Acer palmatum Mayday is a rare dwarf maple with pink and orange colored leaves in the spring. Mayday was a chance seedling from Mikawa yatsubusa– but it is slower growing like Japanese Princess – also related. Mayday grows with an irregular form like Mikawa. As the leaves emerge they overlap each other and form tight bunches. The structure of the trunk is not quite as twisted as it’s parent Mikawa. But it still has the same knobby look.
Mayday, when grown in full sun shows pink and orange spring color. The color fades to blonde-green by early summer. Fall color transitions from yellow to orange and sometimes crimson. Morning sun in well-drained soil is preferred with some shade during the late afternoon in the hottest climates. However, sunshine is necessary to bring out the orange and pink color in the leaves. Too much shade and the leaves will be primarily light green. Estimated size is 3′ tall by 3′ wide in 10 years. This is a perfect maple to plant in a container where you can enjoy it’s beauty on a patio or deck. Once established this cultivar is hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.
Japanese Maples like good drainage, in fact they require good drainage or root rot may develop and weaken the maple. When a maple or any other tree is weakened it is more susceptible to disease such as Verticillium wilt or Pseudomonas. Good drainage can be an issue if you have clay in your soil. For this reason I recommend you check out Planting Japanese Maples,Care and Maintenance of Japanese Maples, and Mounding Japanese Maples.The healthiest and happiest maple is one that is planted in the right location and the right way.
Acer palmatum Mayday – like any Japanese Maple may require some pruning to form the structure of the tree and to remove dead branches. For more information on pruning your maples please see Pruning Japanese Maples.Mayday was discovered and introduced by Talon Buchholz for his Flora Wonder ™ Collection at Buchholz Nursery.
Limited Availability – My 1 gallon Acer palmatum Mayday maples are too small for sale this year. Please check back next spring – April/May 2021.
The first two photos of Mayday are courtesy of Garen Rees – who talked me into selling him my first one several years ago. The next two are courtesy of Buchholz Nursery. And the final photo shows a large 1 gallon size with summer color.