Acer palmatum Tsuma gaki has new leaves that emerge yellow with a red border around each. During the summer the leaves change to darker greens, reds and gold. Fall colors range from gold to light red and finish with dark scarlet. Tsuma gaki is not a large growing maple – in 10 years the tree may reach 7′ to 8′ tall. Some staking is required as the weight of the leaves on new branches creates a pendulous habit and without support the maple shape will be short and wide. With support the maximum height is 8′. Care should also be taken to prune the long lateral branches to allow them to strengthen and grow more upright. Additional information is available at Pruning Japanese Maples.
Acer palmatum Tsuma gaki is a striking maple that is easy to grow and therefore, a good choice for a individual experimenting in growing maples for the first time. Overall the size and shape make it highly desirable for a small garden or deck/patio container. Morning sun with afternoon shade is important. With too much afernoon sun the leaves turn more red and may burn which makes it less desirable.
The best time to purchase your Tsuma gaki would be early spring when the buds are forming, but have not yet opened – just before the leaves begin to show in the spring. Once established this cultivar is hardy to -20 degrees USDA zone 5.
If you love Japanese Maples as much as I do, you can learn more about these amazing trees by joining the Facebook Group – Japanese Maples and Conifers.It is free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member and the contributors to the group have a wealth of experience and lots of photos. No question is dumb – you will not be criticized for lack of knowledge, rather you will get a variety of opinions from all over the country. This is what I value the most – learning about variations of growth, leaf size and color in different sections of the USA and around the world. I often participate in the discussions.
The first two photos show the lovely yellow leaves with red edges – new growth that is spring color and early summer. The last photo shows fall color – crimson red courtesy of Buchholz Nursery.