Living Art: Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ Coral Bark Maple.


Time to clear out the stump.

My Living art project was in need of a serious refresh after last winter. The season was not kind to the pre existing Coral Bark Maple. I’m chalking it up to the weather. There was a lot of winter damage in the garden this year. The tree I had been experimenting with was young and small. Had it been a few years older, I think it would have made it through.

So no regrets, I move forward! I picked up an older, and much larger Acer Palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ or Coral Bark Maple early this spring during VanDusen Garden’s annual plant sale. This was the project I had in mind for it. I just had to wait out the spring bulbs. Finally it was ready to go.

Dig time!

The centre of the stump is hollow, all the way down. Only the exterior shell remains.

It took a while to dig out all the bulbs. I’m sure I missed some of those tiny Muscari babies, but that’s a fun surprise for another day. I enjoyed working in the stump. What should be a painstaking and frustrating job, surprised me. The drab, grey overcast day that had been threatening rain as I prepped for the project, broke into a lovely sunny evening. It was a remarkably beautiful day to be working outside.

Sitting on the stump, digging into the abyss, I dug out the bulbs one by one. It turned out to be the highlight of my day. I had a soundtrack of birds as I dug. Their musical songs spiraled out of the nearby hedge.


Replanted with a new Coral Bark Maple tree.

Once the soil had been prepared, I worked on placement. A difficult thing considering that spot is the focal point of the garden.  Much like the sun, everything will orbit this Maple. With a bit of tweaking, the tree finally got dug in.

Facing the patio.

The view from the patio to the street.

I love the Coral Bark maple! It’s an amazing tree! I hope it will have a long life here, in my garden. The flush of hot pink stems, against the lime green leaves pop! Further adding that element of whimsy to the garden.

Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku' Coral Bark Maple

So that’s where she stands. Now the centre of all things. She’s ready to put on a show!


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One comment on “Living Art: Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ Coral Bark Maple.

  1. Mary C. on said:

    That hollow stump is such a cool feature! And a Japanese maple…. I have been oggling them for a couple of years but they are so expensive at the nurseries here :/ And I am still wearing down my dad to be allowed to plant it one in the ground…

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