Orange Japanese Maple

Unknown Orange Japanese Maple

Orange Japanese Maple

Orange Japanese Maple

Okay, this is where I start kicking my own butt!

This is what happened.

A few years ago when I wasn’t in the nursery business . . . I guess I need to explain that; (Why I got out of the nursery business.)

Anyway I wasn’t actively in the nursery business at the time, but one of my customers advertised some really nice Japanese maples for sale.  Actually two of my customers posted ads for Japanese maples so I bought a few trees from each, probably 25 trees total.  The trees came and they were beautiful!  And they were properly tagged which is really important in the plant business.

So I planted them all in one bed.  I wanted to watch them grow and to see how each differed from the others.  There are over 250 different kinds of Japanese maples so I was curious about the ones that I bought.  Most I had not grown before.  Now this is where my little experiment went wrong.  Some of the tags were hand written with permanent marker, which really isn’t permanent at all.  I knew that about permanent markers.  But you see, I wasn’t in the nursery business at the time so making sure the tags stayed legible wasn’t a super high priority for me at the time.

Two years later I go back into the nursery business, go figure.  I should have know that “not growing plants” wasn’t going to work for me.  So this past Sunday morning Pam is out on the porch and she comes in asking about one of the Japanese maples in my little garden.  She’s says; “It’s beautiful, what kind is it?”

Orange Japanese Maple

Orange Japanese Maple

I don’t know so I go look at the tag.  Which is blank.  Completely blank.  The not so permanent marker wore off.  So this is now the dilemma that I am in.  And I constantly remind my Backyard Growers to not let this happen to them.  If I wanted to propagate this beautiful little tree I can’t!  I don’t know for sure what variety it is.  I’m really not interested in doing any grafting at this time, but I sure would like to buy 50 or 100 of these beautiful little trees for my nursery.  But I can’t!  I don’t know what variety of Japanese maple this tree is with the burnt orange leaves.

It’s not Orange Dream.  I’m pretty sure of that.  But it could be Orangeola, it could be Jeddeola Orange but I really don’t think so.  I just don’t know, and that’s the dilemma that I’m in.  Beautiful Japanese maple, but I’ll never know for sure.  All I can do is keep buying all the “Orange” Japanese maples I can find for the nursery and hope that eventually I find some like this one.

My Backyard Growers would kick my butt for letting this happen because I constantly remind them of how important properly tagged plants are.  You too should keep track of what you have in your landscape.  It’s just good to know should you ever decide to start growing and selling small plants from home.

Get Paid for Growing and Selling Small Plants from Home!

107 thoughts on “Orange Japanese Maple

  1. Conor Daily on said:

    I have a dwarf palmatum muraski kiyohime. It is very similar to yours, but yours could also be shishio hime, and from Vertrees 3rd text by Peter Gregory, there is a dwarf called komachi hime. Keep growing- Conor

  2. Colleen on said:

    does it have red bark/stems on new growth and do the leaves turn green as it gets older?

  3. Debbie searcy on said:

    Beautiful trees

  4. Wilma Darlington on said:

    Mike, That little tree is so lovely, I’d happily grow it, no matter its name!
    Yes, we DO want to track the names of our plants (In the past, I’ve done the same thing as you’ve done with this plant–tag unreadable–lesson learned); but sometimes, we forget that we can enjoy a plant’s loveliness, despite our mistakes! 🙂

  5. kerry on said:

    Where would I buy an orange Japanese Maple? I’ve never seen one before and wanted to get my mom something different for mother’s day. Thank You

  6. Pam on said:

    so, do you have any of your unnamed for sale?

    • Teresa ineichen on said:

      Me too I’d like to know?!

  7. Ardith Fowler on said:

    Hi Mike –
    I have this pretty little tree and you know, mine is not marked either LOL!!
    I surely enjoy your site and am actually going to
    take some time and join – soon as I have time
    (that’s another lol — ‘take the time’ I know, I know)
    Definitely planning to.

  8. Ron on said:

    Is it orange all the time, or just in the fall?

    • Mike on said:

      Ron, spring and fall, new growth is orange in the summer.

  9. Brian Wilson on said:

    this is in response to your frost and freeze damage. I live in Tampa Florida where every says its too hot for japanese maples, back to the point, We rarely freeze down here but when we are forcasted for a hard freeze or frost I use FreezePruf. I don’t know how it works it just does, it will give you an extra 9° of protection which is usually all we need and for a late freeze in Ohio it probably wasn’t that cold just cold enough. I do however grow all sorts of things that shouldn’t grow here but some how I do, I have plenty of laceleaf red maples and they are one of the highlights of my water garden area, I am giving serious thought to looking up the sones on some of yours to see what the heat tolerance is, I have found if it says something like 5-7 it will grow here in zone nine. thanks for all your great information.

    Brian W

  10. Lea on said:

    Are you selling any of the orange Japanese maples? If so, let me know as I would like to get one. They are beautiful.

  11. Laura on said:

    Where can I buy the orange maples trees

  12. Theresa on said:

    I live in North Carolina land of the red clay. I would love to grow a few Japanese maple trees (color don’t matter) but I can’t even get grass to grow. Any ideas as to what I should do? And I have limited funds.

    • Mike on said:

      Theresa, you have to build raised planting beds with good topsoil.

      • Dianne Snow on said:

        I also live in NC… clay….but have dug a garden and added peat, topsoil and compost. Everything is growing just fine. A lot of work but I am glad I did it!

    • Bart on said:

      Theresa, I live in Pa. we have some red clay and a lot of shale rocks. I buy mushroom dirt for my gardens. After first yr my soil looks great.

  13. Keith Longberg on said:

    I’ve taken some cuttings from Red Japanese Maples from various places (without permission) and I am pretty sure they have rooted now, but of course I have no idea what variety they are. I may be able to identify them eventually. At this point I have no commercial interests, but I can see how I could go in that direction eventually.

  14. Connie on said:

    I want one..that is beautiful the color is amazing.

  15. Stephanie Rountree of EdenSong Essentials on said:

    Why not contact the 2 folks from whom you bought the plants and see if they can identify it? That may seem a little embarrassing, but it’s worth a shot!

  16. Dolores on said:

    can you purchase ‘any’ Japanese Maple and take starts from them and sell them legally?

    • Mike on said:

      Dolores, almost all of the Japanese maples I’ve seen are not patented or protected in any way and you are free to propagate them. Just check the tag for plant patent info. Hower, growing them from cuttings usually doesn’t work. They have to be grafted. I have a page about grafting at

      • Rob on said:

        Mike — what about air propagation for a Japanese maples???

        • Mike on said:


          I know people have done it with Butterfly, so it is possible but I don’t know what the success rate would be. Use this

  17. Susan on said:

    We have ALL had our “permanent” Sharpie plant markings completely disappear!! So, now I’m using Impress-o-tags that don’t use ink, instead REALLY permanent impression from a ballpoint pen — got them from a specialty nursery, but here’s the maker’s website:

    • Barbara P Turner on said:

      Everybody: Re: permanent markers!

      I simply “mark” what I want on a 3×5 piece of cardboard and tape it to one of those little plant plastic markers with clear packing tape and layer it so that the packing tape is over and down so rain won’t get in. Voila, Waterproof!

  18. Gene Martin on said:

    What marker is most “permanent? My latest experiment is with a “Laundry Marker”, but I’m not encouraged. Thanks

    • Larry on said:

      I have started engraving on aluminum. A few years back I first tried writing with a long nail on pieces of soda cans – they cut nicely with a kitchen shears. I bent 12 gauge fence wire into a pig tail and stuck the tag on that near the plant. My guess is that will last at least 5 years. The downside is that they blow in the wind make a dull rustling sound. When I had my windows replaced I had the installer leave the leftover foil wrap – a very heavy duty flashing with vinyl to match the windows on the face and plain on the back. Last winter I bought a Dremel engraving pen to mark 2″x3″ tags cut from the foil wrap. I punch 4 holes in the tags and bend the fence wire to fit the holes so the tags are like flags for small plants, or I tie them to trees using electric fence wire. I expect them to outlast me.


  19. Michele reynolds on said:

    Hello, i have a lovely red japanese maple i got for my birthday about 5 years ago. it had a rough time at our last home, in soggy ground next to our pond, a staghorn sumac tree vying for root space and shaded over by a huge butterfly bush. well we moved, and it was one of the things my husband dug up and took with us. he put it in a fibrous pot and it is showing off beautiful and abundant leaves like never before. i suppose the drainage is better in the pot, but here in treasure valley, idaho, the summer will get scorching. is it safe to leave it in a fibrous pot? i dont want the roots to burn, i dont want to put it in the ground either, because we will move next year. any help appreciated ps. dont recall orange maples, but u should try to find a staghorn sumac, they are fantasticA

    • Nicodemus7 on said:

      you could always bury it in the pot to keep it cool. Just make sure surrounding soil is drainable.

  20. Mill on said:

    I did the same thing with some specialty geraniums. What a mess!

    I was able to figure out some of them, but others I couldn’t. I contacted the man I bought them from 3 or 4 years ago, and he remembered them. He looked up his records to see where he got his starter stock and was able to provide proper identification.

    You might want to contact the two customers from a few years ago, or if your wife is like mine the receipt might be buried in a box of that year!

    Good luck!

  21. Bryan Van Alst on said:

    There is a Japanese Maple seedling that is in my garden, that seems to be “sporting” to an orange or coral variety. It is really quite beautiful. How can I make sure that this portion of the plant survives/thrives.
    The sport is on a “bloodgood” seedling & the color of the bark as well as the foliage are different than the rest of the plant.
    Should I trim off all but the mutated section of the plant?
    Thanks for any advice that you may be able to provide.

    • Mike on said:

      Bryan, I’d watch the plant for a while. If the tree you have is grafted, then growth you see might be coming from the root stock, below the graft union. Eventually you’ll have to decide which portion of the tree to keep and trim away the rest.

      • colin caissie on said:

        If it’s a keeper, air layer it, but it may be A. Palmatum or similar rootstock.

      • Bryan Van Alst on said:

        The tree is an actual seedling from a mature “Bloodgood” growing in one of my neighbors yards. I transplanted the seedling into my backyard garden 3 years ago & the “sport” seemed to occur last Summer & leafed out true to form this Spring.
        It is not grafted, so it couldn’t be an errant sprout from a rootstock. Can I post a picture of it somewhere here? The plant is still quite small with an upper branch being the sport.

  22. Penny on said:

    I can find out for you the major of Branch AR. grows Japanese maples and Azaleas.

  23. Yvonna on said:

    I would think it would be possible for you to find out what JM tree you have by going back to the fellows you bought them from. Happy hunting and no one would kick your butt because of all of the great things you teach us. just enjoy the tree and see if the guy you bought it from knows what he sold you .

  24. John Tremble on said:

    Dear Mike,

    Until you find a match for your unidentified orange Acer, why don’t you in the mean time label it:

    “Maple McGrorange”


    Have fun with it and God bless.

    • Mike on said:

      Thanks John, great idea!

  25. a on said:

    Unfortunate learning experience. You did not provide means to address your problem. If permanent marker does not work, what will? Many others, I’m sure, awaiting reply.

    • Mike on said:

      A paint marker or a china marker. Or I’ve got aluminum tags that can be embossed with a pencil.

  26. Evelyn on said:

    Could this be Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’?

    • Mike on said:

      Evelyn, I don’t think so. I had the tag at one time and that wasn’t it. But thanks for trying.

  27. April on said:

    You took cuttings w/o permission? Wow.

    • Bob Long on said:

      I’m always taking cuttings of stuff i like w/o permission, who cares if you don’t know exactly what it is, you can keep it or give it away to some other plant freak like yourself

    • Carmela Hauser on said:

      I, too, take cuttings when I’m out and about. No one wants to go on walks with me!

  28. Joyce Christie-Taylor on said:

    I love anything orange, Mike! So, I am ready to purchase a couple… Hope I can find out how to place my first order on this particular page!

    Joyce in CT

  29. Ed Lewis on said:

    Hope you can find some like this. I will be willing purchase several. Ed L

  30. Jamie Walters on said:

    Mike, thank you all of the great videos / information. After seeing this orange maple, is there a way to purchase a few of these trees? I would be willing to drive there too. Thank you…

  31. Marci on said:

    Oh how I would love to have these for sale in my
    yard! I have 1.25 acres of land, but it is in 92% ROCK (that can be fixed!) but I live in the low desert
    45 miles east of Phoenix. BooHoo…they won’t grow

    • Carmen Macklin on said:

      Hey Marcie, not sure why you can’t grow Japanese Maples where you live as I am 85 miles southeast of Phoenix and I have grown them in my desert garden under my ash tree. True we are some higher than you, but my girlfriends brother-in-law grew them in Phoenix in the 60’s & 70’s. They grow best in pots of course, here in the more desert climes of Az. & I use wooden tubs as these are easy to cool down the roots. If you need to use a clay one, just bury it in the ground up to about 1 or 2 in. from the top, & this will help keep it cool. Don’t forget to add some 1/4 in. hardware cloth to keep the bunnies from the tender stem & leaves. Leave enough room for branch growth. I just fence the inside edge of the pot with it & cover the top with more wire. Amazing how high those little suckers can jump. And as we all know the only REAL deterrent to rabbits is tightly woven fencing, (they will even dig under a block wall during a drought). My advice, buy a very small one & ignore the naysayers in garden books. Put under a tree that gets filtered light, then wait & see. Best to use a small size so it can aclimate to our hot desert winds, & lack of cold temps in the winter. By the way, our summer highs differ from yours by only 5 degrees or so. Ater we reach 90 for 2 or 3 days running, I start watering twice daily and wrap the tub in old t-shirt fabric or cotton flannel & attach a piece of cotton rope to hold them on. Put the end of the rope in a bucket of water to wick up to the coverings. This will cool the temp and add some much needed humidity. If the tub is small enough, I have set it in a large tray of water above the water level on bricks & that works well too. Be sure you try one of the hardier varities so your level of sucess is more likely. Then brag to others!!!

      • colin caissie on said:

        The standard A. palmatum can be used for rootstock, and whenever you see a nice maple, nab a cutting and graft it.

        Some gardening techniques are close to piracy.


  32. Peter Sawyer on said:

    I would like to start some Japanese maple seedlings. Where can I get them. I went to a nursery the other day, and they want 130:00 for one tree three ft tall. too rich for my blood. I would like to grow some to sell, myself.

  33. Jay on said:

    I love to receive your e-mail, tips, video, and comment. My problem is lack of space and lack of time. I forward many items to my friends and encourage them to directly receive your news. Thanks for all you do.

  34. Jackie on said:

    How can I obtain a couple of these beauties??

    • Mike on said:

      Jackie, these rare varieties are difficult to find, but several of our Backyard Growers offer them at different times during the season.

  35. Penny on said:

    I went and asked the Major and he said they are called Murasaki Kiyohime I think that is spelled right. he gave me a web site to check out about the japanese red maple. I can hardly read his writing but here it is.

  36. Jim Cooper on said:

    How do you root a Japanese Maple from a clipping? I’ve only tried from seeds! Thanks. Jim

      • Jim Cooper on said:

        Thanks Mike. The video was very helpful. Once you have plants that root, do you need to wait for a certain time before replanting them, and when you do replant them, is there any certain way to do so without harming the roots?

    • colin caissie on said:

      If you have ever tried air-layering, that is worth a try. Have had success with maples.


  37. Darren on said:

    New twig growth is red, orange to chartruese leaves with dark orange to red margins. Old wood probably hardens off to a grayish bark. My bet is that it’s an Orange Dream Japanese maple. If its habit is pretty upright, and its a low graft, I’d bet agian. I’ve got one in my backyard if you’d like a picture for comparison.

  38. Jimmy Guy on said:

    Don’t feel bad! I stole some clippings from a bright yellow hibiscus recently, and they have rooted well I don’t care too much about the exact variety. I’ll probably give them away. The only yellow one I had died during a hard freeze we had here. I don’t normally buy plants, I grow them. I lost a lot of different varieties of Hibiscus plus many more. My neighbors lost many of theirs also. One day I will get a greenhouse!

  39. Jimmy Guy on said:

    Japanese maples don’t grow well in zone 9a, but other varieties like the Silver maple do. I enjoy them alot.

  40. BARB on said:

    Hi Mike-
    will these thrive up here in Bismarck, ND?

    • Mike on said:

      Barb, I’m not sure, they are pretty good down to zone 5. Zone 4? It’s risky I’m sure.

  41. Genny on said:

    Please let us know when you discover the Orange Japanese Maple’s identity. It’s gorgeous.

  42. Talmadge Hardy on said:

    So, Mike, what IS a good permanent marker?

    • Mike on said:

      Try a paint marker or a china pencil.

      • colin caissie on said:

        vinyl siding with regular pencil.

        UV resistant, permanent unless you erase it.


  43. Julie on said:

    I live in Reno Nv will Japanese Maple’s grow in our dry dirt?


  44. Tom on said:

    If the cultivar shown in the photo is one of the first to leaf out in the spring with the beautiful colors shown I’d bet it’s a Katsura. One last question to really help pin the cultivar id down. After showing the colors do the leaves then turn a light green? Fall color here in NC are a bright yellow and orange.
    Hope this helps.

  45. Linda on said:

    OK, maybe it is just me, but I would buy that tree without proper identification! It’s beautiful!

  46. Mike Kritenbrink on said:

    How big are they and how much you want for one of them?

  47. Herbert Granger,,Hatfield Pa.19440 on said:

    mike ‘i just love the emails i get from you all the time .and if i were younger i would be in busseness with you right now but i’m 76 and have bad back arthritis and can’t get around to go any more,,but i would love to find out how i can buy just two of then orange maples about one or two feet tall for my yard, please tell me i can get them,Herb Granger

  48. Debi Sutherland on said:

    Mike, I have a question. A good friend of mine just bought a smalljapanese maple and planted it. It as fine when he got it but now it has small white spots on the leaves about the size of a pin head and the edges of the leaves are turning brown & ook like they are dying. Is there anything he can do to stop this ? Do you know what is causing this, it was fine when he got it. Would really appreciate some info if you can.



    • Mike on said:

      Debi, Japanese maples are actually pretty easy to care for. They don’t like being planted too deep or in wet soil. They don’t like to be fertilized, and if you wet the leaves when the sun is out and really hot you can get spots on the leaves. Also, this year we’ve had a lot of frost, that too will spot the leaves. As long as the tree is getting enough water but is not too deep I wouldn’t be concerned.

  49. Cutie on said:

    Help what type of Japanese maple will grow in ms. I have a large poach that does get sun. I have no space in my garden that does not get full sun. I did try a blood good an it died.To much sun. Right now there is a green one for a 150.00 . what to do.”” Cutie

  50. Joanne on said:

    Mike, I sure would be interested , but I live in south Florida, and dont know if they will thrive in this zone.

  51. Jonathan Sweet on said:

    Hi Mike,
    Love to work for ya & myself! Don’t have a lot of extra room but willing to use what I have to propagate! Send me some info.! Also, have a neighbor who has a Japenese Maple in her front yard! I find seedlings growing everywhere this Spring! So what should I do with them, and how do I make money selling them? Thanks, Jon

  52. Teresa on said:

    Freezing weather at any time doesn’t worry me! If I know it going to freeze I tie cotton twine to a 2 inch stick. on one end then the other end leaving it on the roll. Take cold water and fill a plastic milk jug. Then taking the roll twine and tying it to the top of tree, vegetable plant, bushes , whatever you want to protect. Cut it off, tie that end to the tree. put the stick end down into the filled jug One jug will cover up to a 10 foot tree. It creates a water vapor around the tree protecting it from frost. I have used this technique for over 10 years and get fruit off my dwarf fruit trees when others don’t through hard freezes that AR has all year long at times. We got very weird weather. This is a old Mountain herbal folklore trick and it works every time. I have tropical plants growing in my yard that supposely won’t grow In AR. and using the jug trick keeps them wonderfully in great shape and I get fruit off of them too.

    • liz uk on said:

      Hi, yes in the UK they spray fruit trees (fruits and all) with a fine spray of water which freezes around the parts but somehow leaves a pocket which is at higher temperature than the outside frost – I’ll look this up for a better explanation! But yes they use it commercially

  53. Carolyn on said:

    I use a pencil to mark my plants. The plastic stick becomes brittle and needs to be replaced before the pencil fades at all.

  54. Dan on said:

    Hey Mike

    I am not an expert but am pretty sure its either a white oak or blue spruce. Thanks for the great tips and glad I could help. .)

  55. liz uk on said:

    Hi all, Liz here from the UK! what a lovely variety! Mike has inspired me to start growing Japanese maples. Just wanted you all to know that I recently bought this little label printer machine (about £70 with labels). The great thing is that it prints labels with heat not ink!! you get beautiful thick black text/symbols/pics (only in black) which won’t wash off!!! It’s a Brother QL 500. Excellent piece of kit for labelling pots or sticking onto tags on stems.
    Good luck everyone!

  56. Sandra on said:

    Ooooooooooooooo! I love this. Can I buy this in the state of Michigan? I’m hoping! I’m going to start my search.

    • liz uk on said:

      Hi Sandra
      I’m sure you’d be able to find the same thing in the US. Really great machine, I just print from my laptop to it, text cannot wash off!! amazing! By the way, this means you never have to buy ink either!!

  57. colin caissie on said:

    The absolute best tags I’ve found are made from old Vinyl siding, and inscribed with a regular pencil.

    I am always surprised at old tags, years old in the compost pile, or on the tree, or in the row, well weathered, and still perfectly legible.

    Even erasable with a regular pencil eraser!


  58. David B Brantley on said:

    try these varieties/Sango Kaku . sanguineum , Seiyu , Shindeshojo ,Waterfall. One of them may be what you’re looking for

  59. Herbert Granger,,Hatfield Pa.19440 on said:

    first off the easest way to mark your tags it with a paint pen,com in all coulers and perment ”where mcan i buy one of them orange maples .if i were 20 years younger i would be growing all you trees and making money ,ok Herb Granger
    hatfeild Pa. 19440

  60. Tonya Hutchinson on said:

    I saw this on a website and it is a Katsura or something like that! Can’t remember the exact spelling but I’m sure thats what it is.

  61. Verna H. on said:

    I want to order an orange Japanese maple tree from you!!! Please respond to this email!!!

    • Mike on said:


      I don’t ship any plants and I really don’t have any Japanese Maples for sale at this time. All of mine are happily growing in the field for now.

  62. Kevin Bruns on said:

    Do you think your orange japanese maple might be “Katsura”? I think it looks like Katsura with its fall colors.

    • Mike on said:

      Kevin, that doesn’t sound familiar. I had the tag at one time.

  63. bob mc crain on said:

    Mike, is it possible to back to where you bought the orange japanese maple and get the name from them?

    • Mike on said:

      Bob, not really. Not sure who I even bought it from now. I bought from two different vendors who sell thousands of plants. I’m just enjoying the tree as is and buying other orange varieties that I can keep properly tagged.

  64. Karim on said:

    Have you thought of genetic testing? It would be a great way to make sure you’re getting the right tree, too.

    • Mike on said:


      I’m pretty sure genetic testing for plants does not exist. Even patented plants are issued a patented based on how creative a description the person writing the patent application can write. I know of know way to prove that one plant is this or that by genetic means. At one time I thought that’s how patents were issued, but I was wrong. -Mike McGroarty

  65. Carmela on said:

    I have an entire bed of irises that I ordered from a bunch of sources online. I have absolutely no idea what any of them are anymore. I’ll have to take picures of each one to try to identify them….and I spent a bunch of money on them all. I did the same thing with my lillies. I just don’t learn.

  66. Sheri King on said:

    Old mini blinds make great markers. Seperate them and cut in 4 to 5″ lengths and write on them with pencil. It will last all season and into the next. Buy at garage sales for a buck if lucky.

  67. LS on said:

    Mike it looks like an Acer palmatum ‘ Katsura’
    ( Katsura Dwarf Japanese Maple)
    * Full sun to Part shade * Zones 5-8 * 8-12′ tall * 8-12′ wide
    Acer palmatum ‘ Katsura’
    This is a smaller leaved variety with amazing orange spring color changing to golden-yellow during the summer. Katsura is one of the first trees to come out in the spring. It is a smaller maple with the leaf twigs close together so the foliage is very dense.

  68. Patty Schuttenhelm on said:

    I have one that looks just like yours and it is a Peaches and Cream Japanese Maple.

    • Mike on said:


      I’m pretty sure the one that I have is Orange Dream and Peaches and Cream look nothing like that. I also have Peaches and Cream, very pretty in early spring.

  69. Mike on said:

    Not Peaches and Cream, but likely to be Orange Dream. I have now have a number of Orange Dream and they look just like this. I also have Peaches and Cream and they look nothing like this.

  70. jfrelich on said:

    illuminate tag with UV light and you may still see some writing.

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