Choosing a type of Japanese maple tree in garden
It would be impossible for me to list all the varieties of Japanese Maples that are available as they add new ones all the time. There are lists, like this one from Sky Nursery, that are a great resource for those of you looking to buy a new tree. Be sure to site the plant correctly and it will bring you decades of enjoyment. http://www.skynursery.com/pdfs/skylist_2012_maple.pdf
Acer palmatum (JAPANESE MAPLE) In general, Japanese maples are medium-growing, vase-like trees that grow to 15 to 20 feet tall and 12 to 15 feet wide in about ten years. Over time, they can get much larger. They are adaptable to sun or part shade and are hardy to -10°F. Fall color varies through shades of yellow, orange and red.
Many of those with pale or variegated leaves need afternoon shade or filtered light to keep the leaves from burning. The slow-growing cultivars do well in containers.
ACER PALMATUM DISSECTUM (LACELEAF) VARIETIES
Acer palmatum dissectum (JAPANESE LACELEAF MAPLE) In general, Japanese laceleaf maples are slow growing, mounding or cascading small trees with finely dissected foliage. They do very well in containers.
‘Burgundy Lace’ Medium-growing vase-like tree. Height 10-12 feet; width 4-6 feet. Likes sun or part shade. Hardy to -10°F. Deeply cut burgundy to bronze leaves. Does well in containers. Protect from hot sun.
‘Crimson Queen’ Height 3-6 feet; width 5-6 feet. Sun or part shade. Hardy to -25°F. Dark red leaves all summer—bright scarlet in fall. Most popular laceleaf maple.
‘Filigree’ Height 4-5 feet—spread 5-6 feet. Likes partial shade. Particularly beautiful in spring and fall.
Pale yellowish-green foliage is delicately flecked with pale gold or cream. Rich gold fall color. Silvery green bark striped or flecked with white adds winter interest.
ACER PALMATUM SMALL VARIETIES (8-15’)
‘Amber Ghost’ Slow-growing, upright tree. Height 8-12 feet; width 8-10 feet. Likes part shade. Hardy to 0°F.
Most vigorous of the ‘Ghost’ series. Leaves start out red, fading to amber before taking on more green tones with distinctive veins. Bright orange-and-red fall color. Does well in containers.
‘Ariadne’ Slow-growing, vase-like tree. Height 8-10 feet; width 8-10 feet. Sun or part shade. Hardy to -10°F. Leaves open soft peachy red with a marbled background, mature into red veins on purple-red background. Fall color is peachy orange with dark-pink to red margins.
‘Beni Shi-en’ (RED SMOKE JAPANESE MAPLE) Medium-growing, upright tree. Height 8-12 feet; width 4-6 feet. Sun or part shade. Hardy to 0°F. Deeply divided leaves emerge rosy red, turning purple, then to medium green with light green midrib. Pinkish hues in late summer turn golden in fall.
‘Elegans’ Slow-growing, rounded tree. Height and width about 12 feet. Sun or part shade. Hardy to 0°F. Deeply lobed leaves emerge olive-green with dark margins, mature to dark green. Fall foliage is brilliant orange tinted with scarlet.
‘Emperor I’ (AKA ‘Red Emperor’) Medium-growing, open, airy tree. Height 12-15 feet; width 8-12 feet. Likes sun to part shade. Hardy to -20°F. Similar to ‘Bloodgood’ but holds its red foliage color better into late summer. Crimson in fall.
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