Acer palmatum dissectum Red Dragon is my favorite red lace leaf weeping maple. The 3rd addition of Japanese Maples by J.D. Vertrees states that Red Dragon is the best maple for holding its red color through the summer and “may well prove to be the standard in the future.” (P. 196) Unlike many other red lace leaf maples – Red Dragon has red bark and is a moderate growing weeper that may reach 4′ tall and 5′ wide in 10 years.
New growth is bright red changing to dark red in the summer. Fall color is flaming scarlet. Red Dragon like other red leaf maples can handle full sun with adequate water in the summer. In fact, sun is needed to keep red leaves -red. With too little sun the red leaves begin to green-out.
Acer palmatum dissectum Red Dragon has a growth habit that is compact and shows a well-branched cascading mound. Great for a Japanese garden design and to accent a water feature or for a patio container. Once established hardy to USDA zone 5. Lace leaf weeping maples require more pruning than upright cultivars. For more information, please see Pruning Japanese Maples.
Note: As lace leaf maples continue to grow – the lateral branches become too rigid to pack in a box, hence no 3 gallon maples are available for sale online.
The first photo shows Red Dragon with its lovely spring color. Photo courtesy of Buchholz Nursery.