A Third Emperor 1 Japanese Maple - And a LOST Laceleaf JM - May 2024

Small Emperor 1 Japanese Maple - Morton Arboretum Plant Sale

This post deposits two things into the [garden diary]:   the loss of a Japanese Maple and the planting of a different one.  First, the loss.  Last Summer, I planted a 2-gallon Japanese Maple that was mis-marked.  It was labeled as an Emperor 1, but was had dissectum or laceleaf foliage.  I marked it as an 'unknown' Japanese Maple - likely a Takukeyama.  That tree was purchased on May 12, 2023, so I had a decision to make.  By May 11th (this past weekend), the tree was not leaf'ing out.  The scratch test showed that the trunk was still alive, but no buds had opened up.  With the one-year warranty running out, I opted to yank it out and get the store credit.  

This marks the second loss of trees this year - the first being the Silver Maple that I removed earlier this Spring.  Two trees lost, zero planted.  But, that is about to change thanks to the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale.  A few days ago, I posted about the Sun King Golden Japanese Spikenard (Aralia) that I picked up at the sale.  Today, I'm showing the new tree from the sale:  An Emperor 1 - Acer palmatum - Japanese Maple.  

Over the past few years, I've planted a number of Japanese Maples including some varieties from Mr. Maple, one from the Morton sale and a few from big box nurseries.  Which ones have done the best?  The one from the Morton Arboretum Sale is the leader of the pack.  The 'next best' one?  The 2# Emperor 1 from the orange Big Box store last year.  Most of my JMs suffered some winter dieback this past winter - but not the Emperor 1.    Last Summer, I showed how the little one had established itself enough to put on some new growth by August.  This Spring, it is even bigger.  

Last Summer, I talked about (and showed a schematic) using upright Japanese Maples in a repeating-fashion in our backyard.  Here's the schematic from that post:


The red circle in the middle of the northside of the beds is where the JM that I just removed was planted, so that's where this new Emperor 1 is going in the garden.  The two darker red/maroon circles are the locations of the existing Emperor 1's, so this completes that triangle.

This Japanese Maple is small - in a 1.5# nursery pot and has a pretty strong central leader that gets up about 4+ feet.  It needs a little staking, but otherwise the tree is great. 

Small Emperor 1 Japanese Maple - Morton Arboretum Plant Sale

I dug the hole a little deeper, amended it with some Moo-nure (composted manure) that I had on hand and planted the Emperor 1 a few feet back from the edge of the border.  This is under the canopy of a Black Walnut tree and a mature Northern Catalpa tree.  

Last thing I did was wrap the tree in tulle.  Why?  Because of the upcoming cicada boom that we're about to see in Northern Illinois.  I don't know if they like to lay their eggs in Japanese Maples, but those limbs sure are small.  I figured it was better to protect it.  See below.  

Protecting Japanese Maple from Cicadas with Tulle

I have wrapped a few other trees in tulle this week to protect them from cicadas.  I'll share details about those in another post.

2024 marks my eighth tree-planting season.  And, I've now planted one tree this year.  This is the second 'lost tree'.  Last year, I marked four as lost in 2023:  the first two being Green Giant Thulas.  The latest being the Japanese Flowering Cherry.  And a Columnar Scotch Pine.  This year, I'm -2 + 1 = -1 (for the year)

We (now) have 69 of 99 trees that we've planted.   69.99% success rate over eight years.  I think that's ENOUGH to say that most gardens will see a 70% success rate on trees. 

99 trees planted/8 growing seasons = 12.47 trees on average planted each season
69 trees alive/8 growing seasons = 8.62 trees on average survive each season.

Here's the full accounting:

2017 (9 planted. 5 Dead. 6 total (including 2 replacements) 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.  Lost in 2023.  Could be the Walnut tree that took it.
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 (21 planted1 and 17 alive):
78. Small, Columnar Scotch Pine from Home Depot in early Spring 2023. Lost in October of 2023.
79 and 80. Dwarf "witches broom" Ginkgo trees - Spring Grove - planted on either side of our back stoop.
81. A (very small) Acer palmatum Emperor 1 Japanese Maple planted in the kitchen window bed by the row of Astilbes.
82. A low-grafted Waterfall Japanese Maple tree - Acer palmatum dissectum 'Waterfall'.
83. A small, but upright red lace-leaf Japanese Maple - Unknown variety planted amongst the hostas on the north side understory bed.  LOST - May 2024. 
84. The first of three trees from Mr. Maple - a one-gallon Acer palmatum 'Firefly' that is planted in the Understory garden in back.
85. The second of three trees from Mr. Maple - another one-gallon Japanese Maple: Acer palmatum 'First Ghost' back by the firepit.
86. The third tree from Mr. Maple - an upright green dissectum Japanese maple that I planted near the failing (in decline) Japanese Cherry Tree.
87. Silver Maple Volunteer Seedling in Kitchen Window Border, behind the Astilbes. REMOVED
88. A high-grafted (5#) Acer palmatum Inaba Shadire planted by the wine barrel water spitter in the backyard.
89. This two-year-old Northern Catalpa volunteer that is on the corner of our patio.
90 and 91: A pair of Kousa Dogwood Trees planted to espalier against garage sidewall.92. A dwarf conifer tree: Baby Blue Spruce - planted IB2DWs near the sidewalk.
93. A Weeping Norway Spruce 'Pendula' planted IB2DWs - west of the Bald Cypress.
94. A second Weeping Norway Spruce - in my new "Conifer Garden". IB2DWs extended.
95. A narrow, upright conifer tree - Montrose Charm White Spruce in the 'Conifer Garden' IB2DWs.
96. The 2nd Baby Blue Spruce tree planted IB2DWs in the new 'Conifer Garden' closer to the Bald Cypress.
97. A 3rd Baby Blue Spruce tree planted in back by the Lindens - viewable from the Kitchen.
98. I'm calling it a tree (not a shrub) - a Royal Purple Smoke Tree planted IB2Dws.

2024 (1 planted and 1 alive):
99.  A third Emperor 1 Japanese Maple - from the Morton Arboretum Plant Sale.  Planted in the understory garden where a previous JM was pulled.  

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