Acer palmatum

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Japanese Maple

Plant photo of: Acer palmatum
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Information by: Jerry Sortomme Editor        Photographer: Normans/Syrek/Connon



This magnificent plant can used as a small tree or shrub. It is deciduous with graceful leaves which have a scarlet color in spring as it leafs out. They turn orange or yellow in fall. It is slow growing to 20', and requires shelter from hot winds. The leaves of this tree are small, light green in color, and deply lobed. It should also be noted that the tree remains spectacular throughout all seasons. Second picture by Steve Mullany.


  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Tree, Shrub


Height Range

1-3', 3-6', 6-12', 12-25', 25-40'


Flower Color

Green, White


Flower Season



Leaf Color

Bronze, Green, Dark Green, Light Green, Yellow Green, Orange, Red, Yellow, Variegated


Bark Color

Brown, Green, Grey, Red, Striped, Tan


Fruit Color

Orange, Red


Fruit Season

Summer, Fall


Full, Half, Shade





Growth Rate

Fast, Moderate, Slow


Soil Type

Sandy, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Well-drained


Soil pH

Acid, Neutral


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Formal, Japanese, Meadow, Water Garden, Woodland


Accenting Features

Fall Color, Multi-trunk Tree, Silhouette, Specimen, Unusual Foliage, Unusual Shape


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Entry, Foundation, Lawn, Patio, Raised Planter, With Rocks


Special Uses

Container, Naturalizing, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife

Birds, Wildlife

Water Saving Tip:

Group plants with similar watering needs in the same area.