Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Japanese Maple
Give a thumbs up Maple

Botanical names:
Acer palmatum Accepted
Acer palmatum f. elegans Synonym
Acer palmatum f. scolopendrifolium Synonym
Acer palmatum f. atropurpureum Synonym
Acer palmatum f. volubile Synonym
Acer ornatum Synonym
Acer palmatum f. versicolor Synonym
Acer palmatum f. linearilobum Synonym
Acer palmatum f. atrolineare Synonym
Acer roseomarginatum Synonym
Acer palmatum var. dissectum Synonym
Acer palmatum f. rubrum Synonym

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

The beauty of Bark, Flowers, and LeavesThe beauty of Bark, Flowers, and Leaves
By NEILMUIR1 on April 25, 2010

As spring unfolds its true majesty, we gasp at the beauty of spring flowers and rightly so. But there are also some wonderful delights to see in plants, in their bark or in the colour and texture of their leaves.

(Full article24 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: Fort WorthDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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Location: Ft Worth Botanic, TxDate: 2017-11-18Japanese Garden - very peaceful
By jmorth
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2019-03-31A happy Japanese Maple here in zone 10a Southern California, go f
By carlysuko
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Date: 2015-04-15
By Paul2032
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Location: My sister's garden in Bakersfield, CADate: Dec. 2, 2011Fall foliage - great color for Bakersfield!
By Betja
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Location: Philo, CaliforniaDate: 2015-11-23
By janwax
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-05-04
By jmorth
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Location: Ft Worth BotanicDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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Location: Ft Worth Botanic, TxDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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Location: My sister's garden in Bakersfield, CADate: Dec. 2, 2011Incredible fall foliage color for Bakersfield!
By Betja
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Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania, USADate: 2018-10-30
By csandt
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2019-04-09A happy Japanese Maple here in zone 10a Southern California, go f
By carlysuko
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Location: RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire, UKDate: 2020-11-21
By kniphofia
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Location: My sister's garden in Bakersfield, CADate: Dec. 2, 2011Great fall color for Bakersfield!
By Betja
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Location: RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire, UKDate: 2016-05-09
By kniphofia
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Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania USADate: 2018-03-07
By csandt
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Location: my garden, Gent, BelgiumDate: 2008-04-21
By bonitin
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Location: Wayneboro MSDate: 2005-11-29
By hementia
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Location: Greenwich Park (Royal Park) London, England.Date: 2013-10-18
By NEILMUIR1
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Location: Autumn maple leaves (momiji) at Kongobu-ji on Mount Koya, a UNESCO World Heritage SitePhoto courtesy of: 663highland
By admin
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Location: Palácio de Cristal Park, Porto, Portugal.Date: 2004-04-10Photo courtesy of: Júlio Reis
By admin
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Location: Philo, CaliforniaDate: 2015-04-18
By janwax
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Image
By ge1836
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Location: RHS Wisley, UK.Bonsai
By Orsola
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Location: central IllinoisDate: March 2016
By jmorth
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Location: Southwest Georgia Date: 2016-04-08Close up of leaves, top.
By Elizbeth
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Location: Southwest Georgia Date: 2016-04-08Multi trunks with green bark and white striations
By Elizbeth
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Location: Southwest GeorgiaDate: 2016-04-08Growing in full hot sun, leaves never burn.
By Elizbeth
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Location: My garden, Pequea, Pennsylvania 17565Date: 2017-04-29
By csandt
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Location: Batavia, IllinoisDate: summer in the 1980'smaturing specimen
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-07-17mature specimen
By ILPARW
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-05-22
By jmorth
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Image
By ge1836
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Comments:
Posted by jathton (Oklahoma City, OK - Zone 7a) on Jul 5, 2020 3:58 PM

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.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 18, 2018 4:14 PM

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.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 2, 2012 10:29 AM

Honey bees get nectar and light yellow pollen from this plant.

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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
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Japanese Maple or Silver Maple seedling? by SimpleSue Nov 6, 2020 8:50 AM 2
Trying to identify this Acer by snow1507 Oct 30, 2020 3:42 AM 3
Help by Ginkgo Oct 29, 2020 11:51 AM 1
Japanese Maple Identification by Legit_Maples Sep 18, 2020 5:01 PM 1
Neem Oil and Japanese Maple Tree?? by SherrillMR Sep 11, 2020 2:12 PM 5
Please help me identify this Japanese Maple by Mdlubsey Sep 26, 2020 5:14 PM 2
Japanese Maple Tree type by McCaffertysMaple Jul 6, 2020 10:57 AM 1
Root Stock Japanese Maples by Rido Jul 5, 2020 11:59 AM 2
Can you buy Japanese maple starts somewhere? Or how to start them? by bluegrassmom Jul 3, 2020 8:08 PM 6
Repot dracaena twice in one week? by Rose333999 Jun 24, 2020 10:08 AM 7

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