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Question
I recently purchased a Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Red Select').  I've found some conflicting information about this tree and I have a few questions.  
1. Is it the same as the 'Inaba Shidare'?
2. Is it upright (which I understand that's what palmatum refers to)? or "weeping" which most dissectum are?
3. As far as I understand I can plant this tree in a container. Do you have any care instructions for this tree in a container?  (when should it be pruned? Some info says summer, others say fall/winter)

Thanks!

Answer
Yes it is one of the varieties.
Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Inaba Shidare' - Sometimes known as 'Red Select', this Japanese maple is rather upright for a dissectum. It does have cascading branches, but is more erect in appearance. 'Inaba Shidare 'grows 10 to 12 feet high and about half that in width. It retains its dark purple red color into the summer when grown in the sun. Some tip burn may be experienced in hot, dry summers. 'Inaba Shidare' turns a brilliant crimson in the fall.

I am not a fan of container planting of trees. This Maple will grow to 8 feet tall and about 8 feet wide so as it grows the container will need to be larger, Also depending on the area you live the cold winters can damage container trees. Can you plant a Japanese Maple Tree in a pot or container for your deck or patio? Yes but keep in mind the roots will experience colder temperatures than if it was planted in the ground. A general rule of thumb is the roots of a plant are 2 zones less cold hardy than the above ground portion of the plant. So if your tree is rated as a zone 5 (-10 degrees to -20 degrees) the roots are only cold hardy to zone 7 (10degrees to 0 degrees)

Southern states will have a much better success with Japanese Maples in containers.


If you are not sure of your hardiness zone here is the link to the Hardines zone map

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Here is some more information on container grown Maples
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1013

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Jim Hyland

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I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.

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