Identification of a brilliant red maple

Discussion in 'Maples' started by andreaswild, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. andreaswild

    andreaswild Member

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    Hi !

    I saw this fantastic maple in a neighbour's garden and it has the following features:

    - bright red leaves all year; the leaves seem to glow and appear almost fluorescent red (not crimson or purple) even in the shade;
    - the leaves do not bronze out or become green in summer at all, although exposed to full sunlight all day (picture taken in august)
    - rather small tree (1.5m), although approximately 20 years old (maybe a dwarf or just poor growth)
    - the undersides of the leaves have a very subtle greenish touch

    My first guess was A.P Oshio Beni or A.P. Yezo Nishiki.
    Maybe A.P. Fireglow, although it seems too bright red and too small for A.P. Fireglow.

    I would very much appreciate if anybody could give me a hint or a confirmation !

    Thank you and greetings from Austria !


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  2. PlantExplorer

    PlantExplorer Active Member 10 Years

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    Vancouver, Canada
    It seems you’ve done a little research, and your selections seem like good possibilities, but there are numerous red leafed Japanese maples, so getting a clear identification is not going to be easy. The following may seem like an awful lot of work, but it will go a long way to getting an accurate identification.

    • Take two or three sample leaves and scan them next to a ruler - at least one of the leaves should be reversed to show the underside. This ensures that the leaf is plainly visible, top and bottom, and that a reasonable size reference is included in the picture.
    • Make a note of the date the leaves were collected, so any relative colour changes may be taken into consideration. (My guess is that, unless this tree is sheltered and has been well watered, the stress of this current European summer has altered the normal appearance of the leaves on this tree)
    • Photograph the bark of the trunk as well as the leaf-bearing branches. The texture and differences between these two can often assist in accurate identification.
    • Take few photographs of the situation of the tree – This specimen appears to be growing in a bed next to a rather large Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’, which could significantly stress the maple and cause atypical leaf colouration. Thuja can release phytotoxins that can retard the growth of, or even kill, competing plant species. While most Acer palmatum seem to be at least partially resistant to Thuja phytotoxins, such an unfavourable neighbour sharing their root-space can still be stressful.

    Now, after all is said and done, there may still be some question as to the proper name of this tree – simply because it may not be a named variety at all.
    Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’ group come relatively true from seed, and some commercial nurseries will collect seedlings, that have germinated in the vicinity of larger field-grown specimens, and pot them up for sale. This means that there are many thousands of specimens out there that have no varietal name at all. Some people in the landscape and horticultural industry see this as problematic, since they tend to regard these seed-grown trees as inferior, but I think that these seed-grown specimens are more genetically diverse as a whole, and represent a healthy continuation of the species.
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    Another suggestion is perhaps: Acer p. "Beni maiko", listed as bright red in spring, fading to pinkish red with green undertone, summer color is greenish red with the main veins remaining red as do the petioles. In the fall, an edging of deep pink red appears at leaf margins, spreading into the center until the leaf is ablaze.

    taken from : Japanese Maples, third edition, J.D. Vertrees, Timber Press, page 121.
  4. Johan

    Johan Member

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    Maybe its a dwarf Kohauchiwakaede..

    Greetings from South Africa,

    Johan F Kruger
  5. stephen2602

    stephen2602 Member

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    Canberra Australia
    Is it a grafted or non grafted variety? The first picture shows the fork in the tree close to the ground but I can't be sure. A friend of mine has many maples in his yard and all are standard acer palmatums that have not been grafted. The difference in colours is outstanding during late Autumn. I have grabbed some seeds from a brilliant red maple very similiar to the one in the pic hoping to get a similiar tree but it will be some years before I find out.

    What size are the seeds from this tree?

    Also what colour is the bark on the tree?

    Looking at the pic's, I think the person just got lucky from seed but then again, I have been known to be wrong...

  6. ChristineM

    ChristineM Member

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    eastern U.S.
    Hi Andreas,

    Could it be Osakazuki ? I provided an attached bmp photo.

    Did you ever find out the answer? If so, then please email me at as I don't check this website.




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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2015

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