Acer palmatum Thunb.

Japanese Maple

Weeping form dissected

Weeping form dissected


Family: Sapindaceae

Genus: Acer

Category: Tree - Deciduous

Zones: (5)6 to 8

Size: 15 to 25'

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Part Shade, Shade


Small tree, rounded to irregular form. Slow growth rate for many cultivars but the species is a moderate grower when young.

Leaves opposite, 2 to 5" long and wide wide, palmate with 5, 7 or 9 lobes, deeply cut, doubly serrate, dark green. Autumn color is yellow to orange, red or purple.

Afternoon shade, shallow roots, plant in wide hole and prevent compaction around. Evenly moist soil.


There are several groupings of Japanese Maples - dissectum (dissected leaves) vs. non-dissected, purple leaves vs. green leaves. Dissected Japanese Maples have fern-like foliage, 7, 9 or 11 lobes finely cut to the point of attachment and incised, almost threadlike.

'Bloodgood' - non-dissected, deep red-purple leaf color (new growth rosy-red), good color retention, 15-20' tall, good autumn color.

'Crimson Queen' - purple-leaf, dissected, long lasting color but in the warmer regions tends to bronze, 8-10' tall, 12' wide, layered to weeping form, RHS Award of Garden Merit 2002, introduced to cultivation in 1965.

'Mapi-No-Machihime' (Little Princess) - flat topped, low grower

Subordinate taxa: 


Introduced in 1820. Native to Japan and South Korea. First published in Syst. Veg. (ed. 14) 911 in 1784.


My Experience: 

I purchased a seedling at Pendleton King Plant Swap in May 2007 and potted it up in a large pot. It grew rapidly in the pot. I planted it out in the back garden in summer 2009. It held its own although looked ragged for much of the summer, getting full sun and a lot of wind burn too. It did continue to grow at a fairly fast rate. In spring 2010 I potted it up again to use in the conservatory as a screen during the summer. The leaves are medium green, often tinged with red on the edges.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner