Similar but much smaller than the highly popular 'Sango kaku', Acer palmatum 'Aka Kawa Hime' is also a very desirable Japanese Maple. This deciduous shrub or small tree features a delicate foliage of 5 lobed leaves which emerge fresh yellow-green in spring, mature to mid green in summer and warm up to attractive shades of gold, yellow and red in fall before they shed to the ground. As they fall, they expose the bright, coral-red bark on young twigs and branches, adding a much needed splash of color in the winter landscape. In spring, the small, reddish flowers are pretty, but not showy. They give way to samaras that ripen in late summer to fall. Slow-growing, this maple tree enjoys an upright vase-shaped habit and makes an outstanding four-season tree. It is a perfect choice for small gardens and containers. 'Aka Kawa Hime' means 'Small Red Bark'.
- Grows up to 7-9 ft. tall (210-270 cm) and wide 5-6 ft. wide (150-180 cm).
- A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Best leaf color in partial shade, although full sun can be tolerated. Leaf scorch can be caused by lack of soil moisture or excessive exposure.
- Perfect as specimen plant in cottage gardens, city gardens, rock gardens or for containers.
- Low maintenance, this plant needs little pruning. If pruning is necessary, prune during the dormant season and avoid pruning in spring when the sap is running. Fertilize in spring before the leaves emerge.
- May be affected by horse chestnut scale, aphids, Verticillium wilt.
- Propagate by grafting or softwood cuttings