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A picture of a Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum

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Also known as

Cut-Leaved Japanese Maple

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy

Expected size

Height
Spread

25m

Max

8m

1m

Min

2m

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

A photo of Japanese Maple
A photo of Japanese Maple
A photo of Japanese Maple
A photo of Japanese Maple
A photo of Japanese Maple

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Overview

Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum have been cultivated in Japan and temperate regions of the world for centuries. Acers are a popular choice for Bonsai enthusiasts and Japanese themed gardens. This deciduous tree species is part of the Sapindaceae family. The species name Acer palmatum comes from the hand-like shape of its leaves. The red-leafed cultivars are the most popular, followed by cascading green shrubs with deeply dissected leaves. Acers come in a range of sizes from small flat growing shrubs to small trees with domed-like shapes, all have vibrant autumn colours. Grow in full sun to partial shade and moist, well-draining soil on the acid side. Acer palmatum is hardy across most of Europe and the UK, it can cope with a minimum temperature of around minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Common problems

Prone to mites, caterpillars and leaf scorch.

Harvesting

Collect ripe seed in autumn when they are brown and beginning to fall off the tree. Store in a paper bag and store in a cool and dry location.

Propagation

Cuttings

Graft in late winter, bud in late summer.

Seed

Seeds will have cross-pollinated and unlikely to come true to its parent. They are still worth propagating as the resulting tree will have good colour or possibly be the next "new" must-have. If sowing fresh seed, soak them for twenty-four hours, before re-refrigerating (stratify, duplicate winter conditions) seeds for ninety days by mixing them with a small amount of compost in a plastic bag (with ventilation). The seeds can then be sown in individual pots or outdoors in warm locations. Alternatively, seeds collected and stored from the previous year can be sown in Spring direct in the ground or individual containers.

Special Features

Pot plant

Can be trained as Bonsai trees

Autumn colour

Leaves turn colour in autumn, variety dependent ranging from yellow to red.

Attractive leaves

Uses

This low maintenance tree suits urban/courtyard gardens as well as cottage/ informal settings. It provides mid level structure and can be grown in a container.

Medicinal

Leaves are used in Chinese medicine