Acer palmatum Sister Ghost is my favorite ‘Ghost’ maple. A dwarf maple that has whitish-green leaves with dark green veins when grown with morning sunlight This feature of visible veins is known as ‘reticulation’. The leaves are moderately dissected giving them a softer look. In the summer months the leaves can show tints of pink and yellow while the leaves underneath that do not get any sunlight remain greener. As with other light-colored maples morning sun and afternoon shade is preferred.
Sister Ghost likes shade, but a little indirect light or morning sun brings out the visibility of the veins and the leaves are more whitish-green than yellow-green in the spring. In addition, more dramatic fall color is evident with more sun – turning from pink-orange to crimson. Estimated growth is 5-6′ tall in 10 years. When established this maple is hardy to -20 degrees, zone 5. I have reduced my inventory as I get closer to full retirement. The only other Ghost I have at present is First Ghost.
Acer palmatum Sister Ghost like other Japanese maples benefits from some pruning to shape the tree, as well as removing any dead branches. This maple like so many others grows in the vase V shape usually with at least two main branches. Pruning is important to remove the smaller branches that cross inside the V shape of the main branches. This prevents dead leaves from being stuck in the middle and opens the maple up for better air flow. Dead leaves and poor air circulation can cause bacteria or fungus to grow. Sister Ghost has a pendulous habit that can make her shorter and wider is not staked or not pruned. For more information see Pruning Japanese Maples. The Ghost series of maples was developed by Talon Buchholz at Buchholz Nursery.
If you love Japanese Maples as much as I do, you can learn more about these amazing trees by joining the Facebook Group – Japanese Maples and Conifers.It is free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member. The contributors to the group have a wealth of experience and post many photos. Discussions include questions from Acer to Yasemin and everything in between. No question is dumb – you will not be criticized for lack of knowledge, rather you will get a variety of opinions from all over the country. This is what I value the most – learning about variations of growth, leaf size and color in different sections of the USA and around the world. I often participate in the discussions.
All of the photos were taken at the nursery. The primary photo is a close-up of the leaves in the spring with some morning sun followed by the spring color when grown in more shade. The third photo shows Sister Ghost with seed pods known as samaras. The last photo shows fall color for a maple with morning sun.