Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
|Full – Partial|
|Acer palmatum ‘Green Mist’|
The Green Mist Japanese Maple is a rare and beautiful tree that has a unique charm. The branches cascade toward the ground and they are covered in leaves that are so finely divided they are like elegant lace. From a distance they look like a misty cloud. The leaves are a light-green color, sometimes with a reddish hue. In fall the foliage turns spectacular shades of orange-red that really lights up the garden. In winter the fine twigs cascading down look beautiful against the snow. The final shape of this tree depends on how it is grown, since it does not naturally grow upright. Left alone it will form a mound about 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet across; it will gradually expand over time until in 20 years it can be 5 or 6 feet tall and 10 feet across. With some staking when young it can be trained into a more upright shape and 10 feet tall is not hard to achieve.
This tree looks especially elegant beside water, whether it is a small pond, a stream or a larger lake. The effect of the cascading branches creates a waterfall of foliage and its reflection in the still water adds a new dimension of beauty. This tree also looks lovely at the top of walls, where it can cascade down freely, or grown in an attractive container where it can be moved around on a terrace or patio to show of its extraordinary beauty. It also makes a marvelous subject for bonsai training, as it is naturally picturesque and elegant.
The Green Mist Japanese Maple has the very narrow divided leaves found in the most prized type of Japanese maple, Acer palmatum var. dissectum. The leaves are completely divided to the base into 7 to 9 lobes and each lobe is further divided into narrow segments so that the whole leaf is lacy. It is this incredibly divided foliage that gives the tree its ‘misty’ appearance. The leaves retain their green color all summer and in sunnier locations they may have a reddish sheen. In fall the leaves turn spectacular shades of yellow, orange and red and the tree is a blaze of color. The strongest colors develop if the tree has some sunlight in fall, so careful placement in the garden is important.
The Green Mist Japanese Maple has naturally cascading branches so it does not form an upright-growing central stem or trunk. Left to grow naturally it will form a slowly rising mound of branches. In time the mound will be 3 to 5 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet across, so leave enough room around your tree for its eventually size. Smaller quick-growing plants can be put around it when young and removed later. Young trees can be staked to give one or more upright trunks, which will then send out cascading side-branches. It this way a more upright weeping form can be created on a taller tree. If you are looking for a naturally upright Japanese maple to form a larger tree, the Coral Japanese Maple is a good choice to make.
This tree is hardy throughout most of the country, from zone 5 to zone 9, so it can be widely grown. In the north it can be grown in light shade or even full-sun, but in warmer areas it should be protected from the hot afternoon sun during the summer months, and from drying winds.
The Green Mist Japanese Maple was discovered around 1975 by the Japanese maple specialist Dick Wolff in a batch of seedlings at his nursery in Pennsylvania. It is more hardy and faster-growing than other similar plants and so it is superior to other cascading varieties that may be available.
Because of its special qualities this tree must be grown correctly from accurately identified parent plants. Our trees are grown the right way, by grafting stem pieces from these plants onto roots of seedling Japanese maples. Avoid cheaper seedling trees, or trees labeled ‘Cascading Japanese maple’ as these will not have the outstanding features of this tree and will just be a disappointment in your garden.
Japanese maples grow best in lighter soil rich in organic material. They should have well-drained soil but they should not be allowed to dry-out, as the fine foliage may shrivel. Protection from drying winds also helps keep the leaves fresh and green all summer.
Once you have chosen a suitable location, dig plenty of rich organic material, like rotted manure or garden compost, into the soil over an area at least 3 feet across. Dig a hole the same depth as the pot and place your tree in the hole, after removing the pot. Firm most of the soil down around the roots and water your tree well. Once the water has all drained away you can replace the rest of the soil and mulch the root zone with more organic material. Do not let the mulch touch the trunk. A new layer of mulch each spring is all that is needed to feed your tree. Water your tree each week or even more if needed, for the first few years, and then whenever the soil becomes moderately dry. No pruning is required but you can stake the tree if you want to have a taller specimen.
Our Green Mist Japanese Maples are true to the original character of this unique tree, but something so special is often in high demand, so our supplies may be limited. Order now or you may be disappointed and miss the opportunity to grow this very beautiful Japanese maple tree.