In 2017 I took monthly photos of a particular tree @CUBotanicGarden, and in 2018 I did the same for a hedge. Neither sequence when laid end to end was in fact particularly inspiring, so in 2019 I went for one of the most spectacular specimen trees in the garden, and it did not disappoint.
The Japanese maple Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ is a cultivar holding the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) of the Royal Horticultural Society. The binomial Acer palmatum was first applied by Carl Pehr Thunberg (1743–1828) in his Flora japonica of 1784, and the first specimen of the genus reached Great Britain in 1820.
Many cultivars had been created by Japanese gardeners over the centuries, using plants from Korea and China as well as Japan itself. ‘Osakazuki’ seems to be over a century old, but I haven’t been able to find out if it was bred in East or West.
It is quite large for a Japanese maple, and can reach up to 4 metres of height and spread, so that if it is suitably pruned you can walk under it and look through the canopy – though I have seen many grown as multi-stems, and apparently they do well in containers. So here is a sequence of pictures, beginning in a bleak January and following a year’s growth until the apotheosis in November, after which it returns to dormancy again.