Japanese maple is a deciduous tree that is typically grown as an ornamental. There are many cultivars to choose from, and they produce foliage in a wide variety of colors, including white, pink and various shades of green. Choose the Japanese maple variety that suits your home and your garden.
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The Inaba Shidare variety produces vibrant red-purple leaves which are resistant to fading through the summer. It is a small Japanese maple that grows to be between 8 and 10 feet. It has large leaves, and in the fall, the leaves turn to a brilliant crimson. It is an upright tree with branches that cascade downwards.
The Shantung Japanese maple variety grows to be between 35 and 30 feet tall. When the leaves first come in, they have a purple cast to them, and as they mature, they turn a deep, shiny green during the summer. Its fall foliage varies depending on the type of Shantung. It is a hardy tree that tolerates a wide variety of soils and conditions.
A Burgundy Lace Japanese maple tends to grow to a full height that is between 10 and 12 feet tall, with branches that droop to the ground. It has the appearance of a large shrub. During the spring, when the leaves first appear, they are reddish-purple. As the leaves mature, they acquire tints of green and bronze.
The Sumi Nagashi Japanese maple is a semi-upright tree with vigorous branches that grows to be up to 15 feet tall. When the leaves first appear, they are purplish red in color, and over the warm summer months they mature to a dark red. In the fall, the leaves turn crimson. The Sumi Nagashi has green bark, which allows it to add some winter interest to the garden even when the tree is bare.
The O kagami Japanese maple reaches a full height of 15 feet. During the spring, the leaves come in as a purplish red, and while this color is maintained through the summer, it deepens and the leaves become increasingly shiny. During the fall, this Japanese maple variety turns red or scarlet.