Trees of Note
Metasequoia 'Ogon' (Japanese for gold), aka 'Gold Rush' Dawn Redwood. These trees literally glow in the garden even on an overcast day. We bought three but one died after I moved it two too many times. It's a fast grower - approximately 4 feet per year. The regular Dawn Redwoods seem to grow faster and spread more but I prefer the narrower growth habit of the 'Ogon'. The tree is deciduous so like the Bald Cypress, it will lose it's needles in the fall.
Some interesting information from Wikipedia: "Metasequoia was first described as a fossil from the Mesozoic Era by Shigeru Miki in 1941, but in 1944 a small stand of an unidentified tree was discovered in China in Modaoxi by Zhan Wang; due to World War II, these were not studied further until 1946 and only finally described as a new living species of Metasequoia in 1948 by Wan Chun Cheng and Hu Hsen Hsu. In 1948 the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University sent an expedition to collect seeds and, soon after, seedling trees were distributed to various universities and arboreta worldwide for growth trials.
In the late 1980s, it was discovered that many of the second generation trees in cultivation suffered from inbreeding depression (extremely low genetic variability) which could lead to increased susceptibility to disease and reproductive failure. This was because most of the trees were grown from seeds and cuttings derived from as few as three trees that the Arnold Arboretum had used as its source. More widespread seed-collecting expeditions in China in the 1990s sought to resolve this problem and restore genetic diversity to cultivated Metasequoia."
There remains one Dawn Redwood forest, consisting of barely 5,000 trees. Since its discovery, the Dawn Redwood has become something of a national point of pride, and it is both pretected under Chinese law and planted widely. As such, it's not likely to go extinct, but Dawn Redwood is critically endangered in the wild. Though cutting of trees or branches is illegal, the demand for seedlings drives cone collection to the point that natural reproduction is no longer occurring in the dawn redwood forest. Alhough the species will continue to live in yards, parks and on roadsides all over China, the Metasequoia forest ecosystem could disappear when its mature trees die."
How tragically sad.
Acer Palmatum, 'Aka shigitatsu sawa'. This is the red form of the 'Shigitatsu sawa' which according to the Vetrees book Second Editon,1987, (means ' "snipes quacking, fly up from a swamp." Further, " 'Shigitatsu sawa is also the name of a place in Sagami-Oiso. In the Genroku Era (200 years ago) the poet, Michikaze O yodo, lived there and called it Shigitatsu sawa. Quoting from a old poetry book by Priest Saiygo: "In the evening, in Fall, at Shigitatsu sawa, even a person whose heart is vacant, feels sad."
This is a relatively slow growing tree, considered to be a dwarf by the Japanese. The contrasting veining and interesting shaped leaves make it an unusual collectible. It is in the Reticulatum, variegated group of Japanese maples.
Beni otake Japanese Maple. Translation: Big red bamboo
It is in the Linearilobum group.
The purplish-red strap-like leaves grow in layers and give the plant a bamboo-like appearance. The leaves hold red color in the summer and and are a brilliant crimson in fall. The Japanese name means 'big red bamboo' but this tree is actually of American origin.