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Brilliant Japanese Maples

I love Japanese maples! They are glorious trees year round, providing interesting structure and bark in winter and beautiful foliage in all the other seasons. Someone recently asked me how many Japanese maples I have. I don't have an obsession, exactly, but I did have to count them. The total is thirteen in the ground and a couple smaller ones in pots. For jaw-dropping, eye-popping color, fall is the best time to view them in my garden:

Some of my prettiest Japanese maples were unnamed seedlings I planted in 1990, after a tornado destroyed most of the front yard. Named varieties include 'Seiryu', 'Orido Nishiki', 'Butterfly', 'Bloodgood', 'Waterfall', 'Sango kaku', and a couple I confess I have forgotten, including the original, my marriage tree, shown in the first photo at the top of this post. 

The above shots were taken over the past three weeks. A few days ago the fall colors were at their peak, but one frosty night and a couple of storms brought quick changes. Now many of the brilliant leaves are on the ground, and the ones remaining on the trees are sodden and fading fast. But they were spectacular while they lasted!


For more information about growing Japanese maples, see my previous post Japanese Maples in My Garden.

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Reader Comments (19)

What a collection! You have the most beautiful specimens, and so many elegant ones. I have Bloodgood, and would love to get Seiryu at some point. They are slow growers, but well worth waiting for. Fortunately the October snowstorm did not hurt the upright Japanese maples around here (the weeping forms had damage, though). What great shots of fall color!

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Stunning specimens Debs, what a collection! Japanese maples changing colours are one of the highlights of autumn with their vivid reds, browns, and yellows. As you've said, they looked spectacular while it lasted :)

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

They are soooo beautiful...I am wondering who needs flowers?

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOne

I never tire of their beauty. Like you my collection keeps growing 'somehow'! I brought several from our last garden, have nurtured babies in containers until they were big enough to plant out and rescued a couple which outgrew clients containers but couldn't find a permanent home with them.

We also have a golden full moon maple because I purchased one for a client - and my husband wouldn't let me part with it!

He is also to 'blame' for a stunning Koto-ni-oto we added this fall and it is now my favorite. The B and B root ball was about 26-28" diameter so it was a sucker to move!

Every tree tells a story.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I love your Japanese Maples. I can't believe someone once told me "only one should be planted in a landscape". Why? I think I'm going to place enough of these trees in my garden as to be able to see one from any vantage point. They are by far my favorite plant, a perfect focal point. If you have any seedlings to get rid of I would happily take one off your hands. On another note, my neighbor is going to let me divide the amazing hosta I told you about. Do you want some of it? Also, I found a place that sells concrete yard planters ,statues and such for an incredible price. They had stands, that would be perfect for your "lady" in the garden planter, with just a little detail (can't distract from her natural beauty). The place is on 280 in Chelsea it's called J&J Junk. As far as inside the store goes, enter at your own risk.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

OK, I am officially jealous - what a wonderful collection, you have a mini arboretum!

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet/Plantaliscious

They are incredible Deb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEve

I love Japanese maples and have a number of named cultivars plus random trees that have seeded around the property. I much prefer the ones that are green and then turn colors in the fall. Is 'Waterfall' small and weeping kind of forming an umbrella or mushroom shape? I lost the tag for one of mine but 'Waterfall' sounds familiar. II love the way you did the photos in the outline of the trees. I am wondering how you did that.

Incredible! I was just thinking as I scrolled through your pictures that they would make a great calendar! So pretty!

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

You have a wonderful selection of many different colors. Japanese Maple is my favorite small tree and also my logo for my business. Most of my clients get at least one in their designs too. Kinda my trademark, so I really appreciate all your varieties. I like the way you presented them in your post too.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Absolutely fantastic - I am now growing on some seedlings from Osakazuki - will just have to wait and see if they turn out as colourful as their parent. You certainly have a stunning collection and your autumn/fall colour is amazing, just like the arboretum we went to here a couple of weeks ago, you have your own private arboretum !

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

Beautiful, you envy me my lavender but I envy you these wonderful Acers. My garden is too windy, too hotand too dry for them to survive. This is why yours is one of my favourite gardens to visit, it is so different to mine. Christina

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Those are gorgeous Japanese maples! I had no idea how many different varieties there are. We have a small one in our backyard, it's more like a bush. The leaves are a beautiful red color right now. How fortunate that you have such beautiful trees in your garden!

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBumble Lush

So graceful!!!

November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNHGarden

Hi Deb, I have only three Japanese Maples and wish that I had more! Only a couple of years old, mine are twigs in comparison to yours. I agree one hundred percent that Japanese Maples put on the most glorious show in the fall.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Wow, they are so beautiful! I love Japanese Maples. I only have one right now. Sadly I don't have many places available to put them as they usually need more shade than I have. They are so gorgeous though!

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

I now have 23 Japanese Maples. Is that considered an obsession? Could be :-) I admit it. I just love them, too!!! Unfortunately this year I will probably not see much color because of the drought we've had. I have one called Peaches N Cream that lost almost all of its leaves but now this fall has started putting on new leaves like its springtime. Crazy. Enjoying seeing your color, though!! Thanks for sharing with those of us less fortunate this year :-)

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterToni - Signature Gardens

What beautiful fall colors! I love your trees and your photographic skills - lovely

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGloria, DakotaGarden

Your woodland garden has to be one of my favorite on the web. Truly it looks... perfect.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess
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