Threadleaf Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'Threadleaf'
Threadleaf Japanese Maple foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 8 feet
Spread: 10 feet
Hardiness Zone: 5b
This breathtaking small tree features thread-like foliage that emerges a rich purple, fades to green, and then takes on a rainbow of colors in fall, like nothing you've seen; extremely fine texture and dynamic colors add up to the perfect garden accent
Threadleaf Japanese Maple is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its highly ornamental weeping form. It features subtle corymbs of red flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring before the leaves. It has attractive deep purple-tipped dark green foliage which emerges deep purple in spring. The deeply cut ferny palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of gold, orange and red in the fall. The rough gray bark and red branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.
Threadleaf Japanese Maple is a deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.
This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Threadleaf Japanese Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Threadleaf Japanese Maple will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.
This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Threadleaf Japanese Maple is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.