I’m always searching for better trees varieties for our Minnesota landscape. In recent years, Miyabei Maples have caught my attention as an outstanding alternative to many of the more commonly planted maple varieties. Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple and State Street Miyabei Maple are two excellent varieties, and both will produce a beautiful well-behaved, structurally sound, and winter hardy tree.
State Street Miyabei Maples have been available for a number of years, and produce a tree of medium size at 35′ tall x 20-25′ tall. This size may be a better choice for small areas, or where you have plenty of space, but don’t want a tree that dominates the area. I’ve noticed that State Street Miyabei Maple and Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple, both have excellent branch angles that form very strong attachments with the trunk and will be very resistant to storm damage. Leaves are medium size and a very deep and handsome green color, thick so they resist leaf tattering in heavy winds, and stay fresh looking right up until they turn a nice soft yellow in autumn.
Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple has a nice feature of displaying a more pronounced set of corky bark ridges at an early age that adds a nice texture, and bit more winter interest. Like State Street Miyabei Maple, the Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple has a nice, somewhat shiny lustre on the dark green and thick leaves. From a distance, both varieties present a dense rounded form that stays neat and well-behaved with less pruning than many other varieties of shade trees.
For best results, plant Miyabei Maples in soils that are properly drained, slightly acidic, and dense enough to have good moisture retention. The more sunlight you give Rugged Ridge or State Street Miyabei Maple the better they will perform, although a half a day of direct, unfiltered sunlight will be enough to keep the trees healthy. If you live in a wide open spaces, Miyabei Maples should be able to perform really well in these fairly harsh conditions. We planted some along a highway right of way, ad they appear to be doing quite well.
We currently carry Miyabei Maples in #7 and #15 containers. Pictures here are of the Rugged Ridge Miyabei Maple and are courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Nursery, Boring, Oregon.