Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh my—O Isami!

My big Acer japonicum O Isami is so gorgeous I wanted to give it its own post. I've gotten several good photos of it at the peak of its color over the last week and a half, and I can't decide which ones not to share. Every look I take at this tree makes my jaw drop.

It started out going lighter and then shifting to gold, but as soon as the leaves got gold they developed crimson edges, and many kept getting more colorful every day.

The individual leaves developed different patterns, a tapestry of opalescent brilliance.

I couldn't resist breaking off one of the more colorful leaves to play with.

I selected this variety two years ago at Meadowcroft Farm after seeing a 12' specimen growing on their grounds and seeing its rainbow of colors—red, pink, orange, gold and purple, and multiple shades of each color. I love the rounded leaf shape too; I'm somewhat partial to the maples that show it—circinatum, shirasawanum, and many of the japonicums I've seen. I tried one in a shady area and it didn't develop any color past a medium gold, so when I got this big one last fall I knew I had to put it where it would get more sun. This one gets full direct sun till about 11am.

A week later it seems to have maxed out color-wise, and last night's rain brought half the leaves down, but the leaves are almost as beautiful on the ground as they were on the tree. They make a great background for the Pinky Winky flowers and the fading hosta.

As long as it keeps looking like this, I'll keep going down to look at it.


  1. I love O isami!! Your pics are lovely and I can understand how it would be difficult to choose. I planted one this spring and was stunned at the gorgeous color burst this autumn. I'm anxious to see this specimen in full maturity. I plan to write about mine on my blog this weekend. -Mario.

  2. Thank you, Mario! The nursery owner I bought mine from told me something a man in England said to him: "No matter how small your property is, you should set aside 6 or 7 acres just for Japanese maples." (Don't you wish?) Enjoy your beautiful maple!