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Japanese Maple in Full Sun?

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Joined: 4/23/2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 4
Posted: Apr/23/2006 10:10 PM PST

I hope someone can help me. We live in SC which is zone 8 for our area. We had a green Japanese maple at our house, I think it was called Virdis or Viridis. It got lot's of sun with a little late afternoon shade. My husband wanted something with some red color so I found the tamukeyata on the internet and many postings on forums where folks said these did well in full sun provided they were well watered with plenty of drainage. I went to buy one today and the nursery told me that NO Japanese maples would do well in full sun, I needed filtered sun or shade. I ended up buying a bottle brush for the full sun area instead, but bought the J M anyway with the intention of putting it in a container on the patio, however I have found more forums today that said it would not only do well in a lot of sun, but keep it's color so now I am thinking of trying it in the sun and if it start to wilt then move it to a container. Any advice?

Lynn and Rob

Joined: 6/06/2002
Location: southwestern Ontario
Posts: 374
Posted: Apr/23/2006 11:30 PM PST

I would think that in South Carolina you would have a tough time with red Japanese maples in full sun. Even here in Ontario we recommend them for morning sun or full shade. The edges of the leaves tend to get brown if the summer is hot and droughty. I would stick with the advice that the garden center is giving you and try to put it in an area of morning sun, indirect sun or full shade.
Joined: 4/22/2006
Location: Macomb, MI USA
Posts: 5
Posted: Apr/24/2006 2:55 AM PST

Japanese Maple is very much an understory tree. along with Dogwood and Redbud. Most small early flowering trees fall under this category. They may do ok the first year but will decline each year until leaves start to burn and curl by late June here in MI. They need the filtered light of overhead tree and the moisture such a site provides. My tree gets just a few hours of east sun in early am and no matter how much I water with a soaker hose the tree looks so bad by July. Find that beauty a shady spot.
Joined: 8/21/2003
Posts: 988
Posted: Apr/25/2006 1:18 AM PST

the bigger leaf varieties can take more sun. I have seen them in full sun in Kentucky 6a with no burn.We have one in the garden at the greenhouse where I work.It is all day sun, no additional water other than rain and beautiful.
Big leaf of course.
The more lacy ones though must be in shade during the afternoon.
Briarwoods photos
Joined: 3/16/2006
Location: Gulfport, MS
Posts: 1208
Posted: Apr/25/2006 1:29 PM PST

My old neighbor had one that was in full sun all day. It was fine. But I'm up north. I was just doing some reading and learned that they need part shade down south.
treeman blog photos
Joined: 3/29/2002
Posts: 2874
Posted: Apr/26/2006 3:33 AM PST

I agree with the sun lovers. I have seen no problems with Japanese Maple in full sun. The red ones do tend to develop more intense color with increasing amounts of sun.

Dogwoods also do well in sun, with more intense bloom than in shade and Red Bud is a common compomnent of early succesional old fields where it too gets a lot of sun. As the fields grow into forest stages and develope shade above the redbuds the redbuds begin to melt out of the ecosystem. We rarely see blooming redbud in deep mature forest stands except along the edges where there is some sun.
Joined: 4/23/2006
Posts: 20
Posted: Apr/26/2006 4:20 AM PST

It's ironic to see this post as I just took a photo of my Japanese Maple early this evening. It gets full sun and has done well in it. We thought we almost lost it the first year I planted it in 2003, but I pruned it and it came back. It has grown well in full sun ever since. We are in Zone 6b, north of you in WV.

Below is a photo of it (And I noticed now that there is a foam golf ball underneath it! lol! My boys!):



Joined: 4/23/2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 4
Posted: Jun/08/2006 2:33 AM PST

I thought i'd provide an update on this. We decided to keep the JM in the pot for a week in the shade, it started to turn greenish, but other than that looked good. I then decided to leave it in the bucket but put it in the spot where I wanted to plant it. It get's a bit of shade from a large river birch and a nearby cherry tree, but mostly full sun. The first thing I noticed was the red color is back. We had one day around 98 degrees and two leaves got a little brown. I then started watering before I leave for work and then again late evening and so far (knock wood) it looks great. I read that these are very easy to transplant so if for any reason it starts to look bad it's good to know I can move him.

Joined: 4/23/2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 4
Posted: Jun/08/2006 2:34 AM PST

Irish Eyes...what type of JM is yours? The one we purchased is red also, but it's got a full trunk system on it then weeps at the top, it's not as low to the ground. I really like yours.

Joined: 4/24/2006
Location: Farm in Kentucky
Posts: 130
Posted: Jun/08/2006 2:49 AM PST

I have a red lacy one that I moved out of the sun because it was dying. It is now in filtered shade and is fantastic.

I bought a green lacy one at the same time. It was in full sun and it started looking bad. I moved it to light shade but it didn't survive.

I have 2 friends who had the same experience.

I am in zone 6b/7.
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