Thursday, November 29, 2007

Japanese maples, Acer palmatum, Seiryu, Villa Taranto, Oshio beni? and Beni Otake

During the busy Thanksgiving week I noticed the 'Seiryu' Japanese maple was in it's full fall colors so I stole a few quiet moments photographing the rapidly fading chroma. This was not a good year for Japanese maple color. A few like the coral twig maples were outstanding and the Seiryu was as good as last year but many turned brown before exhibiting much color.

My lcd monitor also died last weekend and I'm using a small back up lcd. It renders the colors very differently and is much sharper so things look very differently on this screen. The background color of my blog looks black with the new lcd but I painstakingly adjusted it to be a very dark (almost black) gray on my old bigger screen. It makes me wonder how differently the photos look to anyone who happens to see them. I've used a library monitor to view the photos but that was hopelessly unadjusted with a purple-red cast to all the pictures. Some of the others were either blurred or either too dark or bright; it was a frustrating experience. I guess you put up the photos and hope people are using good lcd monitors and have calibrated them to some extent.

The above four pictures are of the 'Seiryu'. The concrete blocks were meant to be decorative, like stone lanterns but the association with building material is imprinted too firmly.

Acer palmatum 'Villa Taranto'. This Japanese maple cultivar was found on the grounds of the Italian villa.

I'm not positive but I think this is a photo of the 'Oshio-beni' Japanese maple.

'Beni-Otake' Big red bamboo Japanese maple.


Blogger Benjamin Vogt said...

Do you do anything to protect your trees in the winter? Maybe in zone 6 it's not so bad? I'm in zone 5, Nebaraska, windy windy windy, and planted what I believe is a bloodgood on the west side of the house about 8 feet away. I've got a pic on my site of a pallet I strung up to try and block some north wind (a silly thing to do perhaps). I saw some hay on an empty lot nearby--a neighbor's left over halloween decoarations--and am thinking of nabbing it and putting it on the ground.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Vanillalotus said...

I love maples. I never get tired of all the maples posts. Your pictures make them look like they are on fire I love them.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hello Benjamin,
We've had very mild winters in NJ for the past few years. Zero degrees is pretty rare. We had a Sango kaku coral bark maple in a north exposure that didn't do well but a Bloodgood was unfazed in the same conditions. I lived in Iowa for 5 years and experienced -20 degree temperatures one year. I assume Nebraska is even colder with the wind sweeping in from the north. The pallet isn't a bad idea at all. I would even encircle the tree with a burlap stretched on stakes to keep out the wind. The straw would probably be a pretty good insulator but keep it off the tree trunk. At least you have a nice tall fence to block some of the wind. Good luck. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks, Vanilla Lotus.
The maples ablaze in color are extremely nice fall trees. The bonus with Japanese maples is, most have wonderful shapes too. I haven't seen one I didn't like.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

The maples are lovely and the leaf forms very different - I keep trying to choose a favorite leaf here and can't decide. But yes, Ki - you've got to do something about that concrete block! Even if you just encased it in hypertufa it would look more like rustic stone instead of Cee'Ment.

Our monitors here make the photos look different from each other, too - and the same post looks a little different on my monitor in Explorer and Philo's in Firefox. I may not be seeing exactly what you do, Ki, but your maples look beautiful.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

8:53 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie, cee'ment huh. :) Reminds me of the Bard's words "You block, you stone, you worse than senseless thing..."

And I thought the ugliness of the blocks would be such an enhancing contrast to the graceful form of the colorful tree so we could suffer the Quasimodo form. Now encasing the blocks in hypertufa is an idea but the boulder I constructed out of the same did not turn out very looks like someone dumped a pile of excess cee'ment.

I use Firefox but I have used Explorer and Opera. Explorer renders the page and photos differently but not too a great extent so you probably see pretty much what I do. I had to tone down the contrast to reduce the color saturation on the new monitor so the colors would not be cartoonishly garish. Thanks for your kind comment.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

I never get tired of the Japanese maples either. This is my second year with 'Beni Otake', but it suffered a lot from the drought. 'Villa Taranto' is on my list, and 'Seiryu' wasn't but now might be. The leaves look pink and gold with touches of red on my monitor. If that's how it really looks, I definitely want one.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled,
Our Beni Otake grew a lot this year despite a couple of mini droughts. I would highly recommend the Seiryu. It was mostly red last fall but was beautifully multi-colored this year. That's how it it looks on my monitor too and out in the garden. The Villa Taranto so far (2 years) has been somewhat of a disappointment. We have two trees. One gets blasted by the winter winds and has done poorly with the new growth dying back. The other is in a more sheltered spot but got severely grazed by a deer which denuded all the branches from a height of two feet on up and that was not enough destruction so it topped the tree too. I was left with a two foot tall tree which was originally 5 feet tall. I didn't think it would survive that severe a pruning in early spring, it had only a very few remaining branches so I dug it up and planted it in a more sheltered place under some serviceberries. To the testament of Japanese maples' toughness, it not only survived but is thriving.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

These look great on my monitor. I do notice the change going from mine to Karen's wide screen sharp Dell monitor. Same thing can happen when you print them. Do you use a specific color profile? I always use Adobe 98 even though it isn't suppose to be as good for the web. It is better for printing, I think. Luckily our Japanese Maples had time to color but I did notice a lot of other trees that usually have good color were frosted off green. Strange autumn for sure. I think my pseudo Sango Kaku ;) were so beautiful this year. Best in the last 12 years.

8:01 AM  
Blogger DragonStone said...

Oh wow, those are absolutely awesome!

2:53 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Chris,
I don't have a calibration program but I tried to match the output from the printer. I really should calibrate the monitor but I have so many other things to do, it will have to wait for another time. I think the Sango kakus were outstanding too. The Beni kawa and Seiryu tied for second place. The rest of the trees were sort of ho-hum. I'm about to post a few of the other Japanese maples and you can see the color was not very good.

Hi Dragonstone,
Thanks. The Japanese maples are quite photogenic. And when they are in full color are quite fabulous. Thanks for the comment.

5:07 PM  
Blogger kate said...

The Seiryu Maples have wonderful colour to them. They are showing up magnificently on my monitor ... your photographs are always good. There's always a wonderful interplay of light and shadows. I just wish we still had some leaves on trees.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
Hello Kate,
Sorry for the late response to your comment. I've always wondered how the photos looked on others' monitors. The ones at the local library are terrible even if they are CRTs which is supposed to be more accurate in color reproduction.

Thank you for your kind words. I do like to take photos with backlighting which makes the leaves and petals translucent. Shadows are nice too since it gives the subject a sense of dimensionality. Indeed, the leaves are now all gone so things are looking quite bleak here too.

6:32 PM  

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