Acer palmatum Ghost Dancer is a dwarf maple with pale green leaves that loves a shady afternoon location. Like all maples with leaves that are not green morning sun is needed to bring out the color – in this case white. But this Ghost is not one of the maples in the Ghost Family by Talon Buchholz of Buchholz Nursery. This cultivar has been available for several years, but it is new for my nursery. The spring leaves are pale green, almost white with some pink. Summer color is light green with visible veins – this feature is known as reticulation. I guess I would say that it looks like a cross between Sister Ghost and First Ghost. Fall color is orange to crimson.
I am going to keep Acer palmatum Ghost Dancer under observation as it grows. Often a common looking maple when it is small is like an ‘ugly duckling’ – as it grows it becomes an awesome unique swan-like maple. Ghost Dancer prefers morning sun and afternoon shade – considered a dwarf this maple may reach 6′ tall in 10 years. Once established it is hardy to -20 degrees USDA zone 5.
Planting your maple is the right location the correct way is very important. Make sure you follow my directions – Planting Japanese Maples – to avoid some of the pitfalls that may lead to an under-performing maple or even death. Never plant a maple directly into clay soil, do not bury the trunk of the maple, and never over-water or drown the roots. Like all maples Ghost Dancer needs some pruning to establish it’s shape. For more information see Pruning Japanese Maples.
First Ghost Dancer photo courtesy of Buchholz Nursery.Second photo shows one of mine in current inventory beginning to show fall color.