Acer x conspicuum 'PHOENIX'

Acer x conspicuum
Acer x conspicuum 'PHOENIX'
hybrid snake-bark maple
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
 small tree
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist but well-drained
USDA zone (lowest) 5b   (down to -27°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
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Acer x conspicuum is a Dutch maple cross between a. davidii (China) and a. pensylvanicum (North America). So far the botanists cannot decide about its Latin name, whether to list it as acer x conspicuum or acer rubescens. And the poor guy does not even have a common name so is provisionally called hybrid snake-bark maple.

Phoenix is a hybrid snake-bark maple discovered in early 1980’s as a sport of Silver Vein variety. It boasts large, grass green, deciduous leaves that turn orange and yellow in autumn. Yet the main feature is its bark. Young twigs are purple pink early in the season and change to fiery orange and yellow with white stripes later and as the bark matures. In autumn the bark turn coral pink and orange.

It grows slowly to medium fast, naturally forming handsome shrubs or small, even more handsome multi-stemmed trees. Its limited size is suitable even for small gardens and front yards. Training it into a single-stemmed tree takes a bit of time and a lot more work. You need to select the strongest leader and remove all other competing branches at the base. Use a bamboo pole as a support and attach the leader to it with flexible bands. The support should be as tall as the desired height of your future trunk. Keep removing lateral branches all the way up the leader until the pole end where you wish to establish a canopy.

These maples have limited requirements. Grow them in full sun which is best for their colours or in part shade. They are not fussy about soil type; it just needs to be well-drained. Do not over fertilize. They are considered unsuitable for exposed sites. Hardy to abt. -27 °C (USDA zone 5b).

Last update 25-01-2022

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