Acer shirasawanum Autumn Moon has wonderful color throughout the growing season – yellow to gold and orange to red from spring to fall. As an added bonus he leaves have visible veins known as reticulation. This maple was selected by J. D. Vertrees in the 1970s. Vertrees is the maple guru that wrote the first book Japanese Maples in 1978. He passed away years ago and the revisions to his initial work were continued by Peter Gregory of the Maple Society. The last book is the 4th edition.
Acer shirasawanum Autumn Moon is in the same genus as the Golden Full Moon Maple – Acer shirasawanum Aureum. I like to think of Autumn Moon as a cousin to Aureum. A small to medium sized tree with wonderful color throughout the growing season. Summer colors are peach, orange, green and gold. Fall colors mirror the spring and summer, but the leaves are brighter in color from gold to crimson.
The recommended sun exposure is in the morning with some shade protection from the hot afternoon sun. Not a fast growing maple, but definitely faster than its cousin Aureum. Estimated height in 10 years is 7′. Once established hardy to USDA zone 5. Either Autumn Moon or Moonrise, another shirasawanum maple is a must for a Japanese Maple collector.
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.
Limited availability – 1 gallon Autumn Moon maples will be available September 2020. 3 gallon maples were repotted in February 2020 and will be available for sale at the end of June 2020.
The first photo shows the fantastic spring color of Autumn Moon in a 3 gallon container. The second photo is the Autumn Moon in my display garden during the summer.