Japanese maple
Acer palmatum

Secondary Names:

Leaf Type: Deciduous
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A small landscape tree for patios, tight spaces, and shaded areas, Japanese maple can reach to 20 feet tall and a trunk up to 12" in diameter. Many cultivars are available with different characteristics.

Range/Site Description:

Performs best on rich, well-drained sites in East Texas. Susceptible to extremes of drought and heat.


Simple, opposite, usually with 5-7palmate lobes with deep sinuses between them, almost to the point of separation. Leaf edges with fine teeth and leaf color ranges from green to deep red depending on the cultivar.


Borne as red, drooping clusters in spring, in the axils between leaf and twig.


Fruit is a double samara, or "key," reddish, each winged half about 0.5" to 1" long.


Thin, tight and gray, often musculuar in appearance, with vertical seams developing with age and size. Easily damaged by mowers.


Valuable commercially solely as a landscape tree for the nursery trade.

Similar Species:

Lilac chastetree, or vitex, (Vitex agnus-castus) has similar leaf shape, but leaflets are individually stalked.

Interesting Facts:

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