Acer miyabei

Common Name: maple 
Type: Tree
Family: Sapindaceae
Native Range: Japan
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 25.00 to 40.00 feet
Spread: 25.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Good Fall


Easily grown in average, slightly acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Prefers moist, well-drained soils. Tolerates brief periods of drought, but avoid growing this tree in dry soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acer miyabei, commonly called Miyabe maple, is a deciduous, small to medium, oval to oval-rounded tree that typically grows to 25-40’ tall. It is native to a few scattered locations near streams and rivers in Hokkaido, Japan where it is now endangered in the wild. Five-lobed, palmately-veined, flat to semi-glossy, dark green leaves (each to 3-5” long) have acuminate, bluntly dentate leaf lobes with deep sinuses. Leaves retain good green color into October before turning pale to rich yellow. Leaf stalks contain a milky sap. Ornamentally insignificant yellow-green flowers in erect, 10-15 flowered corymbs bloom in spring (April-May) as the new leaves are beginning to develop. Flowers give way to two-winged samaras (each samara to 1” long) with wings spreading to 180 degrees. Rough corky gray-brown bark develops attractive orange-brown fissures with age, eventually becoming scaly with fluting. This species was first grown in the U. S. at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.

Genus name is the Latin name for a maple tree.

Specific epithet is named after Professor Kingo Miyabe (1860-1951), Japanese botanist, who discovered this tree growing in the wild on Hokkaido Island in northern Japan. Tree was subsequently described by Karl Maximowicz in 1888.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Excellent small tree for small properties. Good specimen tree for lawns or street. Accent or shade tree. Appropriate as an understory tree in a woodland garden or as a specimen in many locations around the home. Chicagoland Grows suggests this tree is a good substitute for ash trees (Fraxinus) which are now vulnerable to the emerald ash borer.