Acer pictum

Common Name: painted maple 
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Native Range: Japan, China
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 30.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers evenly moist, acidic soils with good drainage in part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acer pictum is native to forests in Japan, China, Korea, Mongolia and eastern Russia. It is a deciduous tree that typically grows to 30-40’ (less frequently to 60') tall with a rounded spreading crown. It sometimes grows in a shrubby form. Variable leaves (3-6” long) have 5-7 triangular lobes. Leaves emerge with bronze tints in spring, mature to bright green by summer and turn attractive shades of yellow and orange in fall. Leaf stems exude a milky sap when cut. Greenish-yellow flowers appear in April-May in upright clusters (umbels). As with most maples, the flowers are not showy. Fruit is a samara (to 1.5” long).

Some authorities object to the use of Acer pictum to describe any maple because of a prior incorrect use of that name to describe Kalopanax pictum now known as Kalopanax septemlobus.

Genus name is the Latin name for a maple tree.

Specific epithet means painted or brightly colored.


No serious insect or disease problems. Potential disease problems include verticillium wilt, leaf spots, tar spot, root rots, anthracnose, collar rot and stem canker. Potential insect pests include aphids, scale, borers and caterpillars. Mites may appear.


Excellent landscape tree/shrub. Specimen or accent around homes, patios or other small areas.