Japanese Maples for the Far North

Definitions and Descriptions

ACER JAPONICUM: native to Japan; Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and southern Korea: also known as: “Full Moon Maple” “Amur maple”  “Downy Japanese maple”

Characteristics: Red flowers, downy new growth in spring, rough bark

Examples: Aconitifolium, Emmit’s Pumpkin, Fairy Lights, Green Cascade, Green Snowflake, Gossamer, Oregon Fern, Otaki, Ruby Red, Takinogawa, Vitifolium, Yama kagi.  (Irish Lace is Japonicum x palmatum)


ACER SHIRASAWANUM: Native to Japan; Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu.

Characteristics: Red flowers, hairless leaves, smooth bark

Examples: Aureum (Aureum is confusingly aka “Full Moon Maple”), Garden Glory, Indian Summer, Johin, Jordan, Junihitoe, Kawaii, Mr. Sun, Palmatifolium. (Ezono momiji is shirasawanum x palmatum)


ACER SIEBOLDIANUM:  native to Japan; Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and higher elevations in Kyushu

Characteristics: Yellow flowers, downy new growth in spring, smooth bark

Examples: Kumomoi nishiki, Mikasayama, Ogurayama, Sode-no-uchi. (Seki no kegon is sieboldianum x palmatum)


ACER PSEUDOSIEBOLDIANUM: “Korean Maple” Native to Korea, China, Russia.


Examples: Pseudosieboldianum, (Arctic Jade and Northwind are pseudosieboldianum x palmatum),  (“Takesimense Pseudosieboldianum” is Acer takesimense ssp (subspecies) Pseudosieboldianum)


ACER CIRCINATUM: “Vine maple” Native to northwestern North America, closely related to Acer Japonicum and Acer Pseudosieboldianum (Korean Maple)

Characteristics: Red flowers, flexible trunk

Examples: Burgundy Jewel, Del’s Dwarf, Little Gem, Monroe, Pacific Fire, Pacific Purple, Pacific Sprite, Sunglow, Sunny Sister. (Herbstfuer/Autumn Flame is circinatum x palmatum)

Pseudosieboldianum and Griseum

Finally! Asian/Japanese Maples for far northern locations!

We offer the Acer Griseum the “Paperbark Maple” which is zone 4-5 cold weather hardy maple. Its exfoliating bark is terrific year round but especially in the winter. Its pussy willow big catkin fuzzy buds in spring are super cool and and it has a phenomenally brilliant red leaf color in fall . This is a very nice tree that seems to be timed to leaf out about the same time as a sugar maple and about as hardy . If sugar maples grow in your area you should be able to grow Griseum.

After many years of intense search, I am able to secure a small quantity of Pseudosieboldianum ssp. pseudosieboldianum. This is an Asian/Japanese Maple from Korea and unlike Griseum (China) has a look of a Acer Palmatum /Japonicum with large Japanese maple type leaves. It is a definite zone 4 tree and some are grown in zone 3 and can be grown as far north as Minnesota, It is a sturdy, very pretty tree with rather large leaves .  It is a keeper with great fall color and has a surprisingly nice spring and summer look also.

I have these in larger sizes and some are so large they are for pick up only 8-12′ from top of soil level really big large caliper (ATTN Chicagoans!! Finally a safe JM to plant if you live in the far northern suburbs!!)

These trees are simply not readily available and finding any small ones is like a treasure hunt and I was happy to get any… albeit larger ones.

As with all my product when they’re gone they’re gone… Please contact me right away if you are interested. Now almost everyone in the USA can plant an Asian maple.

I do have a few shippable ones that are multi-stemmed and nice size 4′+. A representative multi stemmed Pseudosieboldianum is pictured below. They are in 10 gallon pots. They are very cool IMHO .. The tree pictured is fully leafed and now well rooted . Multi stemmed trees are finally finding their place, for many folks with limited space they allow you to put an upright tree that gets large in a space that ordinarily wouldn’t work for them. Multi stemmed trees have a nice unique form /structure. And remember these can grow as far north as Minnesota and even an upright Psuedo will NOT get large there. A perfect Asian maple for those that want to plant one out and don’t want to do containers but live in an area that most JMs must be kept in containers.

Pseudosieboldianum multi-stem b

Multi-stemmed Pseudosieboldianum