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Common Name:

Japanese Maple

Scientific Name:

Acer palmatum

Family Name:



Japanese Maples are popular small trees for use in many cold / cool temperate regions, but offer limited potential for much of Texas. Valued for their fine textured, red to green foliage, yellow to red fall color, delicate growth habits, sometiems colorful twigs, they are popular landscape plants. Unfortunately, Japanese Maples tend to develop leaf scorch unless sited in mostly shady locations in Texas. They are also intolerant of drought, high pH soils, and poor quality irrigation water. Best reserved for selected microsites in East Texas. Growth form varies from upright oval to rounded to spreading and weeping.

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, small tree, topiary


partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Green to red

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Pair of winged samaras, green to red


8 ft to 20 ft


4 ft to 15 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: High Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Medium Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Cold hardiness is variable among cultivars from USDA zone 5 to 8.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.