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Hello From East Bay Area, CA

Started by Pete E., August 05, 2014, 11:03:37 AM

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Pete E.

August 05, 2014, 11:03:37 AM Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 11:33:15 AM by Pete E.

Thank you for allowing me to join the Forum.

My wife and I live in the East Bay area, east of San Francisco, CA - USA.  Our summers are very hot (90's to 100's F.) and winters are cool, some freezes, and light snow every 3-4 years.

Late in 2011, we decided to design and re-do our front yard.  We did all the work ourselves and the design on our computer.

I chose a "Garnet" Japanese maple for its heat tolerance and placed it in the shade of 2 existing Sycamore trees to give it some protection from hot sun.

Here are some progress photos of the yard project and the JM tree during its first 2-3 years of growth in its new home :

Pete E.

August 05, 2014, 11:04:17 AM #1 Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 11:25:21 AM by Pete E.
More photos :

Pete E.

August 05, 2014, 11:05:00 AM #2 Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 11:25:31 AM by Pete E.
More photos :

Pete E.

August 05, 2014, 11:05:31 AM #3 Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 11:29:43 AM by Pete E.
Last photos :


Pete E.
....... welcome to the forum..
you and yours have certainly put in a significant amount of work and it looks to be growing in very well..
a question though: I see the trunks on the maple tied together..
why is this, -- perhaps they were splitting ? or  ?
welcome, once again..   edzard

Pete E.

August 05, 2014, 02:29:43 PM #5 Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 02:59:49 PM by Pete E.
Hi Edzard,

Thank you for the welcome.

The "Garnet" Japanese maple came from a nursery (Lakes Nursery) located in Auburn, CA.  It had been raised there and the 2 main branches low on the trunk were already "twisted" and trained to go around each other.  There was a "void" space in the middle of the twists that the nursery had placed a flat river stone and some juke/twine to hold the stone in place.  After the 1st. Spring of growing in our yard, I removed the stone and the area has remained open between the twistings.

I removed it because I was worried, long term, the stone might damage the bark/cambium.

I have added a photo of the area on the trunk, below.

Here is a link to the nursery (I am not affiliated, etc.). 

If you go to their Photo Gallery section, you can see photos of a large Japanese garden right in the middle of their commercial nursery.  The current owner indicated the original owner had worked on the garden for 30-40 years.  I think the garden is not trimmed/maintained as it was in the past with some over-growth allowed.  Their Koi are extremely large and healthy, though.  Pond is over 4-5 feet deep with vertical sides.


Kind Regards,

Pete E.


I have seen that in nature Pete E., and it is fascinating to a degree..
though, imo that you are correct that it will impact the tree, negatively.
since maples like to split, at least these reach across each other for weight and hopefully they will fuse together later.
Quite interesting, thank you for explaining... 
Is the lantern also from there?    edzard

Pete E.

August 06, 2014, 10:36:44 AM #7 Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 10:44:07 AM by Pete E.
Hi Edzard,

Can you recommend a method or product that might help fuse the twisted branch so they are less likely to split down the trunk ? If fusing help is not possible, maybe a method to support the 2 branches ?

I purchased my lantern(s) from Art-Craft in Oakland, CA.  They are not of granite but cast-concrete in molded forms.  Reasonably priced and a bit easier to move/transport.  They have steel reinforcing inside to add strength to the concrete when it is molded.

Here is their web site and their "Asian" offerings :


Funny...about lantern in our front yard.  An elderly neighbor had his eye on our project and came by and commented that lanterns are usually not placed in the middle of a river/stream (or in my case a dry-river).  Thinking for a moment and being a bit defensive about my work and being a smart-aleck; I retorted that rivers do change course in nature.  But I think he made his point with me.

One day, when I feel not so lazy, I will relocate it.

He and I also have a friendly wager about the survivability of my Japanese maple in this location.  He was pessimistic and a nice dinner is at stake.  The bet/wager runs until Spring 2015.  I am hopeful to win.  :)

Kind Regards,

Pete E.