abundantly. It got me looking them up on the internet and wondering how they might do in Colorado. I found they could grow in zone hardiness 5 but Colorado can get very cold in the winters and very hot a dry in the summer.
Who wouldn’t want one of these, right? So I bought one. They were 40% off at the local garden center last fall so, why not? Keep in mind though, many local garden centers will sell you just about anything. It may grow in your area for the season but it may not make it through the winter. Do your homework and ask a lot of questions.
As winter approached I worried that the tree would not make it through the snow and cold. I piled mulch around the tree just about to the first branch. Through the winter it looked pretty crusty. You know, kind of like a plant or tree does when it dies and becomes a stick.. HA! It really looked like a stick when a cold, hungry rabbit ate all the branches off on night. I thought it was a goner for sure.
I visited the maple this morning and those little red nobs that have been forming the past couple of weeks have begun to bloom. Sweet! Looks like we made it through the toughest season. This tree will only get stronger now and needs to be fertilized. Remember, don’t just buy a plant or tree because your local nursery has it there. Do your homework.
Great news, my stick with buds has now leafed out. I am happy that it survived it’s first winter and the rabbit massacre. Although the branching has been set back to before I bought it, it will now begin it’s journey to grow and branch out.
Once I was confident that I could grow certain Japanese maples, I went ahead and purchased a few more for the yard.
I found two A.P Bloodgoods at Walmart for $15.00 each. I know, Walmart? Yep, and even though the graft is high and very poorly done this is still an A.P bloodgood and it will frow out. Once the tree grows and the trunk thickens I will be able to do some grinding on the graft and make it look decent. These two will never be bonsai but will make great landscape trees.
I also purchased one A.P. Sangokaku Coral Bark Japanese Maple. This one was not purchased from Walmart and was much more expensive however well worth it! The Sangokaku will also remain a landscape tree and will make an excellent addition.