Species Specific > Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion

Acer palmatum 'Sangokaku'

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Chrisl:
Rob, we bought a garden size one about 10 yrs ago in Ca.  We brought with us to Chicago and planted it.  Did fantastic till this spring when it was leafing out, and we had a cold snap, and killed the entire tree exc. right above graft joint.  5" trunk and 7' tall.  Dead in just 2 wks.  We are pretty upset about loosing this, def would've thought having it in the ground would protect it, and it did for 3 yrs till last yrs awful winter.  I'm mentioning this to let you know this coral bark variety is very cold sensitive!  I too love them ;)

Leo in NE Illinois:
Random reading of info published on japanese maple nursery websites that specialize in maples for landscape (not bonsai centric). Sangokaku is noted for being a problem maple in the northern half of the JM range. There are other coral bark maples that perform better.

Rob, you have a resource near you, perhaps you have been there. I bought a what I think will prove to be a great maple for bonsai  - 'Hime Shojo' from Davidsan's Maples, New Berlin IL, I think it is just north & a little east of Edwardsville, IL.
http://www.davidsansjapanesemaples.com/ Only down side is he is landscape orientated, 95% of his trees are grafted. Though he does keep a stock of no name JM from seed. I browsed this pile in middle summer, looking for a seedling that had leaf color different than green in the middle of summer. No success, but will check every time I drop in there. If you are not familiar with this nursery, you should check it out. I enjoyed talking with them and visiting when I picked up my order.

Talk with David, he is incredibly knowledgeable about the traits of various JM. He steered me to Hime Shojo, and I could not be happier - it is a dwarf, in many ways like Koto Hime for growth habit, but it is a coral bark with a reticulated red pattern in the leaves that holds all summer long.

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