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Dissectum-Type Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum var. dissectum)

Dissectum-Type Japanese Maples

Below are listed several varieties of the Dissectum Group of Japanese maples. These are often referred to as Laceleaf Maples, Fern Leaf Maples, Thread Leaf Maples, Cut Leaf Maples, Weeping Japanese Maples, or simply as Japanese Maples. They all have several things in common: they all have finely divided, toothed leaves, and they have a cascading habit. Aside from these common attributes, they differ in the shape of the leaf, leaf color, size and weeping habit.

The dissectum group of Japanese maples are best used as a specimen or the focal point of the landscape or garden. They can be used as a small tree or a small to large shrub, depending on size. They add artistic structure to the garden. They are special plants for special places.

Size: Variable - see below

Shape: Mounding-cascading

Fall Color: Varies - see below

Rate of Growth: Slow

Other Attributes: The most refined of Japanese maples. They are quite adaptable in culture and use - the dissectum group, in particular, can be considered shrubs. They are not as fragile as they appear. Because they are weepers, however, heavy snows should be carefully brushed off to prevent damages to the branches.) Few other plants can offer the differing colors from the new growth of spring to summer to the rich hues of fall.

Growing Conditions: Plant in sun to shade, depending on variety (dappled shade seems to be best for most varieties) in organic, moist, well-drained soil. A little afternoon shade is often appreciated.

The red-leaved varieties tend to turn bronze or green if planted in too much shade but may experience leaf tip scorch if situated in too much sun. Others, however, are resistant to scorch. See below.

Other / Related Varieties: Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen'. This variety reaches 9 feet high and 12 feet wide in many years. It grows well in sun to shade. One of its outstanding features, and the one by which other red leaved Japanese maples are measured: it carries its deep red colored foliage through the growing season even when planted in full sun. The leaves of 'Crimson Queen' change to bright scarlet tones in the fall.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Ever Red', this red-leaved Japanese maple is more vigorous, growing 12 to 15 feet high and wide. When grown in the sun, it holds its deep red color into the summer better than most red-leaved varieties. The spring growth of 'Ever Red' is its notable characteristic: The new shoots are covered with fine silvery hairs which gives the new growth a silver sheen.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Inaba Shidare' - Sometimes known as 'Red Select', this Japanese maple is rather upright for a dissectum. It does have cascading branches, but is more erect in appearance. 'Inaba Shidare 'grows 10 to 12 feet high and about half that in width. It retains its dark purple red color into the summer when grown in the sun. Some tip burn may be experienced in hot, dry summers. 'Inaba Shidare' turns a brilliant crimson in the fall.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Red Dragon' - The growth habit for this fairly new variety is like a smaller form of 'Crimson Queen'; a compact, mound reaching 5 to 7 feet tall with a similar width. The young leaves are a bright scarlet in spring, becoming dark burgundy as they develop. It retains its color both in sun and light shade.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Tamukeyama' - This is an old variety that has stood the test of time. It has a mounding habit, growing 4 to 6 feet high and a bit wider. (Its ultimate growth is larger but only after many years.) Its leaves, less divided than 'Ever Red,' are red to red-purple in color, which holds up quite well to heat and humidity. The fall color is bright scarlet. Young branches and twigs are maroon red.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Viridis' - Viridis has become the name used for many green-leaved dissectums. Generally, it now is being applied to those dissectums with 7 or 9 deeply divided lobes. 'Viridis' grows 9 to 12 feet high with an equal spread. It holds its bright green color in summer, especially if grown in partial shade. In the fall, the leaves turn a delightful gold with an occasional splash of crimson.

Prices vary according to size, variety, and availability.

Please Note: Trees cannot be shipped outside of the DC/Baltimore Metropolitan areas. Tree prices and sizes are subject to change.


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