There are many beautiful varieties of Japanese maples in the world, but we still get excited by something new, especially when it is outstanding. When we saw this new introduction from Germany, we knew this was something extra special, and could hardy wait to find some top-quality stock. The Jeddeloh Orange Japanese Maple is indeed something very special and desirable. We could begin with its wonderful cascading form, taller than wide, and looking almost as beautiful with just bare twigs as in full leaf. Then there is the kaleidoscope of seasonal color changes, from orange-red to green edged in red and then to brilliant pumpkin orange – even the twigs are light orange. Did we forget the delicate, refined lacy nature of the foliage – no, we didn’t.
Growing Jeddeloh Orange Japanese Maple Trees
The Jeddeloh Orange Japanese Maple combined an overall upright form with weeping branches, making it taller than it is wide, reaching 7 or 8 feet tall, but being just 5 or 6 feet across. This is distinct from most other weeping Japanese maples, which are much wider than they are tall, so this plant is ideal for that weeping look in more limited space. The young stems are yellow-orange, and this feature adds to the winter beauty of this tree, as does the intricate cascading branch patterns. The leaves are of the true ‘dissectum’, or lace-leaf type, with seven lobes separately completed right to the base of the leaf. Each very narrow lobe is then deeply cut into a feather-like form, making the overall look incredibly delicate and appealing.
Not content with beautiful shape, the leaves pass through many beautiful color changes with the seasons. These begin in spring, as they emerge like tiny curled fingers, with a fine green line down the center of each leaf-lobe, shading into reddish orange all around the edges. The overall effect is terracotta orange, and the variegated look is unusual, since most Japanese maples of this type have solid leaf coloring. As summer advances the green color predominates, but the orange-red border of the leaves persists, and the new leaves continue to be multi-colored, even in shade, so this tree remains colorful and interesting all summer. Then in fall, with cooling nights, the leaves turn many shades of brilliant pumpkin orange, layered over yellow, looking like a bright light has been turned on in your garden. Although small, this plant grows at a moderate rate, adding 9 to 12 inches of new growth during its early years, after a year to become established.
Grow the Jeddeloh Orange Japanese Maple as an accent plant, or among other plants in a woodland area. Grow it on a slope or above a wall, where its cascading beauty can be best appreciated. Its smaller size makes it ideal for container culture, where it can be moved around into the ideal spots for light, and for being seen. Drought is less of a risk in containers as well, if they are regularly watered. It also makes a stunning bonsai specimen, and it will of course look lovely beside a small pond or lantern in an Asian-style garden or courtyard. This treasure deserves a special place, and your garden will have just the spot for it.
The Jeddeloh Orange Japanese Maple is hardy from zone 5 to zone 8. Zone 9 is too hot for this particular variety, but we have many other Japanese maple trees suitable for hot zones. It should be grown in partial shade, although in zone 5 some morning sun would be beneficial. With its delicate lace-effect foliage, this variety is more easily burned by the sun than many other types, so shade and moisture are important. It still colors well in shade. The soil should be moist and well-drained, with plenty of organic material added. Mulch in spring or fall to conserve moisture and to keep the root system cool. Containers and boxes for planting should have good drainage, and pots should not be left standing in a saucer of water. Use a well-drained potting soil designed for trees or create a mix with 20% very coarse sand or fine gravel blended into outdoor potting soil. Fast drainage is important to protect the roots from disease when watering must be frequent. Pests and diseases are rare, and the correct light levels and watering are the main requirements for good growth with this tree.
History and Origins of Jeddeloh Orange Japanese Maple Trees
The Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, is a small tree growing to around 25 feet tall and wide. More rarely it can be as much as 40 feet tall in the wild. It is a native tree of Japan, and also Korea and China, and it is an important component of woodlands on the hillsides and in valley along rivers. All the older varieties came from Japan, where gardeners have collected and cultivated special forms, usually grown from seed or found in the forests. Since then there have been an increasing number of plants produced in North America and Europe, and the variety known as ‘Jeddeloh Orange’ was developed around 2000. Horst and Linda zu Jeddeloh, who grow plants in Gresham, Oregon, created it, and since they are close relatives of the German nurseryman Jan zu Jeddeloh, it was first propagated and released by Jeddeloh-Pflanzenhandels, his nursery in northern Germany. It has only recently been introduced back into America, but it has won lots of interest from both specialists and general gardeners, who all love its unique characteristics. We have a very limited stock of beautiful young plants, but we are known for our special Japanese maples, so that stock will be out the gates very soon. Order now, or they will all be gone.