The Q&A Archives: Lion's Mane Maple

Question: I live in Washington, DC and have recently found a beautiful tree called the Lion's Mane Maple (Acer p. Shishigashira). I'd like to plant it in a spot that recives sun from 1:00 until dark. I can't seem to find much about the this kind of tree's growing needs. Can you share any growing information/basic care and needs required of the Lion's Mane Maple?

Thank you!

Answer: "Shishigashira" is a well known cultivar of Japanese maple or Acer palmatum. It has fabulous fall color (tawny oranges does not fully describe it) and is a medium green in the summer, and grows extremely slowly. As such it is listed as maturing between 6 and 12 feet, depending on how it is pruned and how long you have as your time frame.

The Japanese maples tend to do better in all-morning sun or bright dappled light all day. They need protection from winter winds. They need soil that is acidic, humusy and organic, it has to be evenly moist yet well drained. They are not well suited to a hot location with afternoon-only sun such as you described.

I'm really sorry I can't be more encouraging about your plant finds.

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