Japanese Maple Tree- Choosing the Best Variety

The Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, is one of the most popular of the maple trees. Find facts and information on growing and caring for the Japanese maple, and some of the great species that are available. Japanese maples are also very popular as bonsai specimens.

"Japanese Maple Tree"

Gorgeous Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple Tree Facts

Japanese maples are a large group fo deciduous shrubs and small trees with colorful, deeply cut, elegant, and beautiful foliage. Smaller varieties grow 8-15’ and have layered, often weeping branches. They are often used as single lawn specimens and are hardy in Zones 5, 6, 7, and 8, depending on the cultivar chosen. Japanese maple foliage colors are dazzling. Dwarf Japanese Maples, and other smaller cultivars, usually retain their rich red foliage color throughout the season.

Japanese Maple Varieties and Species

  • A. Palmatum, has deep green leaves that turn a flaming orange-scarlet in autumn.
  • ‘Bloodgood’ is a taller form that is red in spring and through the growing season, but turns a rich scarlet in the fall.
  • ‘Atropurpureum’ has red leaves in the spring, reddish purple in summer, and a sensational yellow or coral red in the fall.
  • Threadleaf Japanese Maples, the A. Palmatum Dissectum group, or Laceleaf Japanese maple, have smaller varieties with exquisitely cut leaves and a weeping form that gives them a refined appearance.
  • ‘Atropurpureum Dissectum’ combines the lovely color of ‘Atropurpureum’ and the laciness of the Dissectum group.
  • ‘Sango-kaku’ (‘Senkaki’) the coral-bark Japanese maple, has silken bark and a brilliant coral red that intensifies in winter in Zones 6,7,8, and 9. The leaves start out reddish, become green in summer, and in fall turn orange-tinged gold. It grows to 25 feet.
  • ‘Okushimo’, is a small vase-shaped tree, that has yellow-gold foliage.
  • ‘Orido Nishiki’ has multi-colored foliage that combines pink, cream,and green, which blends to pink when seen from a distance.
  • Others include: Green Japanese maple, Fireglow Japanese maple, and Butterfly Japanese maple

    "Sango-Kaku Japanese Maple"

    Fall colors of the Sango-Kaku Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple Culture

Japanese maples require care in transplanting but rarely require pruning to be able to develop a beautiful form. In early spring, set a container-grown plant in well-drained humusy soil in full sun. In warm regions a japanese maple will benefit from noon shade. Biweekly watering is advisable during dry spells.

"Japanese Maple Bonsai"

'Deshojo' Japanese Maple Bonsai

Japanese Maple Bonsai

The Japanese maple is a very popular choice for bonsai enhusiasts. This maple tree is known for its beautiful form and colorful leaves. Find information on how to Bonsai trees.

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