These days, the number of varieties of ornamental plants is enormous. Every year, breeders give us more and more new cultivars, and sometimes it isn’t easy to understand the difference.
Today’s two maples, though not new varieties, are very popular and deserve special attention. Let’s find out what they have different and what is the same.
Let’s start with Tamukeyama. This is a very old variety from Japan. It is more than 300 years old. This maple was obtained by selection in Kobayashi Nursery.
Crimson Queen is also a fairly old cultivar. This maple was selected in the mid-’60s at the Peter Cascio Nursery. Since then, it has spread widely throughout the United States.
|Mature height||4-5′ (1.2-1.5m)||8-10′ (2.4-3.0 m)|
|Mature width||6-7′ (1.8-2.1m)||10-12′ (3.0-3.6 m)|
|Light exposure||partial shade, full sun||partial shade, full sun|
|Watering||One time per week in a drought||One time per week in a drought|
The color is different
Color is the most significant difference between these two varieties.
In spring, Tamukeyama has burgundy-red leaves. In fact, the leaves look very impressive; their wine color is just unique.
During the summer, this variety does not lose color saturation and remains so until autumn.
In autumn, Tamukeyama becomes scarlet red, which creates additional value for this variety. Changing colors is always an exciting sight.
On the other hand, Crimson Queen lives up to its name and appears crimson-red in the spring. During the summer, the color almost does not change and in the fall also becomes scarlet red as a competitor.
The color of Crimson Queen is lovely but still not as rich as in Tamukeyama.
Although a lot depends on growing conditions, maples will not be bright and may even have greenish-red leaves in the absence of sunlight. This is especially true for 5 and 6 climate zones.
However, if you live in the 8 hardiness zone and plant one of these maples in full sun, you can get scorched leaves and pale colors.
So it is best to plant Japanese maples so that they get full sun in the morning and then stay in the shade.
Tamukeyama is a little smaller
Tamukeyama is usually slightly smaller. The height can reach 5 feet at the age of 10. At the same time, the width is approximately 7 feet. This variety is umbrella-shaped, which means that it grows more in width than in height.
Also, the branches hang down, which gives this variety a weeping shape.
Crimson Queen usually grows up to 8 feet in height and up to 10 feet in width after ten years of cultivation. Its shape is also umbrella-like, and it also has weeping branches.
However, the height depends on the location of the grafting. If grafting is done high, then by ten years, these maples will be taller than 10 feet.
I must also say that the size of these two depends on the growing conditions. With enough sun, water, and fertilizer, they will grow faster.
Besides, after many years (20-30), these varieties can be much larger. For example, Tamukeyama can grow up to 10 feet in height and more.
Both of these maples have beautiful decorative leaves. It is divided into 6-9 blades and looks very textured.
Crimson Queen and Tamukeyama have the most divided leaves among all Japanese maples.
The most significant similarity between the two is the care requirements.
First of all, maples need enough sunlight to saturate the color. I have already written about this above.
The second is watering. It would be best if you gave enough moisture to the maple. This is especially important in the first two years after planting until the plant takes root.
Do not allow the earth to dry out more than an inch. In drought, watering may be necessary twice a week.
The soil should be nutritious and well-drained. To achieve this, add organic matter (compost) to the planting hole and mix it with regular soil. The proportion of compost should be at least 25%.
Mulch the surface around the maple with organic mulch. Pine bark or compost is best for this. Mulch will retain moisture and will not allow the soil to heat up in summer.
The thickness of the mulch layer should be 1-2 inches. Do not mulch the trunk; there should be a gap of 1 inch between them.
At least once a year, these maples need spraying with a fungicide and pesticide. In fact, pests and diseases can easily damage these ornamental plants, so preventive treatment is the best way to protect trees.
If you want to get a beautiful maple quickly, then you can speed up its growth with fertilizers. It is best to fertilize with slow-release mineral fertilizer. Fertilizers should be applied once a year in the spring.
To get a more correct and beautiful shape of the maple, you need to prune it at least once a year. Trim the side and vertical branches that protrude beyond the desired habit. Do not remove more than a third of the branches in one year.
One of the best alternatives is Twombly’s Red Sentinel Japanese Maple. Of course, it has a columnar shape, but this can be its advantage because it requires less space in the garden.
This variety has a beautiful red-burgundy color that lasts until autumn. The leaves are divided into five lobes. This means that the leaves are less delicate, but their area is more extensive, so the plant looks lusher.
The next good alternative to today’s two is Red Spider Japanese Maple. It is a fairly wide maple; it reaches 10 feet in height and the same width in maturity.
The leaves of this variety are also elegant and beautiful. The color is light red. Autumn becomes reddish-brown.
Although the Red Spider does not have a weeping shape, it remains an extremely decorative maple and can compete on an equal footing with Tamukeyama and Crimson Queen.
Baby Lace Japanese Maple is suitable for fans of miniature plants. The height of this maple at the age of 10 reaches 1-2 feet! The width is 4 feet.
The leaves are small, very decorative, and carved—the color changes from burgundy-red to orange-pink throughout the year.
This is an ideal plant for a small flower bed with stones and a waterfall. However, it requires special care and growing conditions.