Garden Photo of the Day

Amazing Maples in the Yarden

Acer palmatum ‘Mikawa Yatsubusa’

Perserverence pays off for David and Christine! Enjoy the spring maples in their yarden.

"Aahhh, Spring! Christine and I have been very busy in the garden as you can imagine. Despite some discrepancies Mother Nature and I are still hammering out, like the two nights of freezing temperatures that did do some damage (She can be so “cold” sometimes) and the outrageous assault of descending canker worms, it is nonetheless a wonderful season here in The Yarden. Overall She has still managed to deliver. Folks here have often heard me express that my garden gems are the Japanese maples (along with their other genus relatives), and it is at this time that the maples really put on a reliable display. Because our NC Piedmont Summers can be so oppressive at times, Fall displays are hit and miss, but Spring rarely disappoints. So here is a stroll through the garden to see what some of these delightful trees have to show. Happy Gardening, David Sabio (aka NC Yarden)."

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Acer palmatum ‘Higasa Yama’ & ‘Shishio hime’

Acer palmatum ‘Ariadne’

Acer caudatifolium ‘variegatum’

Acer palmatum ‘Villa Taranto’

Acer palmatum ‘Koto no ito’

Acer palmatum ‘Amber Ghost’

Acer palmatum ‘ Beni schichihenge’

Acer palmatum ‘Iijima sunago’

Acer palmatum ‘Tsuma gaki’

Acer palmatum ‘Kagiri nishiki’

View Comments


  1. user-7008037 05/12/2016

    Wow! How many maples DO you have? It's the best collection and display I've ever seen.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi Ankita, at this point I can only say a lot, a rough guess being maybe around 125(?). There are about 85 distinct cultivars though. We need to update the records in fact, as I recently added a few fairly new introductions, and Christine and I also rescued a good number from an abandoned nursery, which hopefully will make their way into the garden as they get back to heath and we expand. Just can't get enough of these beauties, even the common seedlings.

  2. frankgreenhalgh 05/12/2016

    David, that photo of the A. palmatum 'Villa Taranto' is an absolute cracker!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi Frank, a wonderful chance vista, right? This is has been one of Christine's favorite views this Spring, especially with the crazy growth on those Heucheras (3X bigger now) which we transferred there 2 seasons ago when a giant poplar fell on the house and a chunk of the garden was torn up getting the machines in for removal and then the reconstruction. Happy accidents?
      Glad you enjoyed that view as well.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 05/12/2016

        Greetings David - what an interesting story to such a colourful (sorry about our spelling) scene!

  3. tree_ee 05/12/2016

    Having a bad case of Japanese maple envy. Can't even pick a favorite . . . I love them all.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi GC. So true. Ask me today and I will tell you one is my favorite; ask me tomorrow and it will most certainly be another. That 'Koto no ito' has been one of the steady favorites though, especially with how it has filled that corner of the house, and trying to remember how small it was back when it first got planted.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/12/2016

        When asked about her favorite food, Julia Child was heard to say, "Whatever I happen to be eating." :)

        1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

          Applies perfectly here.

  4. Jay_Sifford 05/12/2016

    David, I never tire of seeing Japanese maples. There's something so tranquil about them. Perhaps one of these days I'll get up to the Raleigh area and can take a tour of your yarden. In the meantime, happy gardening, and thanks for sharing!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Good morning, Jay. I know you share the passion. You are more then welcome to visit when you make it to the area. We were recently honored to host an impromptu tour form the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners. They saw the original posts of The Yarden and simply reached out in an email. We were excited to accommodate and it was a wonderful time, and I think you would enjoy a stroll as well. So just give me a shout. I've been trying to get Tim down here as well...he's been soooo close. Thanks for viewing.

      1. VikkiVA 05/12/2016

        Oh David, wish I had know the VBMGs were headed your way - I would have latched on to their coat tails and joined them. Perhaps I can get my garden club, The Botanical Buddies of Chesapeake (BBC), to make a visit. I was in the Raleigh/Durham area several years ago to enjoy The Garden Conservancy Open Days. I see this year October 29th is the date for your area. Have you ever participated or done one of the tours? Vikki in VA

        1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

          I think you would enjoy a visit. If you find yourself this way again, give me shout. We were asked to do the Open Days about 2 years ago, but we were still in transition of recovery from the tree falling on the house and the garden upheaval that came with it. We just felt we weren't quite ready. We would consider it sometime in the future though.

  5. Quiltingmamma 05/12/2016

    Just Lovely! So much variety and yes, too difficult to choose just one.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi QM. It could never be just one...just too many to enjoy. Thank you for the kind words.

  6. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/12/2016

    YAY...the fingers almost tripped over themselves in their haste to click on the link and get to the destination...and I was definitely not disappointed! I am sincerely enchanted by each beguiling leaf shape and its color palette. I've already done one google search...on ‘Higasa Yama’...because I just had to know more and I will be off to research some of the others as well. I am struck by the beautiful mirroring of colors with the coral bells highlighting the warm tones in ‘Villa Taranto’...such a lovely effect. And, it does make me want to ask what your secret is to have your heuchereas do so well in your heat and humidity? Thank you so much, David and Christine, for sharing your very special collection of Japanese maples with us.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Good morning, Michaele. Your excitement is infectious. 'Higasa Yama' is certainly one of the must haves of the classics. I do need to some work on it soon because it took some damage from the frost, but I promise I will only make it better. It has been a champ and the Spring leaves are just spectacular. I keep some low branches on this purposely just to get a glimpse of them each year.
      As I was commenting to Frank, yes that 'Villa Taranto' - Heuchera combo was serendipity. Christine and I have both been in awe like you, and stare in wonderment at the size of those Heucheras (in fact they are bigger now, I swear- quite literally small shrubs). I don't know what to tell you. The Heuchera "Caramel" and 'Creme Brulee" have always been the strong ones for us, maybe more tolerant of the heat and humidity - something in the color(?). The purple varieties certainly give us more varied result, but this year even they have been impressive. I can say we have pretty good soil (from the wooded aspect I'm sure), fortunately not the more common and well known NC red clay, and I always use a 50/50 mix (topsoil/compost) when we build a new bed. It certainly doesn't hurt.
      So glad you enjoyed the maples. I wish more could be shown - maybe in another posts.

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 05/12/2016

        David, I would love if you shared some details on your pruning do's and don't's . Is there a good, better or best time when attempting some artistic editing of Japanese maples? Sounds like you are a gifted Edward Scissorhands! I am such a wimp... I suffer anxiety when it comes to cutting off a branch of the oh, so common 'Bloodgood'. I would stand paralyzed in rapt admiration (and fear of messing up) if I attempted to "groom" treasures like yours. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

        1. NCYarden 05/13/2016

          Hi Michaele. Of course the typical pruning rules apply, like rubbing branches and growth back across the middle or main branches, and weird down growth ones; and hopefully catching those while they are young and not very thick, and will do this type of cut almost any time. Winter is a great time to really see structural modifications, and feel comfortable with large cuts if needed. I usually give myself about Christmas to Late February. Then I will usually make smaller pruning cuts after the Spring flush, about mid Spring through mid Summer. Here I know I'm almost going to immediately stimulate some growth and will watch for the undesirable new shoots, which on certain cultivars gives me the busy look I want. I will prune the fish tails, i.e 3 branches arising from a terminal bud - therefore remove the middle branch that grows out of the bifurcation...make some room please! I also remove a lot of the really small branches along a larger branch, as they are taking energy. This is a pretty good way to help the tree grow a little faster...don't need all those suckers, plus it exposes the strong structure of the desirable branches. I don't prune in early Spring when I see buds swelling unless some damage occurs from something like a storm, and I don't prune in just before or during Fall. But ultimately, you're probably not gonna kill the tree. Heck several times now, this year for sure, I've watched Mother Nature appear to wipe out tender growth with frost or drop limbs that break off fragile branches, only to see the tree push some new growth right behind the damage. If She can do it, I know I can. I'm not so timid anymore, because I know ultimately I'm promoting growth.
          As an anecdote with an unexpected revelation, I have several cultivars, such as Asahi zuru and Oridono nishiki and the like, that have beautiful variegated leaves (or supposed to), but it seemed I was losing that aspect over several seasons. Well a storm dropped a large branch, drastically topping and shearing one, like enough to make me sick and worry for the tree. BUT...the tree recovered, as reasonably expected, though a little funny looking for a bit, but some of the most striking variegated leaves appeared like never before. This seemed significant. So I pruned the mess out of the others and got a similar result, so now I prune them every season fairly drastically in the winter and get the best showy leaves in Spring pretty reliably now. Happy accident again, I'm sure, but one that showed the need for pruning.

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 05/13/2016

            Thanks for the generous sharing of pruning info. One of the things I read in the article about ‘Higasa Yama’ was... "In late summer 'Higasa yama' will send out long runners of new growth with solid green leaves much larger and differently shaped than the typical leaves." And, that got me wondering about the art of pruning with these more special type Japanese maples. I am still shaking my head in wonderment that you have 85 different cultivars. What with keeping all their straight, you must be practically bilingual with Japanese as your second language.

          2. NCYarden 05/13/2016

            Yes, 'Higasa Yama', along with several other cultivars (like 'Koto no ito', in fact) will not display the distinguishing characteristic until the following season. You just learn to tolerate and not freak out about plain and different shaped leaves of the new growth. After a while you begin to recognize this and those that are truly reverts that should be removed. So I guess the pruning does become a little specialized. So for instance I will prune the Higasa yama here soon, not only to correct the frost damage aspects, but to go ahead and stimulate the new growth, which will most likely be plain leaves, but will deliver big time come next Spring!

          3. User avater
            meander_michaele 05/13/2016

            "Veddy interesting"...ha, I'll bet as a teenager and younger man, you never thought you'd sound like a wise old Japanese gardener... even though you're only in your 30's or very early 40's! Just guessing on the age... based on your picture of you hugging a japanese maple from a couple years ago. Heck, in that photo, you look liked an exuberant 19 year old but since you are a home/property owner with a real career, I have to think you're a guy with a few years of work history under your belt.

          4. NCYarden 05/13/2016

            You are too kind, Michaele. But you are right, can't say I pictured this future quite some time ago, but I sure am loving it....hopefully it's obvious.

    2. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/12/2016

      H. Caramel (one of my favorites) has Heuchera villosa in its parentage. Allegedly, if you southerners look for Heuchera with H. villosa blood, they should cope with heat and humidity better. I find the straight H. villosa quite ugly and I hate the classic Palace Purple; it's variable and reverts and has poor leaf substance.
      Heuchera expert signing out now.

      1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

        That's a good bit of info to know. Thanks, Tim. I appreciate the expertise.

      2. user-7007498 05/15/2016

        Sorry I am so late to the discussion (bad week at work). I share your hate of Palace Purple. That was my first Heuchera (as was most other gardeners), but I have now removed all traces of it from my garden. I try to stick with villosa hybrids due to the humidity in Harrisburg (I have killed my share of Heuchera in learning this). Mt. Cuba Center published research on Heuchera for the Mid-Atlantic region on their website, anyone is interested (

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/16/2016

          Thanks for the reminder about Mt. Cuba, Kevin. It is such a great resource. I've used it often. I don't have any problems with any of the H. americana hybrids and cultivars, but still some under-perform. I am guessing that is more the cultivar/hybrid than me, since Heuchera and Heucherella do so well here. My biggest disappoint as of late is Heucherella Gold Cascade. I so desperately wanted it, finally bought a good, healthy plant the summer before last. The runners didn't root and it was much smaller the following spring. I moved it and it did ok over the season, and now this year there are two tiny leaves the size of my thumbnail.....

          1. user-7007498 05/16/2016

            I love that Heucherella as well. Bought 2 last year. The one I planted on the north side of Sambucus 'Black Lace', and it has done awesome. Came through the winter and has tripled in size. The other is in a shadier location sheltered by my shed and a narrow spruce. It looks like what you described. The second site is a little more moist moist of the time, while the former has excellent drainage. Not sure if that is the factor.

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/16/2016

            You're better than Mt. Cuba, Kevin. I think you could be on to something. Both spots are heavy soil and moist; the second spot even heavier soil and moist. Heucheras are thriving there, but I'm going to try to rescue that Heucherella nubbin and move it to looser, well-drained soil. I'll probably pick up another to try if I see it, now that you've inspired some hope. Thanks!

  7. user-4691082 05/12/2016

    It looks like a very large property! I've never seen any of those acers. What a beautiful display! I only have one common variety, and I know how much I love her, so you must be in heaven!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi Rhonda. The property is only 1.25 acres but the layout is deceiving, much to our benefit. We are in an area of predominantly and fairly flat farm land but this little section is surprisingly diverse with some topology, which has provided some great space in which to garden. The elevation in the back gives a sense if infinity at times (see photo - you might get some idea). It is our little bit of heaven, and in fact a garden friend of ours when she first toured the garden a few years back, referred to the "top" of the back yard as "heaven hill"...too funny.

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/12/2016

        This is gorgeous David. More, please. I cannot believe how gorgeous you 'Flying Dragon' is here in the corner of the photo. Just got a twig last year and it's not off to a good start...Jealousy!

        1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

          Yes, the Flying Dragon is a wild and fascinating plant (and little dangerous), but provides interest all year long. Christine actually favors the winter look the best. It flowered very heavily this year - the fruits are now developing. And I just pruned it last night in fact....very very carefully. I keep this one fairly well manicured.

  8. NCYarden 05/12/2016

    Good morning Diane. Yes there are a lot. If only I could have them all posted. I have been collecting now for about 12 years. I have been fortunate to meet some wonderful growers in the area. It does help to have some dwarf ones for the tighter spaces. But I am also a pruner - this is the fun artistic part to create a desired effect and redirect energy in the trees. It's fun, though, to see how many of them are really beginning to mature from the little twigs many of them started as when I first got them. Ah, patience!
    The property is about 1.25 acres but we have not finished filling it. There is still some prime planting real estate. We are currently expanding that planting area in the woodland garden - just clearing out the vines and all the undesirable weedy "sticky" and past storm-damaged trees so we can go through and create a more aesthetic understory. A lot of work but it is coming along.

  9. greengenes 05/12/2016

    Beautiful collection of maples, David and Christine... iam so sorry about all the harsh weather you have been getting back there. But these look very happy and ready to spend the season ahead with flying colors!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hello, Jeanne. Well, the weather outside is weather. Not much we can do it about, except garden on. It's these times though where we do get to witness the resiliency of plants. It's just hard to see beautiful starts hit a moment of wavering demise, as Spring set in pretty early this year. But we lost nothing, fortunately, and those that were injured are all coming back to normal. Phew! It's almost like second Spring flush on a few of them. Happy flying colors would be correct.

  10. user-3565112 05/12/2016

    This is spectacular to say the least. The Villa Teranto scene is a beauty & the Koto no ito absolutely glows above the dark foliage below. Japanese maples have not done well for me but this is inspiring. Good luck , Joe

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      There seems to be a trend developing with the 'Villa Taranto' scene. 'Koto no ito' is still one of my prizes because it does make that corner brilliant. Thanks for the compliments, Joe.

  11. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 05/12/2016

    Wowee, David. I wish I were as articulate as Michaele. A much more vulgar compliment comes to my mind, but I'll shorten it: Yeah, Japanese Maples! What a great lot and a great collection. I'm totally in love with Tsuma gaki. Doesn't it mean something like dripping red fingernails? The color echo in Villa Taranto and Caramel is stunning.
    i've never heard of Acer caudatifolium.
    Do you have any of the Acer japonicum cultivars?
    Acer Pseudosieboldianum takeshimense is another one on my list if I can find a spot.
    It's fun to learn about the Yarden in your comments, too! Thanks!
    I'm excited to tour. It will happen. Maybe we could lure Jay down at the same time if I actually plan ahead.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Good morning, Tim. Tsuma gaki is another one of the favorites, and yes I do believe it means "red fingernails" - very appropriate right? The first place I located this tree it struggled, so I moved it a couple of seasons ago and it is doing so much better. However, it now sits beneath a large Sweetgum, which seems to be a favorite breeding tree for canker worms, and the air raid I referred to in the opening statement is unbelievable and this maple is prime for the assault; and yet then there is Christine, who everyday after work as part of her "garden therapy" (I suppose?), would pick them all off...thank goodness for OCD!
      I too was not familiar with 'caufdatifolium' - this was a gift from a new friend a few years back. What is nice is that the light flecking of the variegation in Spring actually gives way to the bold mottling as you see in those top few leaves in the photo) as summer approaches, and the trunk and stem remain a pale yellow for the most part. Very striking tree. This is its first year in the ground as I have been growing it in a pot for quite a while. It appears to like its new freedom because it is putting on some impressive growth.
      I do have a couple of japonicums, namely 'aconitifolium' and 'otaki'.
      I am fascinated with the Acer Pseudosieboldianum takeshimense , and others in this group, but haven't ventured yet because I am unsure about our climate here. It is certainly not one you see available anywhere. I would love to see if you have some success with it. You may be better suited for it.
      Looking forward to a visit one day.

  12. annek 05/12/2016

    I'm. In. Love. Your maples are beguiling. I'm speechless

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Thank you so much, Annek. I too am in love. I pamper these darlings pretty heavily. So pleased you enjoyed these. Hope to show more another time...and there are more.

      1. annek 05/13/2016

        Oh yes, please do send more photos. I have two Japanese maples. Not bad for Montana, but oh, I love seeing your volume and variety

  13. sheila_schultz 05/12/2016

    What a dreamy post David, you and Christine obviously win the Japanese Maple 'Parents of the Decade' award! Your beauties are breath taking... 125 and counting? WOW!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Oh, Sheila, you are too much, but Christine and I will humbly try to uphold the honor of said award. We are certainly very proud parents of this collection. Thank you for the kind words.

  14. janeeliz 05/12/2016

    Such a collection! All gorgeous....I couldn't pick a favorite! Fun looking for all the sculptures partially hidden by them, too.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hello Jane. Yes the favorites are perpetually juggled. And the sculptures are fun - gotta have some whimsical aspects in there. The garden is full of them. Thanks.

  15. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 05/12/2016

    Ahh, David , what a wonderful collection of Japanese maples. I thought we had a large number at a little over 30, but it's only been 4 years of collecting for us, so maybe in time...Love your Mikawa Yatsubusa or as we call ours "Oscar the Grouch" for it's shaggy appearance and that Villa Taranto vignette is stunning. How long have you had your Flying Dragon? The Koto No Ito is so striking in the spring sun. Oh, just love them all and wish you weren't on the other side of the country as I just want to slowly stroll through your garden to see what other treasures are hiding there. Can't wait for more photos.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi Linda. 30 is still a fantastic and impressive collection, and sounds as if you're only in the early stages. "Oscar the Grouch" is hilarious and so apropos...that is clever, Linda. I totally feel like I should go grab some craft time googly eyes and set them on the Mikawa branches.
      The Flying Dragon is about 10 years old. Great tree, a little precarious at times. I keep it pruned around 6 to 7 feet, just so the head of it rises a little over the deck railing. I love the bright orange fruit toward the end of the season - like ornaments. The only thing I did learn the hard way though is to make sure all the oranges are picked up after they fall and dispose of them properly, because every seed in every fruit germinates where it falls.We were pulling clumps of baby flying dragons for a whole season it seemed. The Koto no ito is a beauty, and if Summer is not to crazy, the bright golden Fall color is like our own bit of sunshine outside the bedroom window, especially on gray days.

  16. GrannyMay 05/12/2016

    Beautiful collection, David! I only have 10 and get enormous pleasure from them. The thought of having over 125 to enjoy is breathtaking!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Good morning, Granny May. Heck,even one Japanese maple is a delight. I still remember my first one and how stoked I was. However, it just set an addiction in motion. But a good one to have I suppose. Do you have a favorite out of yours?

      1. GrannyMay 05/12/2016

        My favourite is whichever one is putting on its best face at the moment. As you mentioned, all of them look great in the spring. All my trees, especially the ones in containers, suffered from our extreme summer drought in spite of my watering, but I remember 'Ariadne' came back to look spectacular in the late fall. Then, through last winter, because it is nearby in a container on my deck, 'Winter Flame' was the winner because its bright red bark was a beacon whenever I looked outside.

        1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

          Ha, yeah no real favorite ever - a transient inclination for sure. Ariadne is a delight. I am a little surprised how well it has been doing for me - lucky placement I guess. And I just saw 'Winter Flame" available this past weekend, but passed on it seeing as we're nursing all our rescues. Now I'm thinking I might be regretting that decision. Doh!

  17. schatzi 05/12/2016

    What a gorgeous property! I have half a dozen J. maples that I enjoy but I am too much of a plant-aholic to really specialize. Maybe we should organize a tour from the west coast. Your yarden is certainly worth it.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Thank you, Shirley. Oh but we too are plant-aholics....we get it...a little of this and a little of that...and whole bunch of everything! We are collectors of plants in general. But those photos are for another post some time. A tour sounds like it should be in order.

  18. VikkiVA 05/12/2016

    Oh my goodness who doesn't love Japanese Maples? What you have shown of your collection is breathtaking! I was so happy to read that you prune yours. I have two 'Oshio-beni' (I think that is what they are) and have pruned one of them for the last two years. I had someone tell me that you should never prune a Japanese Maple...WHAT? I prune all my trees and shrubs. Your Huechera caught my eye as I also have Cream Brulee and Electric Lime. Thank you David for sharing the beauty. Vikki in VA.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      So true, I think most will swoon a little over a showy maple. Pruning is a must on most I believe, certainly early in the growth. It's a good way to speed up growth as well by channeling the energy. I get many as quite small plants and of course want to see some aspects of maturity fairly quickly, so this is a good way. But sometimes you just need some control. After maturity, some are free to go because everyone has noticed the self-pruning the trees do themselves. Oshio-beni is a great tree...Love it's fall color to when I get it properly, and because I have this one situated in the woodland garden, it usually doesn't suffer the defeat of Summer.

  19. GrannyCC 05/12/2016

    Amazing collection. They are gorgeous and I didn't realize how many varieties there are. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hello Catherine. Too many to ever own them all. But it doesn't hurt to dream.

  20. user-7007228 05/12/2016

    Mr. & Mrs. Yarden - Amazing, beautiful, breathtaking, fantabulous!

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Oh J-Dawg, you're definitely still due for a visit. Maybe soon?

  21. Cenepk10 05/12/2016

    Gorgeous. Acers. An expensive habit.

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Thank you, Cenepk10.Yeah, the wallet has cringed at times. Fortunately I have patience and willing to start small to ease the pecuniary pressure.

  22. wGardens 05/12/2016

    What a wonderful collection of Japanese Maples! Oh! How I wish I could grow at least SOME of these in our climate! Very impressive selections. Very pleased to read in the comments and learn more about your wonderful maples. Truly, a gift to see your fabulous trees and gardens.~definitely, a "piece of Heaven!"

    1. NCYarden 05/12/2016

      Hi Margaret. Where do you garden that these trees are a challenge? Well I am glad you get to enjoy them at least through this means.

      1. wGardens 05/12/2016

        I am in ny with a zone of 5a. I have a "Bloodgood" which is about 8 feet tall and looks good but nothing close to any of the specimens that you have. I also have a red threadleaf that is about 3 X 3; 4 years in the ground. I don't know the variety but it looks nice.

        1. NCYarden 05/13/2016

          Hi Margaret, your two sound lovely and I'm sure bring you the pleasure so often associated with these trees. And certainly no worries on unknown or tags-gone-missing specimens. I have a good number I have no idea what they are but so happy they are in my garden. Some of the seedlings have produced some spectacular displays, and solid growth, and I'm content with that.

  23. perenniallycrazy 05/13/2016

    Hey David and Christine! Your collection is killing me! How many do you currently have? I must try to catch up. Haha.

    1. NCYarden 05/13/2016

      Hi Cherry, As far as specific cultivars we are somewhere around 85 - the list needs to be updated with a few recent acquisitions. Counting duplicates and some unknown seedlings, well over a 100. No need to catch up, just enjoy.

  24. gardeningisfine 05/13/2016

    Your collection is phenomenal! And that is seeing only a portion. Our climate (NW Illinois at the Wisconsin border) just won't let me indulge. My only success is Bloodgood. I have watched several other attempts succumb to winter. Thanks for sharing your beauties!

    1. NCYarden 05/13/2016

      My very first Japanese maple was a Bloodgood, and it's a treat to have. I'm happy to hear you have had success with at least that one. It really only takes one to admire and fall in love with.

    2. user-7008067 05/13/2016

      If you have an attached garage, you can plant Japanese maples in containers and winter them in the garage. You need the temperature to stay between 20F and 40F, so that the plant remains dormant but the roots don`t get too cold.

  25. gardeningisfine 05/13/2016

    So all the talk of pruning makes me wonder when is the best time to do so. The aforementioned Bloodgood is getting a bit too tall, I would like to keep it below the roofline as it is close to the house (an effort to give it some shelter in winter).

    1. NCYarden 05/13/2016

      Hi Evelyn, as for pruning I typically prune in mid Spring through mid summer, certainly waiting till after the flush of leaves in Spring begin to harden off, and the leaves tend to lose their initial vibrant color. I also will prune about any time in winter (say Christmas to late Feb. at least here in NC). This is a great time to really see structural amendments.

  26. jeffgoodearth 05/13/2016

    Ok, I am a day late but still wanted to say,,,,,,your collection is fantastic! You have some varieties I am unfamiliar with and all are beautiful

    1. NCYarden 05/13/2016

      Hi Jeff, good to hear from you. Thank you for the admiration. I hope to showcase some others at another time. I love gardening with these trees.

  27. Meelianthus 05/13/2016

    David, so sorry to be late for this Maple marvel display but I did want to add my kudos to you for an unbelievable display of beauty. It is all just breathtaking and that first photo is so beautiful, and I love the long expanse viewed thru your yarden with all of those unbelievable colors ans textures. Thanks for sharing those great photos.

    1. NCYarden 05/27/2016

      Hi Linda. Thanks for visiting...nice that these posts remain available for all of us to enjoy and even go back and wander again. I appreciate the kind words.

  28. frankgreenhalgh 05/14/2016

    Hey David I forgot to ask if you have any problems with the root systems of the Japanese maples entering drainage pipes etc. seeking water.

    1. NCYarden 05/27/2016

      Hi Frank. One of the nice things about Japanese maples is that they do not have crazy extensive root systems and are typically not heavy feeders, which makes them so well suited for planting near the home and even easy to grow in pots. No issues with roots causing damage.

      1. frankgreenhalgh 05/27/2016

        Thanks David. No root problems in your environment is great. I have a sandy loam soil which is hydrophobic and dries out readily. Under these conditions my Japanese maple (I don't know which cultivar) has invaded the pipes of the septic sewage system. Cheers, Frank

        1. frankgreenhalgh 05/27/2016

          Sorry David - I forgot to send a pic. in case you can id. the maple.

        2. NCYarden 05/27/2016

          Interesting. I suppose an extreme like you describe could certainly induce a need for getting water by whatever means necessary.
          And looking at the picture, my first guess would be Acer palmatum 'Katsura.' Is that the Spring flush of leaves? Have you had this tree long? Katsura is definitely one of the more vigorous cultivars. It's beautiful nonetheless. Thanks for the photo.

  29. user-7007498 05/15/2016

    David: Late due to a bad work week. Catching up now. Your maples are stunning. I am in serious envy. I have 11 Japanese maples (3 of them in containers). I am so in love with their beauty. On my 4/10 acre property, I struggle to fit more (I am also passionate about conifers-and have squeezed in over 30, so there is competition for space).

    Over 100, WOW. I love the photo you added in the discussion. The hillside is awesome, and looks so peaceful. I would kill for that. Your cultivars are awesome. I was looking many of them up. Have energized to find another spot and squeeze in another.

    Thanks for the inspiring photos.

    1. NCYarden 05/27/2016

      Hi Kevin, thanks for checking in. Nothing like a collection of Japanese Maples, regardless of how many one owns - always something a little special to get excited about. The hill is a nice property feature as it allows us to create a layered effect which I can't wait until it's filled with numerous maples. There are small ones in there believe it or not that are going to look great as they put on some size and mature.
      Some of my collection has even come from up your way. I love to go to Jim Doyle's place at Nature's Way Nursery up Linglestown Rd. You ever make it up there? And of course we always stop in Stauffers of Kissel Hill, just to never know.

      1. user-7007498 05/28/2016

        David, I do stop in to Nature's Way a few times a year. Jim's nursery is only about 5 miles from my garden. If you ever make a trip up here, let me know. Would love to meet you. There is another nursery nearby called Highland Gardens that often gets interesting dwarf conifers and Japanese Maples.

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