Acer palmatum

Japanese Maple


Arbor Harbor, 78 Sun Lane, Millersville PA


Len Eiserer


To get a 4-color effect for a week or two during the fall, two varieties of Japanese Maple were planted in the same hole so as to give the impression of a single tree: ‘Bloodgood’, which has purple leaves in summer and red leaves in fall; and ‘Hogyoku’, which has green leaves in summer and yellow leaves in fall. Neither tree changes leaf color all at once, but instead gradually. Thus Bloodgood is for a week or two partly purple and partly red; and Hogyoku is for a time partly green and partly yellow. Catch things just right and you’re staring at a four-color tree: some leaves are purple, some are green, some are red, and some are yellow. At Arbor Harbor the color display is now muted because the maples are, years later, shaded by larger trees; planting in full sun would maximize the effect.


This amazing species invariably grows to only about 25 feet in North America but in its native Japan, 50 foot trees are not uncommon.