Acer palmatum Firefly Japanese Maple Planted - June 2023

A few days ago, I posted some photos showing off three Japanese Maples that I bought from Mr. Maple and they shipped out.  All three are small one-gallon trees and arrived in good shape.  The first one of these three trees that I planted is Acer palmatum 'Firefly'.  Below are some photos showing off the foliage of Firefly and you can quickly tell that this tree is a beauty.  Of note, the rootball wasn't totally filled out in the small one-gallon nursery container, so when I took it out, the soil and roots sort of 'fell part'.  I quickly packed it back together and stuck it in a five-dollar hole.



Here's what Mr. Maple has to say about Firefly Japanese Maple:

'Firefly' is a Japanese maple with superb reticulated variegation. The deep lime green veining, along with a brighter fiery red spring color distinguish this variegated selection by Paul Holden of Harstein Island Nursery. The habit is fairly upright, with less spreading than other ghost type variegated maples. Fall color is bright fiery red. 'Firefly' may reach 10-12 ft in height in 10 years. Give protection from the hot afternoon sun for best color.
Emphasis, mine.  Shade protection...noted. 

The listing calls out the concept of 'reticulated variegation' - which is new to me, but important in the Japanese Maple trade.  What does it mean?  Google Bard has this to say:

Reticulate variegation is a type of leaf variegation that displays contrasting pigmentation between veins and interveinal regions. This variegation is caused by specific aberrations in the development of mesophyll cells.

Well...that's interesting.  Something I'll have to keep trying to get smart on.  

Last month, when I planted the second Emperor 1 tree in the kitchen-window bed, I talked about how I could think about some additional planting locations for Japanese Maples that would work to sort of bring some symmetry to the landscape.  One of the spots that I called out (at that time) was in the Understory bed sort-of mixed-in amongst some of the hostas that have accumulated over here.  In fact...last Fall, I planted a bunch of tiny Autumn Ferns - including three in this spot - that didn't come back.  

The Firefly Japanese Maple is small (remember...it was a 1-gallon container), so it isn't going to make a big statement right away.  Below, you can see the location of the planting of Firefly:


Pretty good looking, but tiny tree.  

2023 marks my seventh tree-planting season.

The two Ginkgos were #79 and #80 and the second and third trees of 2023.  The small Emperor 1, Acer palmatum Japanese Maple is the 81st tree and the fourth of the year.  Waterfall was 5th this year and 82nd overall.

The unknown red Acer palmatum dissectum tree is the sixth tree of the year.  And 83rd overall.  Now this Acer palmatum 'Firefly' is the seventh tree of the year.  84th overall.  In terms of JMs, we now have 2 Emperor 1's, a Waterfall, an unknown upright lace leaf and (now) this fifth JM - Firefly.

Earlier this year, I marked four deaths, we (now) have 58 of 84 trees that we've planted.

84 trees planted/7 growing seasons = 12 trees on average planted each season
58 trees alive/7 growing seasons = 8.28 trees on average survive each season.

Here's the full accounting:

2017 (9 planted. 4 Dead. 5 of the original annual total alive now):
1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
2. Flowering Pear in front yard by garage. (LOST and replaced)
3. Japanese flowering cherry
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd and placed by the south fence line near our kitchen windows.
6. A Dawn Redwood from Earth Day 2017 (LOST and replaced)
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
8. A Corkscrew Willow all the way in the back (LOST)
9. A Crimson King Norway Maple near the trampoline

2018 (17 planted. 6 Dead):
10. Another flowering pear from Earth Day 2018
11. Red Maple Sun Valley tree from Earth Day 2018.
12. Weeping Cedar tree - our first evergreen.  (LOST)
13. The weeping flowering cherry tree that the Babe planted for Earth Day 2018.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. These Frans Fontaine Hornbeams
22. A replacement Chanticleer Pear tree (3" caliper) out front by our garage
23. Our second evergreen - a short Fraser Fir Christmas Tree out by the trampoline. (LOST)
24. This Canadian Hemlock that is the first of nine that our landscape plan calls for in the backyard. (LOST)
25. Our replanted/replacement Dawn Redwood. Same spot as the first.
26. This teeny-tiny Bald Cypress that I planted in the front yard, in between our driveway and our neighbor to the north.

2019 (9 planted.  5 Dead):
27, 28, 29.  A set of three small Canadian Hemlock Trees in our far backyard. (Two Lost)
30, 31, 32.  This second set of three small Canadian Hemlocks along the north fence line. (One Lost)
33.  My new Weeping White Spruce that will only grow about 4' wide placed near the fence line alongside the espalier'd Lindens.
34.  A NEW Dwarf Alberta Spruce planted near the south fence line.  Our first "dwarf" tree.
35.  This new Hakuro Nishiki Willow (Dappled Willow) tree planted close to the flowering cherry on the southside.  LOST - October 2020.

37.  A very thin Lombardy Poplar tree - columnar form - in the way back wood chip area.  LOST - July 2020.
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.  These apple trees in a Belgian Fence espalier.
46.  A small Northern Red Oak tree - our first Oak tree planted.
47.  A 'decapitated' Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud that I planted on a whim.
48.  A replacement (from the nursery) Lavender Twist Redbud planted close to the brother.
49.  A tall(ish) London Plane tree that suffered some transplant and frost shock, but seemed to recover. 
50.  Our second contorted tree - this one inspired by Disneyland Paris: a Harry Lauder's Walking Stick tree.
51.  Our third contorted tree - but one that checks A LOT of boxes.  Deciduous conifer.  Weeping.  Contorted.  Japanese.  Planted behind the front Maple - the Horstmann's Recursive Weeping Contorted Larch.  LOST - Aug 2020.
52.  Via the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale - a columnar tree from Japan - the Red Fox Katsura Tree that I planted as an understory tree to the dying Chanticleer Pear Tree next to our driveway. 

2021 (16 planted and 13 alive):
53.  A tiny bareroot Shagbark Hickory from the Benet Academy Environmental Club planted in the backyard.   LOST - May 2023
54.  Our first Japanese Maple - a dwarf Tamukeyama Maple planted in the south backyard bed LOST - May 2023
55.  A large Weeping Nootka Falsecypress from Wannemaker's planted in the new bed on the northside. 
56.  A long-sought-after Emperor I Japanese Maple - our second Japanese Maple - that is now planted on the border near our new-to-be-created fire pit area in the backyard. 
59.  A dwarf Japanese White Pine - Pinus Parviflora Nana (or perhaps something else).  LOST 2022.
64.  A second, tiny Ginko tree - this was a replacement for #62 - planted 'ib2dw'.
65.  A small - and ALL Green - Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) planted in front of the back Yews.
66. 67. 68.  A trio of London Planetree 'Bloodgood' trees that are planted along the fence that I'm going to attempt to pleach.

2022 (9 planted and 7 alive):
69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. Six Green Giant Thujas trees planted as an upright evergreen layer in the backyard. Thuja standishii plicata. TWO LOST.  May 2023.
75. A small Saratoga Ginko tree planted in our front yard by the front walk.
76.  A London Planetree Exclamation planted in our parkway.  A bandit tree of sorts.

2023 (7 planted and 7 alive):
78.  Small, Columnar Scotch Pine from Home Depot in early Spring 2023. 
79 and 80.  Dwarf "witches broom" Ginkgo trees - Spring Grove - planted on either side of our back stoop.  
83.  A small, but upright red lace-leaf Japanese Maple - Unknown variety planted amongst the hostas on the north side understory bed.

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