Acer palmatum

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 6 Professionals
Common Name: Japanese maple
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Native Range: Korea, Japan
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Reddish-purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Rabbit, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers lightly sun dappled part shade. Avoid hot and dry sites. Leaves may scorch in full sun in hot southern summers. Plant in a location protected from strong winds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acer palmatum, commonly called Japanese maple, is a deciduous shrub or small tree that typically grows to 10-25' (infrequently to 40') tall. It is native to Japan, Korea and China. General plant form is rounded to broad-rounded, often with low branching. Each palmate green leaf (2-5" long) has 5 or 7 but less frequently 9 pointed toothed lobes. Small reddish-purple flowers in umbels bloom in mid spring (April). The flowers are rather attractive close up, but are not particularly showy from a distance. Flowers are followed by samaras (to 3/4" long) in pairs. Samaras ripen in September-October. Fall color includes shades of yellow, red-purple and bronze. Cultivars (often grafted) are quite variable.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to stem canker. Verticillium wilt may also occur. Watch for scale, mites and aphids. Foliage tends to leaf out early in spring and is subject to damage from late spring frosts.

Garden Uses

Japanese maples are generally grown for their attractive foliage and shape. Specimen/accent or group around the home or yard or periphery of the border or rock garden. Multi-stemmed shrub form is effective in small groupings in shrub borders. Bonsai.