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Asian 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, Emmett’s Pumpkin, Fairy Lights, Green Cascade, 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, Green Snowflake, Indian Summer, Johin, Jordan, Junihitoe, Kawaii, Mr. Sun, OgurayamaPalmatifolium. (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: Kumo moi nishiki, MikasayamaSode-no-uchi. (Seki no kegon is sieboldianum x palmatum)


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

Characteristics: 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.

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

Pseudosieboldianum NOTE: 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!!)


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)


ACER GRISEUM: 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.