Acer palmatum Fairy Hair looks just like its name – a Fairy with the thinnest leaves of any Japanese Maple. This dwarf is more like a miniature maple – a slow growing maple that is often used in bonsai. Fairy Hair starts with light green leaves in the spring. By summer the leaves are lawn green before turning crimson red in the fall. This cultivar is slow growing to 4′ in about 10 years. I do not recommend Fairy Hair as an in the ground maple, as it is best grown in a container. However, sometimes this cultivar is grafted high on standard then it may be large enough for the garden. What is a graft on standard? Well, that is maple grafter language for growing root stock 18″ to 30″ tall and straight and then grafting a cultivar near the top. By doing it this way a small maple can achieve some height. The technique is often used for weepers to get them tall enough to weep without staking. Once established this maple is hardy to -10 degrees – USDA zone 6.
Acer palmatum Fairy Hair is a relatively easy maple to grow. The really skinny leaves can make wind and direct sunlight an issue. They can easily dry out in hot and windy conditions. But with afternoon shade and protection from strong winds your maple can do just fine. This is another reason why I recommend container growing. For more information please see Container Growing and Care and Maintenance of Japanese Maples.
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.
Acer palmatum Fairy Hair is another introduction from Talon at Buchholz Nursery for his Flora Wonder ™ Collection. I think Talon made a great choice for the name. He told me the original Fairy Hair reached 4′ in 20 years.