Japanese maple tree varieties

Japanese Maple Varieties

Japanese Maple Varieties & Growing Information

There are many Japanese maple varieties that do well in the California climate. A dwarf Japanese maple such as the crimson queen Japanese maple is ideal for patios or areas where space is limited, while larger varieties such as the bloodgood maple create an elegant focal point for any yard. Japanese maple varieties also come in a range of colors. The coral bark Japanese maple boasts a coral red bark with golden yellow leaves while the red dragon Japanese maple produces deep purple leaves. With the many Japanese maple varieties available, you are sure to find one to enhance your garden. Please note that not all varieties may be available at all locations.

Don’t Forget Your Japanese Maple Garden Essentials

BloodGood Japanese Maple:

The blood good maple is a very hardy Japanese maple. Bright red foliage in the spring turns to a deep scarlet in the fall.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum ‘Bloodgood’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 15 – 20 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Filtered sun to full sun
  • Watering: Weekly watering, increase during warm months
  • Garden Uses: Small lawn tree, patios, entryways

Crimson Queen Japanese Maple:

This dwarf Japanese maple has weeping branches that are a deep crimson in the summer which change to scarlet in the fall.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’
  • Type: Deciduous plant
  • Size: 10 ft tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Morning sun, afternoon shade
  • Watering: Weekly deep watering, more frequently in summer heat
  • Garden Uses: Fire wise, poolside, woodland garden, specimen garden accent.

Shaina Japanese Maple

This dwarf Japanese maple is a compact, slow growing tree with bright red clusters of leaves.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Shaina’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 6ft – 8ft tall, 8ft – 10ft wide
  • Sun-Shade: Morning sun, afternoon shade
  • Watering: Deep, regular watering during warm months
  • Garden Uses: small lawn tree, patios, entryways

Aoyagi Japanese Maple:

Leaf color is a bright green in the spring and transforms to a brilliant in the fall.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Aoyagi’
  • Type: Deciduous plant
  • Size: 10 ft tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Morning sun, afternoon shade
  • Watering: Weekly deep watering, more frequently in summer heat
  • Garden Uses: Fire wise, woodland garden, specimen garden accent

Waterfall Japanese Maple:

Golden foliage in the fall, cascading branches and large green leaves. This smaller tree is ideal for containers, patios or other places with limited space.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Waterfall’
  • Type: Deciduous plant
  • Size: 8ft – 10ft tall, 10ft – 12ft wide
  • Sun-Shade: Morning sun, afternoon shade
  • Watering: Regular weekly watering, more frequently in summer heat
  • Garden Uses: poolside, woodland or wild life gardens, containers

Coral Bark Maple, Sangokaku:

The coral bark Japanese maple has a beautiful reddish, coral bark. Light green leaves with a dark red border that turn a golden yellow in the fall.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 15 – 20 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Bright dappled shade in warmer regions, full sun in cooler areas
  • Watering: Weekly watering, increase during warm months
  • Garden Uses: poolside, urban garden and woodland garden areas

Ryusen Weeping Japanese Maple

Green leaves and weeping branches cascade down in the spring and fire up in the fall changing to yellow and orange-red colors. It’s weeping form makes it great for areas with limited space.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Ryusen’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 20 ft. tall and 5 to 6 ft. wide; fast growing
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Regular watering, increase during warm months
  • Garden Uses: espalier, specimen, urban garden, wildlife garden

Red Dragon Japanese Maple

Purple lace like leaves give way to vibrant red fall leaves.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Red Dragon’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 3 – 5 ft. wide after 10 years, 7 – 8 ft. tall after 15 years
  • Sun-Shade: Morning sun, Afternoon shade
  • Watering: Weekly watering, increase during warm months
  • Garden Uses: Container or woodland garden

Shin Deshojo Japanese Maple

Salmon-red leaves in the spring moves to a green in summer and a screaming orange-scarlet in the fall. This small tree produces intense color year round.

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Shin Deshojo’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 7 – 9 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Regular watering, increase during warm months
  • Garden Uses: container, fire wise, specimen, urban garden, woodland garden

Emperor I® Japanese Maple

A graceful form with black-red bark veiled in dark red foliage that turns a brilliant scarlet in fall

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Wolff’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Moderate growing; reaches 15 ft. tall and wide.
  • Partial to full sunMorning sun, Afternoon shade
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers.
  • Garden Uses: Container, Firescaping/Fire Wise, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Trompenburg Japanese Maple

New leaves are a fiery red in spring, mature to a deep burgundy, then turns to a crimson-red in the fall

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Trompenburg’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: 16 to 18 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers
  • Garden Uses: Container, Firescaping/Fire Wise, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Autumn Moon Fullmoon Maple

An outstanding small tree for city gardens with limited space. New growth unfurls yellow to burnt orange, with underlying tones ranging from orange, salmon and chartreuse for the remainder of the season

  • Botanical: Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Slowly reaches 8 to 12 ft. tall, 6 to 8 ft. wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers
  • Garden Uses: Container, Privacy Screen, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Velvet Viking™ Japanese Maple

Rich, red, deeply dissected foliage holds its color throughout the growing season, developing more vibrant red tones in the fall. A lacy, delicate appearance yet exceptionally tough and cold tolerant

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Monfrick’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Slow growing dwarf tree; reaches 3 ft. tall, 4-5 ft. wide in 15 years
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers
  • Garden Uses: Container, Firescaping/Fire Wise, Poolside, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Fernleaf Full-Moon Maple

Graceful, rounded, small tree with spectacular, deeply cut, dark green leaves that turn a rich ruby-crimson color in autumn.

  • Botanical: Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Slowly reaches 8 to 12 ft. tall, 15 ft. wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers
  • Garden Uses: Container, Firescaping/Fire Wise, Privacy Screen, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Ribbon-Leaf Japanese Maple

The finger-like foliage of this small tree emerges red in spring, transitions to bronze-red and green in summer, then turns brilliant red and orange in fall

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Atrolineare’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Slowly reaches 10 to 12 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial shade to full sun
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers
  • Garden Uses: Container, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Osakazuki Japanese Maple

An excellent small specimen tree with bright green leaves that emerge olive-orange in spring, and turn a brilliant crimson red in the fall

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Moderate growing; reaches 20 to 25 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial to full sun
  • Watering: Water regularly – weekly, or more often in extreme heat or containers
  • Garden Uses: Firescaping/Fire Wise, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

Burgundy Lace Japanese Maple

Graceful accent tree with finely-serrated, brilliant burgundy-red leaves on an upright, gracefully-branched form

  • Botanical: Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum ‘Burgundy Lace’
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Size: Small, open-branched tree, grows to 10 to 12 ft. tall and wide
  • Sun-Shade: Partial shade to full sun
  • Watering: Water deeply and regularly- weekly, or more often in extreme heat
  • Garden Uses: Container, Firescaping/Fire Wise, Poolside, Specimen, Urban Garden, Woodland Garden

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At SummerWinds Nursery, we offer the highest quality and widest selection of Japanese maple varieties. Our Trusted Garden Advisors are ready to answer all of your questions and help you select the perfect focal point for your garden.

Japanese Maple – Gardening Essentials

SummerWind Potting Soil

Our SummerWinds Potting Soil has received the CDFA (California Department of Food and Agriculture) seal of approval. Comprised of the very best Natural and Organic ingredients to give your trees, shrubs, perennials, edibles, and more an incredible start in your garden landscape and containers.

  • 1.5 cu ft. Bag
  • Regular Price: $9.99

Contain your Specimen with our beautiful New Pottery

We have a HUGE selection of outdoor pottery in various sizes and colors.

For more information on our outdoor pottery selection More Info

Azalea, Camellia & Gardenia Planting Mix

This is a versatile mix that can be used as both a soil amendment or as a ready to use potting soil. Their Planting Mix is a special blend of organic ingredients designed to meet the unique growing needs of most acid-loving plants.

Contains: Aged Fir Bark, Aged Redwood, Sphagnum Peat Moss, Volcanic Pumice, Feather Meal, Gypsum, Bat Guano, Kelp Meal.

  • E.B. Stone Organics
  • 1.5 cu ft. Bag

Happy Frog Japanese Maple Fertilizer

We recommend Happy Frog® Japanese Maple Fertilizer. It is formulated specifically for Japanese Maple Trees, it containes premium ingredients like bat guano, bone meal, feather meal, and other beneficial microbes to help convert fertilizers into vital plant food.

How to use: for every two feet of plant height use 1/2 cup, and feed monthly throughout the growing season.

Wilt Stop RTU

Protects plants from drying out, drought, wind burn, sunscald, winter kill, transplant shock and salt damage. wilt stop™ also extends life of cut flowers. Great for use year round on deciduous trees, evergreens, shrubs, roses, transplants, vegetables, fruits. Made with natural ingredients.

Bonsai

Why not carry that inspiration indoors with Bonsai?

We truly have stunning selection of bonsai to create that focal point in your home. Each of our bonsai comes with a card that provides variety, age and the number of years in training. Find the one that inspires you at SummerWinds

The Art of Bonsai Japanese Maple Maple Care & Facts

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Japanese maple, Acer palmatum

Scientific Name

Acer is Latin for “sharp” and may also be from the Celtic ac, which means “hard” in reference to the wood; palmatum means “hand-like” and refers to the shape of the leaves.

Common Name

Japanese maple refers to the tree’s native habitat of Japan.

NATIVE RANGE AND HABITAT

Japanese maple grows in Japan, central China and Korea. It has been long cultivated by the Japanese. The tree was introduced to England in 1820.

CONSERVATION INFORMATION

Not native to Kentucky.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit and Form

Japanese maple is a small deciduous tree or large shrub with a broadly spreading crown. The plant can be grown as a small single-stemmed tree or large multiple stemmed shrub. The habit is rounded to broad-rounded, with a layered branching structure similar to flowering dogwood. Trees typically grow 15 to 25 ft. tall with a spread equal to or greater than the height. There is great variation in this species due to the large number of cultivars in the trade.

Leaves

Leaves of the species form are oppositely arranged, hand-shaped, 2 to 5 inches long and have 5 or 7 lobes. Leaves emerge in early spring. Summer color is green and autumn color varies from orange to yellow to red to purple.

Flowers

The small, reddish flowers are borne in stalked, umbrella-shaped clusters. Flowers bloom between May and June and are insect pollinated.

Fruit

Fruit is a winged seed called a samara; they are green to red and ½ to ¾ inch long. Samaras ripen between September and October and are scattered by wind.

Bark

The bark is green to gray and smooth.

Wild and Cultivated Varieties

The cultivation and selective breeding of Japanese maple trees goes back over three centuries. There are some 300 cultivars to choose from. Characteristics such as leaf shape and color and growth form (i.e., upright growing type and dwarf type) have all been carefully selected to produce a vast range of cultivars. The cultivars vary greatly in their cultural requirements. Some of the best known cultivars are ‘Moonfire’, ‘Dissectum’, ‘Bloodgood’, and ‘Osakazuki’.

HORTICULTURE

Landscape Use

Japanese maple is a terrific garden plant. It is one of the most versatile small trees for use in the landscape. It exists in a multitude of forms that provide a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Japanese maple is a magnificent specimen or accent plant and performs well in a grouping or in a shrub border.

Hardiness Zone

Depending on the cultivar, USDA zones from 5 to 8. The hardiness zone for the species form is zone 5.

Growth Rate

Young trees tend toward a medium growth rate, 10 to 15 feet over a 10 year period. Growth rate slows with age.

Cultivation and Propagation Information

Trees do best in moist, fertile, well-drained soils. Best growth is in light shade. Protect trees from harsh winds and late spring frost. Transplant balled and burlapped tree or as a container-grown plant into moist, high organic, well-drained soil. Plants can be propagated by seed and softwood cuttings.

Diseases and Insects

Japanese maple has very few insect or disease problems.

Wildlife Considerations

Maple trees provide homes, shelter and food for wildlife.

Maintenance Practices

Relatively trouble-free given appropriate cultural conditions.

TRADITIONAL AND MODERN USES

Leaves feel similar to paper and are used to make bouquets in Japan.

On the Chinese calendar, October is represented by Japanese maple leaves.

Japanese maple has long been cultivated in Japan and was introduced into cultivation in Europe in the early 1800s.

Japanese Maple Trees

Choosing Japanese Maple Trees

Japanese Maples are deciduous small trees renowned for their varied and changing colourful foliage. Some varieties have particularly dramatic seasonal transformations, with Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ being a favourite for morphing from green in spring and summer to bright scarlet in autumn. The amount of sunlight needed varies between cultivators, with red and purple leaved Japanese Maples coping with the most sunlight and even requiring some to fully develop their dark hues. On the other hand, variegated Japanese Maples need partial shade to prevent the afternoon sun from scorching the foliage.

Many are slow growing, making them popular in smaller gardens or planted in large containers as a feature. We also stock a great choice of Dwarf Japanese Maple trees which will fit in practically any space. Amongst the smallest varieties are Acer palmatum ‘Red Pygmy’, Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Garnet’ and Acer palmatum Dissectum Viridis.

Growing Japanese Maple Trees

Although tolerant of all soils, a well-drained soil and sheltered position is preferred by Japanese Maple trees as their pretty foliage is very sensitive to sun and wind. For the best foliage colour, plant Japanese Maples using ericaceous compost and water them using rain water instead of tap water when possible. Japanese Maples have an attractive domed or spreading natural shape and so require very little pruning. Any pruning should be carried out in the dormant season as Japanese Maples bleed during other times of the year.

History of Acer palmatum

Acer palmatum are from the Sapindaceae family. They are native to Japan, North and South Korea, China, Eastern Mongolia, and Southeast Russia. The Latin name, Acer palmatum, comes from the word palmatum (palm), referring to the hand-like shape of the leaves as noticed by Swedish doctor and botanist Carl Peter Thunberg in the 18th century.

Japanese Maple trees have been cultivated in Japan for centuries, using varieties found in Japan, Korea and China and it is now thought that over a 1000 cultivators have been produced. In Japanese culture, Japanese Maple trees are said to signify great blessings, and any place in which they are planted is recognised as a peaceful retreat. The way the foliage of Japanese Maples change throughout the seasons is considered to be very beautiful in Japan, and people will gather round these trees to look at them collectively. This festival is known as momijigan, which means “leaf peeping”.
The first Acer palmatum reached England in 1820 and today they are extremely popular in ornamental gardens throughout the UK. Their ornamental value isn’t limited to gardens, with Acer palmatum making a popular choice for bonsai enthusiasts throughout the world. Bonsai is an art of growing miniature trees that evolved in Japan, although also has roots in China where it is known as Penjing.

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple foliage

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 6 feet

Spread: 3 feet

Sunlight:

Hardiness Zone: 4b

Description:

A small upright variety with small star shaped foliage that emerges pinkish-red and darkens to ruby red in summer; outstanding yellow and red hues in fall; a visually stunning specimen for the garden or container

Ornamental Features

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple has attractive ruby-red foliage which emerges red in spring. The small lobed palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The rough gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple is a dense deciduous tree with a strong central leader and an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Ruby Stars Japanese Maple is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a ‘thriller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Japanese Maple ‘Ruby Star’

Category:

Shrubs

Trees

Group:

Unknown – Tell us

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Smooth

Velvet/Fuzzy

Provides Winter Interest

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By grafting

By budding

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Pacific Coast Maples specializes in Japanese maples that do well in hot climates. Of the more than 400 species of Japanese maples we only carry 25 species of what we consider to be the very best Japanese maples in the world today. Our number one criteria for selecting our 25 species was heat tolerance followed by color, structure, strength, cold tolerance, and overall beauty. Every one of our maples are have superior genetics when it comes to heat resistance. With that said please remember that although many Japanese maples do well in full Sun, it is strongly recommended that you place your tree in a location (See FAQ’s- Where Should I Plant My Japanese Maple Tree)where the tree will receive morning Sun and afternoon shade. Some of our heat resistant Japanese maples also perform well in colder climates (See FAQ’s- Which Japanese Maples Do Well In Colder Climates) Although all of our Japanese maples are heat resistant the Japanese maples listed below (In Order- #1 being the most heat tolerant) are what we consider to be the most heat resistant in the following categories: Palmates, Lace-Leaf Dissectums, Dwarfs, and Miscellaneous Varieties.

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