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.
'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.
1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
3. Japanese flowering cherry
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd and placed by the south fence line near our kitchen windows.
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
2018 (17 planted. 6 Dead):
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
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.
33. My new Weeping White Spruce that will only grow about 4' wide placed near the fence line alongside the espalier'd Lindens.
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.
49. A tall(ish) London Plane tree that suffered some transplant and frost shock, but seemed to recover.