Tag Archives: Buying Guide

Acer varieties

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I had some time spare in the Bournemouth area today so called into the Acer nursery to see what they had to offer. What an amazing place, lovely people and (most importantly) incredible range of beautiful Japanese Maple specimens.

Below are the varieties I selected. There are taller growing trees for the back of the border – the ‘Bloodgood’ will go down towards the fence as it will eventually (50 years or more) grow into a 20′ tree. The smaller trees will go nearer the path.

The photographs are stock photos of how the trees will look as they mature, this is how they are now:

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Acer palmatum ‘Inazuma’

Translation: ‘The Thunder’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Inazuma’ is a mid-sized, deciduous tree or shrub with deeply divided leaves that are rich deep purple red in spring and early summer, turning dark green, then red-crimson in autumn with green veins.

Foliage: Reddish-purple in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Crimson in Autumn

Habit: Branching, Broadly columnar, Medium

Acer palmatum 'Inazuma' in Summer

 

Acer Palmatum ‘Beni Otake’

Translation: “Red bamboo”

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Beni Otake’ is an upright, spreading, round headed deciduous small tree or shrub with dark red bark and deeply divided, bamboo-like, red tinged leaves turning red in the autumn.

Flower: Red in Spring

Foliage: Flushed red in spring, Green in Summer; Red in Autumn

Habit: Medium, Spreading, Upright

 

Acer Palmatum ‘Bloodgood’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Bloodgood’ _ ‘Bloodgood’ is a large shrub or small tree with dark red-purple leaves, turning crimson in autumn, and small purple flowers followed by red fruits.

Foliage: Purple, Red in Spring; Green, Bronze, Purple in Summer; Red in Autumn

Habit: Tall, Rounded, Compact

 

Acer Palmatum ‘Senkaki’

Other names: Coral bark maple,

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Sango-kaku’ has palm shaped orange-yellow leaves in spring, turning rich green in summer, turing yellow again in autumn. It has distinctive coral-red shoots and bark for all year interest.

Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ is: Deciduous

Foliage: Yellow, Orange in Spring; Green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn

Habit: Medium large, Rounded, Compact

 

Acer Palmatum ‘Shindeshojo’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Shindeshojo’ is a large shrub or small tree forming thin branches with lobed leaves, bright red when young, white- and pink-speckled green in summer, and orange and red in autumn.

Foliage: Scarlet in Spring; Pink, Green in Summer; Red in Autumn

Habit: Small, Rounded, Compact

 

Acer Palmatum Dissectum ‘Virides’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Virides’ are small, deciduous trees with very finely divided, bright-green leaves that turn yellow in autumn before dropping.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Dissectum Viride Group’ is: Deciduous

Foliage: Bright-green in Spring; Bright-green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn

Tree shape: Small with a spreading canopy

 

Acer Palmatum Dissectum ‘Baldsmith’

Variety or Cultivar: ‘Baldsmith’ is a small tree with bright orange-red, lacy spring foliage that becomes green in summer and then brilliant orange in autumn. The combination of young and mature leaves in summer creates an attractive mix of red, orange and green leaves.

Foliage: Orange-red in Spring; Bright-green in Summer; Orange in Autumn

Tree shape: Small with a spreading canopy

 

 

Secondhand chainsaw buying guide

A quick guide to buying secondhand chainsaws. The majority of petrol chainsaws are used by professionals and have a hard life. They are generally only sold on when they’ve used the end of their useful life and are really only useful for spares. There are a few saws that are viable as second hand buys but they are quite few and far between. Here are a couple of things to look for…

First off, chainsaws are one of the most dangerous tools around. They can injure, maim, dismember and even kill in the blink of an eye. If you don’t know what you’re doing get someone in who does. Always wear all the correct safety kit, even when just testing a saw. I cannot and will not be held responsible for any injuries to people whether heeding my advise or not. If in doubt, go do your CS30 course.

Make sure it’s got the right label on. I wouldn’t go for anything other than Stihl. Husquevana are okay-ish but have some interesting ‘design features’. I’ve found almost everything else to be pretty pony….

Make sure that the saw is right for what you want to do with it, bar length, weight of machine, etc.

Check for any physical defects – cracked casing, heat damage to the bar, condition of chain (a new chain can be £20+++, make sure tooth wear is even and that there are a good few sharpenings left in it). Check that the chainbrake engages and that the on-off switch has a positive action.

While the saw is cold (check the exhaust to make sure it hasn’t been run before your arrival) turn it over by pulling on the pull cord. Pull slowly and feel for compression, it should feel lumpy on turnover with a definite ‘lump’ every time the piston compresses the cylinder.

Next, turn on the switch, make sure the chainbrake is braked, engage choke and throttle lock and pull the cord – three sharp tugs and it should cough – just a quick fire. Disengage the choke but keep the throttle lock on – it should start on first or second pull. Any difficulty starting from cold points towards there being something fundamentally wrong with the saw – walk away..! Take the throttle lock of by ‘blipping’ the throttle.

With the saw running, it should tickover slowly, disengage the chainbrake. The saw should still be ticking over without the chain moving. Rev the saw  to full throttle, it should get there with no hesitation. While running at full speed engage the chainbrake (with the back of your wrist while still holding the top handle, not the palm of your hand which could end up with you losing it). The chain should stop instantly.

Next try cutting something, ideally wood! And ideally hardwood which will put a strain on the saw. The engine note should change as it’s under load but the revs should not drop away too much, even with a blunt chain (if the saw produces fine dust then the chain is blunt, chipping and the chain is sharp).

That’s the basics covered, I think. Be very careful out there. And if in doubt go get a cheap saw from Homebase!