Japanese weeping maple tree

Brindabella Gardens in Queensland has a gorgeous display and are more than happy to share their grafting and cultivating advice.


When to plant a Japanese maple

According to Eco Organic you can plant Japanese maple at any time of year but being deciduous it will shed its leaves in winter.

Buying a maple in Autumn allows you to see the colourful leaves in full glory.


Growing your Japanese maple

The compact root system of the Japanese maple makes it perfect for inner city courtyards as the roots won’t interfere with your home’s foundation. It also makes them perfect for growing in pots.

Just beware that each maple will reach a different height. One of the mid-range varieties is Seiryu which can grow up to 4 metres.

Japanese maple bonsai

The Bonsai Society of Australia recommends pruning your Japanese maple in June once the leaves have fallen (which happens around May to mid-July).

In hotter parts of the country, Japanese maples will grow best in part shade. In cooler climates like Tasmania the maple prefers a position with good light.


Caring for your Japanese maple

The explosion of Autumn colour is what makes the Japanese maple so popular. Whether that’s a bonsai or a full size Acer palmatum, they will reach their full potential if kept out of the frost and wind.


Dwarf weeping maple

Raraflora on the south coast of NSW grafts a variety of rare plants including the laceleaf and dissectum varieties of Japanese maple.

Specialsing in the weeping maple, they deliver Australia wide and prices start at $75 for a 2-4 year old tree.



As you can see from the picture below, the leaves of the Osakasuki have a vibrant colour and can be pink through to magenta, right through to deepest red.

The colour is dependent on the conditions and climate with cooler climes producing the most vibrant shades.


Bloodgood maple

Bloodgood (above) is a cultivated form of Atropurpureum.

Like most Japanese maples, the Bloodgood is a slow growing tree sprouting 30 to 60 centimetres each year.

It will grow to full height 3-4 metres in about 15 years but can also be cultivated into a dwarf version known as Shaina.


Coral bark maple

Like most Japanese Maples, the Sango Kaku, also known as Coral Bark, grows readily alongside other maples and shrubs.

The Coral Bark grows to a height of 6-7 metres with a beautiful spread that ranges from 5-6 metres wide.


Spectacular colours

Planting Japanese maples next to trees and shrubs with blue, green or purple foliage provides a technicolour vibe that will bring your garden to life.


Red dragon maple

The Red Dragon maple which originated in New Zealand has rich purple-red lacy leaves.

The dwarf Red Dragon grows to around 60 centimetres whereas the full size version can reach almost 2 metres.


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Japanese Maple Types

Compare popular Japanese maple tree species By Jenny Andrews


When compared to the Japanese maple in size, form, leaf shape, and color, few other plants present so many options. The staggering diversity of Japanese maple varieties, has been remarkably generated primarily from just three species: Acer palmatum, Acer japonicum (native to Japan, Korea, and China), and Acer shirasawanum (native to Japan). Compare them below.

  • Acer palmatum
  • Acer japonicum
  • Acer shirasawanum

Acer palmatum ‘Aureum’. Photo by: Richard Bloom.




Varieties from 10 to 25 feet


Varieties from 10 to 25 feet


Full sun in northern zones, prefers afternoon shade in southern zones.



The largest group of Japanese maples with many popular cultivars. These deciduous shrubs and small trees grow in rounded to broad-rounded form, commonly with low branching. Its leaves have 5-9 pointed, toothed lobes. Small flowers bloom in mid-spring which are attractive close up, but not particularly showy from a distance.

Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’. Photo by: Peter Turner Photography / .

5-7 Dwarf varieties from 8 to 10 feet, standard varieties from 20 to 30 feet Dwarf varieties from 8 to 10 feet, standard varieties from 20 to 30 feet Full sun to part shade Medium

Japonicums have proven to be cold hardy and have beautiful fall color. Popular cultivars are ‘Aconitifolium’ and ‘Vitifolium’. Small flowers bloom in mid-spring which are attractive close up, but not particularly showy from a distance.

Photo by: Garden World Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.

5-7 Varieties from 16 to 20 feet Varieties from 16 to 20 feet Full sun to part shade Medium

Commonly called full-moon maple or shirasawa maple, and similar in appearance to A. japonicum. A small-growing, upright, rounded deciduous tree that also grows as a multi-stemmed shrub that is primarily grown for its excellent fall color. Small flowers bloom in mid-spring which are attractive close up, but not particularly showy from a distance.

There are dwarfs, midsize, and large. Some varieties are vase shaped, while others form columns or gracefully cascade. Some leaves are star shaped or nearly round; some are deeply dissected and lacy. Other often overlooked features are their sculptural trunks and branching, tufts of colorful flowers, and clusters of winged seeds called samaras.

Japanese Maple Forms

Japanese maples come in many forms-some are airy and upright, while others are compact and domed. Here are the most common terms used to describe their forms.

  • Vase: The branches of these trees grow up and out, for a tree that is narrow at the base, but wide at the top.
  • Weeping: With pendulous branches that arch gracefully downward, weeping maples cascade in a similar fashion to a waterfall.
  • Compact/dwarf: Growing to heights of just 3 to 6 feet, these types make an excellent choice for growing in a pot.

Japanese Maple Leaf Types

The leaves of Japanese maples can differ greatly between varieties, with some arranged in layers like roof shingles, some variegated along the margins or with webs of veining, and others that are curled, crinkled and clustered in tufts. Below are common terms used to describe Japanese maple leaves.

  • Amoenum: Leaves are divided less than 2/3 of the way to the base.
  • Palmate: Leaves are divided 2/3 to 3/4 of the way to the base.
  • Matsumurae: Leaves are divided more than 3/4 of the way to the base.
  • Dissectum: Leaves are deeply divided into lobes and sub-lobes; described as lacy, dainty or ferny.
  • Linearilobum: Leaves are divided all the way to the base; described as strap-, ribbon-, or bamboo-like.

Japanese Weeping Maple Care: Tips For Growing Japanese Weeping Maples

Japanese weeping maple trees are among the most colorful and unique trees available for your garden. And, unlike regular Japanese maples, the weeping variety grows happily in warm regions. Read on for additional information about Japanese weeping maples.

About Japanese Weeping Maples

The scientific name of Japanese weeping maples is Acer palmatum var. dissectum, of which there are several cultivars. The weeping variety is both delicate and supple, bearing the lacy leaves on branches that bend gracefully toward the ground.

The leaves of Japanese weeping maple trees are deeply dissected, much more so than regular Japanese maples with erect growth habits. For that reason, Japanese weeping maple trees are sometimes called laceleafs. The trees rarely get taller than 10 feet (3 m.).

Most people who plant Japanese weeping maple trees

look forward to the autumn show. Fall color can be bright yellow, orange and red. Even when you are growing Japanese maples in total shade, the fall color can be striking.

How to Grow a Japanese Weeping Maple

You can start growing Japanese weeping maples outdoors unless you live outside U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 8. If you live in cooler or warmer zones, consider growing them as container plants instead.

When you think about Japanese weeping maples, you’ll realize that the delicately cut leaves will be vulnerable to heat and wind. To protect them, you’ll want to site the tree in a place providing afternoon shade and wind protection.

Be sure the site drains well, and follow a regular watering schedule until an extensive root system develops. Most laceleaf varieties grow slowly but are resistant to harm from pests and diseases.

Japanese Weeping Maple Care

Protecting the tree’s roots is part of Japanese weeping maple care. The way to care for the roots is to spread a thick layer of organic mulch over the soil. This holds in moisture as well and prevents weed growth.

When you are growing Japanese weeping maples, water them regularly, especially in the early days after transplanting. It’s a good idea as well to flood the tree from time to time to leach salt from the soil.

Michael J. McGroarty
Perry, Ohio 44081 Copyright 2011

‘Ever Red’ is in the dissectum family of Japanese maples, which means that not only is this a weeping tree, but it also has that almost magical cut leaf or lace leaf, as it’s often called. There are a number of lace leaf varieties available, but Ever Red is a long time favorite of many. In the spring Ever Red comes out of the gate with a brilliant raging red color that is sure to catch the eye. Coupled with the lacy leaves and the brilliant spring color, this plant will attract attention in your yard.

As the summer goes on Ever Red is considered one of the best dissectum varieties because it is notorious for holding onto that deep red color, better than some of the other varieties. As the season progresses the red color deepens, and by late summer this tree has more of a maroon color than red. But then just as the growing season is about to come to a close, this beautiful Japanese maple turns a striking red in color. So bright it almost looks fluorescent or neon.

The Ever Red Japanese maple has a growing habit that is mounded or, as I like to train mine, mushroom or umbrella shaped. Like all plants they need to be trimmed at least once, if not twice a year, so they maintain a nice shape and grow tight and compact. Although a little shade might be preferred, I’ve grown them with great success in full sun.

All in all, Ever Red is very much a desirable plant for just about any landscape.

Lace Leaf Weeping Japanese Maple Ever Red

Directory of Trees

Dissectum-Type Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum var. dissectum)

Below are listed several varieties of the Dissectum Group of Japanese maples. These are often referred to as Laceleaf Maples, Fern Leaf Maples, Thread Leaf Maples, Cut Leaf Maples, Weeping Japanese Maples, or simply as Japanese Maples. They all have several things in common: they all have finely divided, toothed leaves, and they have a cascading habit. Aside from these common attributes, they differ in the shape of the leaf, leaf color, size and weeping habit.

The dissectum group of Japanese maples are best used as a specimen or the focal point of the landscape or garden. They can be used as a small tree or a small to large shrub, depending on size. They add artistic structure to the garden. They are special plants for special places.

Size: Variable – see below

Shape: Mounding-cascading

Fall Color: Varies – see below

Rate of Growth: Slow

Other Attributes: The most refined of Japanese maples. They are quite adaptable in culture and use – the dissectum group, in particular, can be considered shrubs. They are not as fragile as they appear. Because they are weepers, however, heavy snows should be carefully brushed off to prevent damages to the branches.) Few other plants can offer the differing colors from the new growth of spring to summer to the rich hues of fall.

Growing Conditions: Plant in sun to shade, depending on variety (dappled shade seems to be best for most varieties) in organic, moist, well-drained soil. A little afternoon shade is often appreciated.

The red-leaved varieties tend to turn bronze or green if planted in too much shade but may experience leaf tip scorch if situated in too much sun. Others, however, are resistant to scorch. See below.

Other / Related Varieties: Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’. This variety reaches 9 feet high and 12 feet wide in many years. It grows well in sun to shade. One of its outstanding features, and the one by which other red leaved Japanese maples are measured: it carries its deep red colored foliage through the growing season even when planted in full sun. The leaves of ‘Crimson Queen’ change to bright scarlet tones in the fall.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Ever Red’, this red-leaved Japanese maple is more vigorous, growing 12 to 15 feet high and wide. When grown in the sun, it holds its deep red color into the summer better than most red-leaved varieties. The spring growth of ‘Ever Red’ is its notable characteristic: The new shoots are covered with fine silvery hairs which gives the new growth a silver sheen.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Inaba Shidare’ – Sometimes known as ‘Red Select’, this Japanese maple is rather upright for a dissectum. It does have cascading branches, but is more erect in appearance. ‘Inaba Shidare ‘grows 10 to 12 feet high and about half that in width. It retains its dark purple red color into the summer when grown in the sun. Some tip burn may be experienced in hot, dry summers. ‘Inaba Shidare’ turns a brilliant crimson in the fall.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Red Dragon’ – The growth habit for this fairly new variety is like a smaller form of ‘Crimson Queen’; a compact, mound reaching 5 to 7 feet tall with a similar width. The young leaves are a bright scarlet in spring, becoming dark burgundy as they develop. It retains its color both in sun and light shade.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Tamukeyama’ – This is an old variety that has stood the test of time. It has a mounding habit, growing 4 to 6 feet high and a bit wider. (Its ultimate growth is larger but only after many years.) Its leaves, less divided than ‘Ever Red,’ are red to red-purple in color, which holds up quite well to heat and humidity. The fall color is bright scarlet. Young branches and twigs are maroon red.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Viridis’ – Viridis has become the name used for many green-leaved dissectums. Generally, it now is being applied to those dissectums with 7 or 9 deeply divided lobes. ‘Viridis’ grows 9 to 12 feet high with an equal spread. It holds its bright green color in summer, especially if grown in partial shade. In the fall, the leaves turn a delightful gold with an occasional splash of crimson.

Prices vary according to size, variety, and availability.

Please Note: Trees cannot be shipped outside of the DC/Baltimore Metropolitan areas. Tree prices and sizes are subject to change.

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