Can Coral Bark Japanese Maples Live In Zone 5?

That right there is the question that I'm trying to find an answer to:  Can a Coral Bark Japanese Maple survive Winter in USDA Growing Zone 5.  And, for me...specifically Zone 5b.  

Why am I even wondering that?  Because...of what I saw at the orange big box store recently.  A small, unknown Coral Bark variety Japanese Maple tree in a five gallon container for under $50.  With the 11% rebate that we get in our area, that gets this tree under $45.  See below for the label:

History has told me that Home Depot will - on occassion - sell something that isn't fit for our Zone 5B weather.  

But, Coral Bark Japanese Maples are a bit of a quandary.  Why?  Because the 'named' Coral Bark maples that have historically been sold at Home Depot are called Sango Kaku Japanese Maples.   I see them every year.  This is what their labels look like below:  with a tree named Sango Kaku".

Why do I bring up Sango Kaku?  Because....depending on your source, you'll see different information on hardiness.

Mr. Maple lists it as a Zone 6 tree.  The Missouri Botanic Garden has it as a Zone 5 tree. NC State Extension office has it as a Zone 6 treeMonrovia lists it as a Zone 5 tree.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  Different places are labeling the Sango Kaku Coral Bark Maple as either a Zone 5 or Zone 6 tree.  

For me...a Zone 5B gardener....that is a big deal.

And, what, *that* unnamed Coral Bark Japanese Maple that Home Depot is selling for $45?  Is it a Sango Kaku?  If you look around the Web, you'll find out that there are a handful of Coral Bark varieties.  And some of THOSE are labeled Zone 5.  Could it be something *else* besides Sango Kaku? 

What is an emerging Japanese Maple guy to do?  

Take the deal and roll the dice?  Will it survive our Winter?

There's only one way to find out, right?


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