Friday, September 16, 2016

Stand By Your Maples

Acer palmatum

Recently as I looked on the internet for information concerning a maple cultivar I found that I had stumbled upon a maple forum where two guys were corresponding about their various maple experiences. I could tell that they were amateurs, but nevertheless they were enthusiastic about their trees, and I guess it is these types that ultimately allow Buchholz Nursery to succeed.

I am not beyond learning something new about maples, so like a seedy voyeur I followed their back-and-forth, with the bulk of my attention spent just trying to figure out what they were saying. The following are a few [sic] selections from their pratter:

“Whilst it would appear some of your maples are shutting down, I've always assumed with red apparently being the default color of sun stress, that it is often this we are seeing, especially if the fall colour (presumably without chlorophyl) is never I right?...I hope so!”

“Almost all my maples are potted, whic can be an advantage (you can move them to a better place when you feel they are stressed) and an inconvenient (when you can't or forget to water them).

“What is the impact of the different factors, I'd like to know for sure;”

“There's also a large amount of gray mould and I have never seen the maple tar spot this bad, many of the ornamental sycamores are in a terrible state. No real way to treat it, of course, and it's unsightly not life threatening.”

“Our local TV station/weather news tonight stated that this July and August were officially the wetest in Yorkshire for over eight years (Well quelle suprise as you might say).”

“Wish I could be so enthusiastic about the rain. The disasterous cat litter experiment has taken it's toll. The death list so far is quite high though a couple probably died of other causes.....”

“They certainly test your brain do JM when trying to work out what's going wrong, and how do I rectifie this? again this is the pleasure and joy of keeping them I think.

These two maple collectors – I think one from England and the other from France – continue on and on, where they applaud each other for their successes, and commiserate over their failures (such as the disasterous cat litter experiment). I imagine these two men have never met, and yet they can closely bond over maples, something that neither can do with their wives probably. I suppose their neighbors think of them as maple experts for spouting Eh sir – Latin possibly? – when they brag about their trees. The collectors are harmless, if a bit zealous, but one thing is certain: they don't want your damn brats chasing the ball through their plants.

Acer palmatum 'Taylor'
Acer palmatum 'Hino tori nishiki'

Both of these forumists appear to take their losses in stride, each concluding that “it is a nightmare to keep Acer palmatum 'Taylor' going,” and that Acer palmatum 'Hino tori nishiki' is also problematic, but never do they complain about the wasted expense. One suspects that they would even skip their next meal to procure a replacement, but I doubt that their wives know how much they pay for each tree.

Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon' in spring

Frenchy writes, “I won't post a pic of how awful 'Autumn Moon' looks, bleached practically white with brown edges.” Yorky – or is it Yorkie? – responds by calling it “Autumn crispy moon.” Mine are crispy as well, for we reached 100 degrees F in June this year, a temperature unheard of so early in England.

Acer palmatum 'Peve Multicolor'

Acer palmatum 'Momoiro koyasan'

Acer palmatum 'Pink Filigree'

Yorky again, “Peve Chameleon always pretty colours.” I don't know 'Peve Chameleon' unless it is the same as 'Peve Multicolor', and if it is the same, then I prefer the “Chameleon” tag. I'll have to look into that possibility.* “Pink you say when the sun gets on it wow, looks good in the shade to.” For “Momoiro koyasan, this has kept going all summer just amazing colours every month, just keeps giving pleasure a true stunner!!”

Acer palmatum 'Peve Chameleon'

*Actually they are not the same. Now I remember that I have a photo on my website, taken at Vergeldt's, but I don't have the tree.

Acer palmatum 'Amber Ghost'

I was happy to read, “Amber ghost one of two, these are just supurb can't wait for these to get larger over the years, will be buying a few more of these fellas.”

Frenchy brags that “All my young grafts are planted out, every body who wanted re potting is now done and I have just finished planting all the spring bulbs for next year all in pots!! and if I see another daff bulb I will scream!!!” I would certainly hate to see him go daffy over the spring bulbs. He further pines, “Now that my kids are gone to the real world, I should sell my house which is too big, buy a smaller one, but with a bigger garden so I can have more maples!”

He might want to reconsider a larger garden because he mentions “Crazy weather...Considering what the two biggest polluters in the world have announced to pledge, I doubt that the “COP21” in Paris will really help.” Then he stoically promises, “But we're still standing and taking care of our trees.”

Maples in the garden

We would have no more wars or international strife if all citizens were so devoted to their maples...or Rhododendrons or Dahlias etc. The two correspondents seem like good-hearted men, and even though their exchange took place in 2015, I hope the Brexit vote won't alter their shared maple love.

Acer palmatum 'Strawberry Spring'

Acer shirasawanum 'Bronze Age'

Obviously neither man will win a writing award, but their accompanying photos are often very good (except that I have elected to use my own). I would love to give each man a maple that they don't yet have, maybe an Acer palmatum 'Strawberry Spring' or Acer shirasawanum 'Bronze Age'. I would relish meeting them for a maple three-some some sunny spring day, and we'll stand together and take care of our trees.


  1. Why would the Brexit vote alter their shared maple love?