Yesterday afternoon as the temperature soared to 90ºF/32ºC - way above normal again - I was trying to find easy tasks to do in the garden. "I know, I'll get the dead annual vines out of the Japanese maple!" I thought. This tree is now touching my pergola, and the vines growing there move into the tree. I'm pretty good at keeping them off the tree for most of the year but toward the end of the season I "relax" a little (get lazy) and a few get into the branches.

Struggling to reach the highest branches of this tree (which is only about 6' tall), sweat and sunlight pouring into my eyes, I realized: "hey, this is really pretty!"


So I took a break and grabbed the camera. This tree was sold to me as a 'Fireglow' Japanese maple, although I've never been able to confirm that ID. Photos I find all indicate a different leaf structure for 'Fireglow', so I'm not sure.

'Fireglow' gets its name from the vibrant colors that appear as sunlight hits the leaves. Viewed from the backside, the tree glows beautifully.

So although the leaf shape may be wrong, I can't argue with the "glow" part of this tree -- it's just stunning when the light hits it the right way.

Like many red-leafed Japanese maples, this one turns more green in the heat of the summer. As you can see, this one has already decided that it's time to green up -- which is crazy, because it's still early April! There's even a chance that we can still experience a hard freeze and this tree could lose all of its young leaves -- it's not summer yet tree! Go back to red please!

Misidentified or not, this is a very nice tree. It handles the sun pretty well, but I may move a potted bamboo in front of it this year, giving it a bit more shade during the hottest part of the day.

I love it, even when I have to pull the dead vines from it on a too-hot April day.


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JiffyJ  – (April 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM)  

Yesterday, in sunny Southern Nevada, it snowed... I would have taken a picture of the snowflake on my baby basil plant, but I was too busy carrying everything in.
(I pay attention to the mesquite trees, and don't put anything in the ground that can't handle a frost until after the mesquites have started to leaf out.)

JiffyJ  – (April 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM)  

P.S. - this morning, the mesquite trees gave the go ahead! Mad planting begins :)

Steve Lau  – (April 10, 2011 at 9:05 PM)  

Wow 90F is getting up there. I wished we could get to 90F. No wonder why everything is waking up in Missouri. Since the trees got fried by a late deep freeze, I don't expect them to wake up any time soon here, but some of my lilies are starting to finally poke out of the ground, so with a few more days of 60F weather, it should look a little bit more like spring.

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