Smaller but as desirable as the highly popular 'Sango kaku', Acer palmatum 'Winter Flame' is noted for its showy coral bark and fall color. This medium-sized deciduous tree features delicate 5-lobed leaves which open lime green in spring, mature to mid green in summer, and warm up to golden-yellow, orange 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 a broad rounded canopy and makes an outstanding four-season tree that is enjoyed by all gardeners as it graces the landscape.
- Grows up to 8-10 ft. tall (240-300 cm) and 6-8 ft. wide (180-240 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 or for foundation plantings.
- 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