Japanese Maples

‘Osakazuki’ has an upright habit and great fall color.

Name: ’Waterfall’
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
Height: 6 to 8 feet
Spring Color: Bright green
Summer Color: Green
Fall Color: Red, gold, orange

 Waterfall in autumn

 Waterfall summer

Waterfall’ is a cultivar that sports green leaves all spring and summer before bursting into passionate shades of yellow and orange in fall. The crown of this 6- to 8-foot-tall tree is wide and low, resulting in a broad, slightly domed habit. It gets its name from the layers of branches that cascade softly toward the ground. Appropriately enough, ‘Waterfall’ is an excellent choice for growing next to a water feature.

Japanese maples offer countless variations in size, shape, and texture. While nobody knows exactly how many different Japanese maple varieties exist, there are more than 700 unique cultivars in circulation. Selecting the right one from so many can be overwhelming, especially because virtually all of them are charmers. Though it was difficult to single them out, we have selected some of our favorite cultivars that are neither too obscure nor too obvious while showing a hint of the range one can find in this group of trees.

‘Mikawa yatsubusa’ summer color 
‘Mikawa yatsubusa’ fall color

Name: ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’
Zones: 5 to 8
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spring Color: Yellow-green
Summer Color: Green
Fall Color: Gold, orange, purple

Reaching only 3 or 4 feet tall, the dwarf cultivar ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’ has the charm and warmth of a sturdy, diminutive hero from a fantastic tale. Its leaves are large for a dwarf, growing to about 2 to 212 inches long and wide. This foliage is layered tightly one over the other so that the top leaf reveals only the outer edge of the one below. Spending most of the year covered in light green, ‘Mikawa yatsubusa’ changes to gold, orange, and purple in autumn.

  Fall color on ‘Inaba shidare’

   Summer Color

Name: ‘Inaba shidare’
Zones: 5 to 8
Height: 6 to 8 feet
Spring Color: Deep red
Summer Color: Deep red, green
Fall Color: Bright red

‘Inaba shidare’ doesn’t wait for autumn to color its foliage. Drapes of delicate, deep red leaves flow across an architectural structure and down to the ground. Late summer brings out some green, but in fall that color is cast off in favor of a brilliant red. ‘Inaba shidare’ usually reaches 6 to 8 feet in height and spreads to a greater width. The growth habit is orderly and doesn’t necessitate frequent pruning.

  ‘Aka shigitatsu sawa’ in summer

  ‘Aka shigitatsu sawa’ fall color

Name: ‘Aka shigitatsu sawa’
Zones: 6 to 8
Height: 7 to 9 feet
Spring Color: Green, pink, red
Summer Color: Green, pink, red
Fall Color: Red

’Aka shigitatsu sawa’ is another tree with constantly changing color. In spring, this variegated cultivar has all the vibrant colors and texture of a strawberry-kiwi smoothie. These colors change steadily and dramatically during the summer: One week, there may be a lot of green; the next week features a wash of silver; the following week, yellow slips in. The foliage ultimately turns bright red in autumn. It grows slowly to about 7 to 9 feet high and gets quite broad with age.

  ‘Shin deshojo’ in summer

  ‘Shin deshojo’ fall color

Name: ‘Shin deshojo’
Zones: 6 to 8
Height: 10 to 12 feet
Spring Color: Red
Summer Color: Red, green
Fall Color: Red, orange

‘Shin deshojo’ changes color with the season like a chameleon does with its background. The small, palmate leaves emerge a bright pink-red in spring. As the foliage turns green in summer, it retains traces of deep pink. Autumn finds the leaves turning back to red. This cultivar’s form naturally becomes a 10- to 12-foot-tall haystack, or the tree can be opened up to reveal its architecture through pruning

Read more: http://www.finegardening.com/enchanting-japanese-maples#ixzz3ktHdvyrM
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