3 gallon Beni Otaka

How to Select a Japanese Maple Tree

Selecting the proper Japanese maple Tree for your garden or landscape depends on 5 factors: hardiness, location sun or shade, mature size, type lace leaf or palmatum and preferred leaf color.

Tip 1 Choose a variety that is rated to be cold hardy in your zone. If you are planting it in a pot or container above ground choose a variety that is at least two cold zones hardier than your zone. to learn more about Japanese maple cold hardiness click here

Tip 2 Determine how large you can allow your tree to grow. With a little pruning once or twice a year Japanese Maples are very easy to maintain a specific size. But if you prefer to not prune, you will want to choose a variety that will naturally only grow to the size that will work in the allotted space both height and width.

Tip 3 Where are going to plant it, sun or shade? Most Japanese Maples prefer morning sun and afternoon shade.  Planting on the east side of a fence or building provides the best environment for Japanese Maples. Avoid all day full sun locations especially in southern states. Japanese Maples can live in that environment, but usually leaf scorch will occur when temperatures rise above 90 degrees and the sun is shining directly on them.

Tip 4 Japanese Maples generally come in 2 types:
 Dissectum (aka weeping or lace leaf) or Palmatum (aka upright or standard).
Most common to the trade are the lace leaf types, most have red or purple leaves with a few green leafed varieties. I'm not aware of any variegated lace leaf varieties.

Palmatum types are about 60% red or purple leafed, 30% green leafed and 10% other (variegated, gold, multi-colored) . Most lace leaf types are weeping varieties, although a few upright lace leafs do exist. Inaba Shidare is a good upright red lace leaf and Seiryu is a good green upright variety.

One of the most important factors when considering which type to grow is sun exposure. The lace leaf types typically cannot torerate as much direct sun and wind as palmatum types. The leaves are much more delicate do to the thickness of the leaf and the width of the leaf lobes. Planting a lace leaf Japanese Maple in full sun is not adviced and another selection should be considered.

The upright red type varieties that are well known for their ability to tolerate sunnier locations are Bloodgood and Emperor 1.
 Osakazuki and Omure yama are good green uprights with great fall color. Red Select and Ever Red are said to be the more tolerant to direct sun and Virdis and Waterfall are good green varieties for sunnier locations. Please keep in mind the mentioned varieties are more tolerant of sunnier locations, but still may show burning on the leaf edges. 

Tip 5 What leaf color do you prefer? red, green or variegated. Green leafed varieties can tolerate sunnier and hotter exposure than red leafed or variegated varieties. Green leafed varieties grow faster and larger. Variegated varieties prefer shady locations.

 

Use the chart below to select a Japanese Maple Tree suited to your requirements.

If you would like to learn more or purchase a specific variety of Japanese maple click the variety link to our

Japanese Maple Online store.

 

                                      JAPANESE  MAPLE SELECTION CHART

HARDINESS ZONE LEAF COLOR TYPE VARIETY HEIGHT FEET SPREAD FEET
4-8 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Inaba shidare 10 8
4-9 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Tamukeyama 8 8
5-8 Green dissectum (Laceleaf) Waterfall 10 12
5-8 Green dissectum (Laceleaf) Virdis 10 12
5-8 Green japonicum Aconitifolium Maiku-jaku 10 5
5-8 Green japonicum Green Cascade 22 18
5-8 Green palmatum Shu Shidare 3 6
5-8 Green palmatum Green Mist 4 4
5-8 Green palmatum Murasaki Kiyohime 4 6
5-8 Green palmatum Green Hornet 5 5
5-8 Green palmatum Tiger Rose 6 4
5-8 Green palmatum Winter Flame 6 3
5-8 Green palmatum Rugose 7 4
5-8 Green palmatum Ao shime no uchi 8 4
5-8 Green palmatum Hogyoku 8 4
5-8 Green palmatum Kagiri Nishiki 8 4
5-8 Green palmatum Scolopendrifolium 8 4
5-8 Green palmatum Shigarami 8 4
5-8 Green palmatum Green Lace 12 4
5-8 Green palmatum Osakazuki 20 20
5-8 Green palmatum Sango Kaku 25 22
5-8 Green palmatum Green 25 25
5-8 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Garnet 5 6
5-8 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Crimson Queen 10 12
5-8 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Red Dragon 10 12
5-8 Red palmatum Octopus 5 6
5-8 Red palmatum Skeeters Broom 5 3
5-8 Red palmatum Tsukushigata 6 4
5-8 Red palmatum Red Cloud 8 8
5-8 Red palmatum Pixie 8 4
5-8 Red palmatum Hubb's Red Willow 8 4
5-8 Red palmatum Iijima Sunago 8 4
5-8 Red palmatum Red Emperor 10 6
5-8 Red palmatum Beni Otake 12 8
5-8 Red palmatum Burgundy Lace 12 10
5-8 Red palmatum Hefner's Red 12 5
5-8 Red palmatum Trompenburg 15 15
5-8 Red palmatum Bloodgood 20 20
5-8 Red palmatum Oshio Bene 20 15
5-8 Red palmatum Atro-purpureum 25 25
5-8 Red palmatum atro-purpureum (Small Pots) 25 25
5-8 Red palmatum Atro-purpureum ((SEED)) 25 25
5-8 Red palmatum Atro-purpureum 25 25
5-8 Variegated palmatum First Ghost 6 3
5-8 Variegated palmatum Peaches & Cream 6 6
5-8 Variegated palmatum Amber Ghost 8 8
5-8 Variegated palmatum Grandma Ghost 8 4
5-8 Variegated palmatum Sagara Nishiki 9 6
5-8 Variegated palmatum Butterfly 15 8
5-8 Variegated palmatum Shirazz 15 12
5-8 Variegated palmatum Sister Ghost 6 4
5-8 Variegated palmatum Geisha 2 3
5-9 Green palmatum Glowing Embers 20 20
5-9 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Ever Red 6 10
5-9 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Lion Heart 10 6
5-9 Red palmatum Ruby Stars 3 2
5-9 Red palmatum Red Sentinel 8 12
5-9 Red palmatum Purple Ghost 12 5
5-9 Red palmatum Twisted Japanese red maple Tree 15 12
6-8 Green dissectum (Laceleaf) Seiryu 12 6
6-8 Green palmatum Omure yama 10 15
6-8 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Red Select 6 10
6-8 Red dissectum (Laceleaf) Orangeola 8 8
6-8 Red palmatum Shishigashira 6 4
6-8 Red palmatum Shaina 6 4
6-8 Red palmatum Shishio Improved 10 4
6-8 Red palmatum Fireglow 15 15
6-8 Red palmatum Emperor I 20 15
6-8 Red palmatum Boskoop Glory 15 10
6-8 Red palmatum Moonfire 14 15
6-8 Variegated palmatum Beni Schichihenge 8 5