General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 10-25 feet
Plant Spread: 10-25 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Other: Leaf colors are variable, typically changing from spring to summer and usually producing excellent fall color. Foliage tends to leaf out early in spring and is subject to damage from late spring frosts.
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Other: Reddish-purple
Flower Time: Spring
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger

Image
Common names
  • Japanese Maple
  • Smooth Japanese Maple
  • Palmate Maple
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Acer palmatum
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. rubrum
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum var. dissectum
  • Synonym: Acer roseomarginatum
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. atrolineare
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. versicolor
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. scolopendrifolium
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. linearilobum
  • Synonym: Acer ornatum
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. atropurpureum
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. elegans
  • Synonym: Acer palmatum f. volubile

Photo Gallery
Location: Fort Worth
Date: 2017-11-18
Location: England
Date: 2015-10-30
Location: My garden, Baltimore MD
Date: 2023-11-26
Location: Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan
Date: 2020-10-28
Cutleaf Japanese maple.  No tag to ID the cultivar.  These leaves
Location: Bea’s garden
Date: 2021
Location: my Zone 7b garden in North Georgia Mountains
Date: 2023-03-24
Location: My garden, Baltimore MD
Date: 2023-11-22
Location: North Central TX Zone 8a
Date: 2017-12-23
My nextdoor neighbor's tree.
Location: Coastal San Diego County 
Date: 2019-03-31
A happy Japanese Maple here in zone 10a Southern California, go f
Location: Ft Worth Botanic, Tx
Date: 2017-11-18
Japanese Garden - very peaceful
Location: Fairfield, CT, USA
Date: 2023-11-19
Location: England
Date: 2015-10-26
Location: Fairfield, CT, USA
Date: 2023-11-24
Location: My garden in St Louis
A random seedling in my yard with nice fall color

Date: 2015-04-15
Location: Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis
Date: 2020-01-01
Stately old tree at Missouri Botanical Garden
Location: Fairfield, CT, USA
Date: 2023-11-24
Location: Local garden in Russellville 
Date: June 25 2022
Location: Local garden in Russellville 
Date: June 25 2022
Location: My sister's garden in Bakersfield, CA
Date: Dec. 2, 2011
Fall foliage - great color for Bakersfield!
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Date: 2019-11-22
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-10-25
Location: Houston area
Date: 2017-03-19

Date: 2022-04-14
Location: South Carolina
Location: Bea’s garden
Date: 2023-04-03
Location: My sister's garden in Bakersfield, CA
Date: Dec. 2, 2011
Incredible fall foliage color for Bakersfield!
Photo by PoppyLady420
Location: Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin, Texas
Date: 2022-04-05
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-05-04
Location: RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire, UK
Date: 2020-11-21
Location: RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK.
Date: 2023-04-22
Location: Ft Worth Botanic
Date: 2017-11-18
Location: Ft Worth Botanic, Tx
Date: 2017-11-18
Location: Philo, California
Date: 2015-11-23
Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania USA
Date: 2018-03-07
Location: Fairfax, VA | September 2022
Date: 2022-09-10
Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania, USA
Date: 2018-10-30
Location: Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin, Texas
Date: 2022-04-05
Location: Southern Pines, NC (Boyd House garden)
Date: August 28, 2022
Japanese Maple #95 nn; LHB page 637, 114-1-16, "Ancient classical
Location: Jan van der Linden Open House 2018
Date: 2018-04-08
Location: Southern Pines, NC (Boyd House garden)
Date: August 28, 2022
Japanese Maple #95 nn; LHB page 637, 114-1-16, "Ancient classical

Date: 2015-08-26
unknown cultivar
Location: Coastal San Diego County 
Date: 2019-04-09
A happy Japanese Maple here in zone 10a Southern California, go f
Location: Fairfax VA
Date: 2022-06-25
Location: Real Botanico de Madrid
Date: 2023-11-11
Location: Real Botanico de Madrid
Date: 2023-11-11
Location: My sister's garden in Bakersfield, CA
Date: Dec. 2, 2011
Great fall color for Bakersfield!
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Date: 2020-05-29
Location: Forest Hill Cemetery, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Date: 2020-10-11
Unknown cultivar of Acer palmatum, seen in fall, with back lighti
Location: Nationale Plantentuin (Meise - Brussel - Belgium)

Date: 2015-08-26
unknown cultivar
Location: RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire, UK
Date: 2016-05-09
Location: North Carolina
Date: 2014-05-26
Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Date: 2022-04-20

Date: 2016-05-13
Beautiful, random variegated seedling I found. Parent was pure gr
Location: Southern Pines, NC (Boyd House garden)
Date: August 28, 2022
Japanese Maple #95 nn; LHB page 637, 114-1-16, "Ancient classical
Location: Greenwich Park (Royal Park) London, England.
Date: 2013-10-18
Location: Wayneboro MS
Date: 2005-11-29
Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania 17565
Date: 2017-04-29
Location: Palácio de Cristal Park, Porto, Portugal.
Date: 2004-04-10
Photo courtesy of: Júlio Reis
Location: Philo, California
Date: 2015-04-18
Location: RHS Wisley, UK.
Bonsai
Location: RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK.
Date: 2022-08-04
Location: Batavia, Illinois
Date: summer in the 1980's
maturing specimen
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-07-17
mature specimen
Location: RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK.
Date: 2022-08-04

Date: 2012-05-05
Location: Nationale Plantentuin (Meise - Brussel - Belgium)
Location: my garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2008-04-21
Location: Southwest Georgia 
Date: 2016-04-08
Close up of leaves, top.
Location: Southwest Georgia 
Date: 2016-04-08
Multi trunks with green bark and white striations
Location: Southwest Georgia
Date: 2016-04-08
Growing in full hot sun, leaves never burn.
Location: Autumn maple leaves (momiji) at Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Photo courtesy of: 663highland
Location: Somewhere in North Carolina
Date: 2014-05-26
Location: central Illinois
Date: March 2016
Photo by ge1836

photo credit:  Tatters ❀
Location: Seattle WA
Date: 2016-12-04
First leaves/growth on propagated stalk
Photo by scottiesman
Location: Maryland
Date: 2015-04-16
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-05-22
Location: Nationale Plantentuin (Meise - Brussel - Belgium)
Location: Southwest Georgia 
Date: 2016-04-08
Close up of leaves, underside
Location: my garden, Gent, Belgium
Date: 2008-04-21
Photo by ge1836
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Comments:
  • Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Jul 5, 2020 3:58 PM concerning plant:
    Michael Dirr put it accurately and beautifully when he said, "True aristocrats are rare among people and trees, but Japanese Maple is in the first order. It is difficult to imagine a garden that could not benefit from one of the many forms of Acer palmatum." Dr. Carl Whitcomb added the one caveat necessary when purchasing a Japanese Maple cultivar for their garden. He said, "One of the most spectacular of the small trees where it can be grown."
    Central Oklahoma gardens containing a Japanese Maple were incredibly rare until the late 1980's… the majority of gardeners believing this small tree simply could not handle the growing conditions here. Attitudes, however, can change and by the 1990's several local nurseries were carrying a few varieties in their inventories.

    In those and subsequent years we learned that many varieties of Japanese Maple could grow and thrive here as long as that caveat was respected. Out here, on the southern Great Plains, this caveat meant: rich, friable, well-drained soil… protection from the summer sun from noon to 4PM… and the willingness to water during periods of drought.

    It also meant paying close attention to the cultivar you selected for your garden. Over a 20 year period we learned the following varieties performed better than others in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas: Butterfly, Fireglow, Shaina, Red Emperor, Tamuke Yama, Sango Kaku, Crimson Queen, Bloodgood, Sharp's Pygmy, Shishigashira, Orido Nishiki, Ever Red, Viridis and Seiryu.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 18, 2018 4:14 PM concerning plant:
    The mother species of the Japanese Maple is always green in foliage, except for a bright red autumn color. In the 1980's & 1990's I had seen fewer than ten specimens in the Chicago, Illinois area, as the green mother species and the regular red-leaved variety were border-line hardy there in Zone 5a. I had one neighbour in the 1970's who had a regular red-leaved small specimen sheltered as much as possible in his backyard, but a really cold night of about 25 below zero killed it. I think more maples are being planted now in Chicagoland because the winters don't get the minimum cold they used to get of around 20 below zero. However, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area is loaded with many Japanese Maples in Zone 6b. It seems like one in ten homeowners has one of the regular red-leaved variety of Acer palmatum atropurpureum right in front of the house. Any green-foliaged straight species is much less common. Some of my neighbours have found the seedlings of the red-leaved variety growing in borders in their yards and they have transplanted them and waited about 20 years for the saplings to become an official mature tree of about 15 feet high. Several larger trees died in the neighbourhood from drought in the mid-2000's, but there are still lots of them. I'd like to see more variety of ornamental trees in the Philly area besides just Japanese Maple, Flowering Dogwood, and Japanese Flowering Cherries.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 2, 2012 10:29 AM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar and light yellow pollen from this plant.
Plant Events from our members
AndreA33 On April 10, 2012 Seeds sown
tinytreez On January 12, 2020 Obtained plant
Seeds obtained from Mount Royal Seeds.

Seeds soaked in lukewarm water for 24 hours and then placed between moist paper towels, placed in sandwich bag and is currently going through stratification inside my refrigerator.

Stratification end date: April - May 2020
WebTucker On August 28, 2022 Obtained plant
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