A striking species among the types of maple trees is the Japanese Maple, the Acer Palmatum. This is a separate maple group with many different cultivars. The leaves are usually hand-shaped and deeply incised. The color of the leaf varies from green to red, light, dark, orange, yellow, variegated, they are very elegant in shape. The shape of the tree is often multi-stemmed or a tree with a fan-shaped crown. The Japanese maple prefers to be in partial shade to prevent the risk of burning. In terms of soil type, the Japanese maple prefers well-drained, rich, sandy soil that is not too dry.
The Acer palmatum or Japanese maple is a slow-growing solitary or multi-stemmed tree. Its height can reach up to eight meters and often it can reach just as wide. The palmate leaf with 5 to 7 lobes is green and turns purple-brown in autumn.
The Acer Palmatum can also be grown as a bonsai tree. Because they grow slowly, they can additionally be kept in a pot. It is also super nice to plant a widely fanned shape that characterizes the Japanese Maple along pond edges.
An Acer Palmatum does not need to be pruned, only if you wish to correct the shape. We do advise you to remove the dead twigs. You can read how to prune the Acer Palmatum in the article Japanese maple, the eye-catcher in your garden.
Of the more than 200 subspecies in the Japanese Maple collection, I would like to introduce you to the following:
Acer Palmatum “Atropurpureum”
This maple is the red variety of the Acer Palmatum. The properties of the small or multi-stemmed tree are the same. It is a slow-growing garden tree with a whimsical structure. The maple can be used as a solitary in any garden. The leaves of the “Atropurpureum” are red and in the autumn it turns purple-red.
Acer Palmatum “Bloodgood”
This cultivar of the Acer Palmatum is an upright growing maple. The leaves are very dark red. Though, in the shade, the leaves keep a lighter color. The leaves retain the same color throughout the period with a beautiful autumn coloring. The ‘Bloodgood’ has to deal with dead branches a little more than average, which you can safely prune in the period from July to August.
Acer Palmatum “Dissectum”
The “Dissectum” is a deciduous ornamental shrub with a slow-growing, wide-flared shape. The shrub will grow wider than it gets high, the height in adult form is approximately 150 centimeters. The fine, deeply incised leaves are fresh green in summer and turn orange-yellow in autumn.
Acer Palmatum “Garnet”
A beautiful Japanese Maple that grows mainly in width. The Garnet look likes the Dissectum but with red deeply incised leaves. The color of the leaves is dark to black-red. In the autumn the leaves turn an orange-red color. A beautiful wide solitary shrub. Like all Acer Palmatums, this one is also winter-hardy.
Acer Palmatum “Sango Kaku”
A slow-growing shrub among the Japanese maples. This species stands out with its beautiful red twigs, which are orange-red. The species thus retains its decorative value even in winter. The leaf is fresh green which provides a nice contrast with the red twig. In autumn the leaves turn orange.
Acer Palmatum “Orange Dream”
In spring, the foliage begins with spectacular orange colors. After this the leaf turns salmon, yellow to fresh green in summer. In autumn the color changes back to yellow. The plant prefers to be in somewhat acidic, humus-rich soil. The height of the adult tree is 250 cm.
Acer Palmatum “Fireglow”
Japanese maple variety that stays red. In autumn it turns bright red. The height that the species can reach is between 2 and 3 meters. The plant is good to keep in a large pot or to cultivate as a strain “on a stem”.
A Japanese maple with a remarkable yellow leaf and a beautiful orange-red autumn color. The young leaf grows with red growing tips, after which it turns yellow. It is a so-called golden full moon maple. There are varieties such as Acer Shirasawanum “Aureum”, Acer Shirasawanum “Jordan” and Acer Shirawasanum “Autumn Moon”. It is a winter-hardy variety.
Acer Palmatum “Koto-no-ito”
One of the smaller maple species. The special linear leaf contributes to the decorative value of this variant. The leaf color is green, in autumn the leaf turns yellow-orange.
Acer Palmatum “Wilson’s Pink Dwarf”
A small Japanese Maple with pink emerging leaves. In summer, the leaves turn green with salmon-colored tips. In autumn the leaves turn a red to reddish-brown autumn color. The shrub likes a sheltered spot in partial shade and is winter-hardy.