You can hardly go wrong with Japanese maples. Most have an exquisitely layered, cascading form, an elegant, fine leaf texture, and remarkable fall color. Among the many varieties, there are maples with yellow-green, purple, red, bronze, and variegated leaves. And their sizes suit any landscape, varying from 3-foot dwarfs to slow-growing 15-footers. Japanese maples can get a little pricey, so consider them an investment in your home.
Many Japanese maples have a wonderful way of spreading in the shape of low graceful domes. On a slope or overhang, their arching branches can descend even below the base of the trunk. See the way this laceleaf pours over the retaining wall echoing the pond's waterfall?
- Bloodgood variety holds its red-purple leaf color during the summer better than most.
- Osakazuki has reliable fall foliage even in mild climates and holds its turned leaves longer than the others.
- Full moon maple's striking chartreuse leaves go brilliant orange, red, and purple in the fall.
In Cold Areas (Zone 5):
- Burgundy Lace
For winter color:
- Coral bark maple, Sango-kaku. The soft-green leaves turn bright yellow in fall, then drop to display the tree's distinctive red twigs.