Japanese Maple


Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum

Family: Sapindaceae

Leaf Type: Deciduous

Mature Height: ~6 m (~20 ft)

Fall Color: Dark red to purple-red

Native Range: Japanese maples are non-native species that are typically found in Japan and surrounding countries. Although non-native, they are not considered invasive.



Japanese maples are small, dome-like trees and are typically planted as a residential, ornamental tree. As with all maples, the fruit of the Japanese maple is a samara, which is the papery seed pod maple trees adapted to ensure seeds are spread by the wind. Japanese maples have a double winged, red, paper-like samara. The leaves of Japanese maples are deeply lobed with seven to nine pointed, toothed lobes. The lobes can be wide to very thin, wispy, and feather-like. The leaf color varies from green to red to burgundy or deep purple, depending on the variety. Bark can vary by cultivar of this plant, ranging from smooth bark to rough, furrowed bark.


Fun Facts

● The name Japanese maple is derived from the native geographic range from which this Acer (maple) species.
● There are over 1,000 varieties of this tree that are chosen for different features like color and leaf shape.
● Japanese maples have traditionally been grown as bonsai trees which is an art form derived from Japanese culture.

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