Acer shirasawanum Mikado is likely a hybrid with a palmatum maple. Spring leaves are a color that can be described as bronze-plum-red with yellow veins. The color remains the same in the summer though it is a little darker more like a shiny bronze changing to orange and then crimson in fall. Mikado can handle full sun and needs at least 5 hours of sun each day to hold its amazing leaf color. Too little sun and the leaves change to green tones, known as greening out. This is not a fast growing maple like most shirasawanum maples. I have revised my estimate of growth in 10 years from 10′ to 7′ based on experience. Remember – slow growing maples use less water than fast growing maples. Once established hardy to -20 degrees USDA zone 5.
Acer shirasawanum Mikado is an upright maple in the group know as ‘Full Moon Maples’. All shirasawanum maples can be identified by looking at the flowers and subsequent seed pods [samaras]. If they point up rather than hang down it is a shirasawanum – palmatum species hang down. Other ‘Full Moon Maples’ I have at the nursery include Autumn Moon, Johin, Jordan, Kawaii, Moonrise, Red Dawn, andSensu.Of course the most famous is the ‘Golden Full Moon Maple’ – Aureum.
If you love Japanese Maples as much as I do and are a Facebook user – you can learn more about these amazing trees, please join the Facebook Group – Japanese Maples and Conifers.It is free to join and the contributors have a wealth of experience and are available for questions.
Acer shirasawanum Mikado – the first photo is courtesy of Buchholz Nursery showing spring color. The remaining photos show the change in fall color from orange to crimson and were taken at my nursery.