Japanese Maple – Acer palmatum

Japanese Maple – Acer palmatum
Family Aceraceae.
Well-known for its compact shape and scarlet fall color, the slow-growing Japanese maple is at home in partial shade.

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Japanese Maple Scarlet Fall Foliage

Ranging from Japan to China, Korea, and Taiwan, this relatively compact maple grows well as an understory plant, requiring less sun than comparable varieties. Easily trained as a multi-trunked specimen, Japanese maple is often used in Bonsai. USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9 [3].

The Royal Horticultural Society advises Japanese maples will grow well in just about any soil except very wet or dry or alkaline. Slightly acidic, sandy, well-drained loam being ideal. Since there are very many varieties, research your particular cultivar before deciding on position; many require shelter from afternoon sun. They all need at least some sun to develop the brilliant scarlet foliage in autumn. It seems to thrive best in dappled shade. This tree does not like to be crowded and is eminently suitable for growing in containers [2].

Japanese maples can be susceptible to leaf scorch in windy or intensely sunny locations.

Japanese Maple

This 30-year-old lovely Japanese maple is resident in the Woody Plants of Japan section at the Morton Arboretum [1]. MAP HERE. Grown from seed from Washington Park Arboretum University of Washington, Seattle, Washington [3].

Japanese Maple Leaflets

1. Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum, Morton Arboretum  644-81-1, photos by Bruce Marlin
2. Royal Horticultural Society, 'Japanese Maple'
3. Morton Arboretum, searchMOR database, Acer palmatum
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Family Aceraceae – Maples
The Maples are some of our most familiar and beloved trees.  Most are native to the far east: China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria. Maples produce a distinctive winged fruit called a samara, also commonly known as helicopters or whirlybirds.
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