I’ve always used the rule of thumb that you want to plant things that don’t like the cold in the spring, and others that don’t like the heat in the fall. With the little bit of rain we received last week, and ground has softened a bit so now is the best time for planting Japanese maples and conifers, as well as many other shrubs and trees.
I know we’ve highlighted Japanese Maples in the past, but our stock will be larger and more exciting than it has ever been. Sun tolerant varieties, dwarf shrub types, and elegant cascading selections. The extremely weeping variety Ryusen has green leaves and a prostrate habit that is suited for the edge of containers or cascading over walls. I’ve even seen it used in hanging baskets! Mikawa Yatsubusa is one of the most eye catching varieties you will ever see. With larger green leaves and short internodes on branches that sweep upward, this is one of the most distinguishable maples out there. I know some people may be frustrated with their maples right now due to leaf scorch. The combination of high heat and low humidity make the leaves of the Japanese Maple burn very commonly in the north valley summers. Smaller varieties can be kept in a pot so you can move them into more protection if they show stress. And for sure, larger varieties that will receive more sun stand the best chance when planted in the fall.
We also have a great selection of conifers now at the nursery. We’ve carried conifers from Iseli nursery now for five years and through a lot of trial and error, we have found many varieties that do well in the north state. Without a doubt, placement and soil conditions are very important with all conifers. If you love conifers but have had poor luck, try the varieties of cedar, juniper and cephlotaxus, which seem to be the least finicky of our selection. All other varieties do need special care when planting (use a mix of native soil, compost, and small cinder rock for best results), and extra attention to planting placement. Follow these guidelines (along with a consistent watering schedule), and once the conifer is planted and will become quite low maintenance. Iseli nursery takes incredible pride in hand selecting their parent stocks for nearly forty years and most of their selections are dwarf and slow growing with great natural form without having to prune extensively. While many of the other plants we sell are but a few months old when they are sellable, Iseli conifers are rarely less than five years old, as can be as old as twenty years old for some of the larger specimens. And yes, they are some of the more expensive plants we carry because of this. If you are interested in planting conifers in your yard, feel free to ask a lot of questions to us, for it is everyones best interest here that you have success with all of our plants:)
By the way, we also have a great new selection of camellias, azaleas, and other shrubs that can also be planted now too!
~Chris Hunter, Nursery Owner