Wayside Gardens' recent catalog had three pages of beautiful Japanese maples. One that caught my eye is Acer shirasawanum 'Autumn Moon.' It's described as "a small tree with bright burgundy-red spring foliage that quickly matures to chartreuse. For the remainder of the summer, the tree constantly produces new red leaves, which delicately lay atop the chartreuse foliage to create a stunning color contrast. Fall foliage is a rich orange-red. A vigorous grower, it even thrives in the hot and humid Southeast." A 1-gallon container is $59.95 plus shipping at 800-845-1124 or www.waysidegardens.com.
At BuyMaples.com, there are several good tips for growing Japanese maples. Under the frequently asked questions section, here are two items I found interesting:
Japanese maples can be grown in the landscape in Zone 6 (our area's zone) with no special protection. Trees need to be well watered in the late fall and up until the ground freezes. Trees in zones colder than 6 will need to be grown in containers and over-wintered in a cold frame or an unheated porch or garage. In the containers they should be kept moist but not wet.
Japanese maples must have constant moisture and good drainage. Mulch your tree with 2 1/2 to 3 inches of shredded bark, preferably hardwood, to insulate the roots and prevent water from evaporating around the tree. Planting in the fall four to six weeks before the ground freezes is best. Regular watering is essential. In the spring one light application of a balanced fertilizer is usually adequate.
Orders are being taken for the annual spring flower sale of the Friends of Craik-Patton House. Geraniums are available for order through April 18, with delivery before May 10. Plants are grown by Gritt's greenhouse and all proceeds benefit the Craik-Patton House and grounds. To order, call 304-346-5836 or 304-344-9587.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.