Acer palmatum Golden Falls is a golden version of Ryu sei which means – ‘falling star’in Japanese. Spring growth is bright yellow-gold turning to a soft yellow-green in the summer. Fall color is gold to crimson. I recommend that the terminal branch be staked for height to allow the cascading look. When staked, Golden Falls is a pendulous upright with side branches that hang down like falling stars.
If left to grow without staking it would look like carpet of yellow leaves covering the ground. The pruning and staking of this maple is preferred to form a focal-point for the garden. For more information please see Care of Japanese Maplesand Pruning Japanese Maples.
Golden Falls is really spectacular when planted on a hill side, cliff or along a wall allowing the branches to cascade down lower then the base. Planting this maple in a large ornamental container and placing it in a semi-shady location near a water feature would be ideal. This would allow the branches to cascade below the lip of the container and shade the container and root ball and prevent it from drying out too quickly. Morning sun with afternoon shade is recommended. Once established it is hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.
Finally, 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. I also recommend you join the Maple Society North American Branch both are free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member. The contributors to the groups have a wealth of experience and post many photos.
Limited availability – Shipping becomes a problem when the trunk of this maple becomes too large.
The first photo shows the yellow leaves on cascading branches. The second photo shows the beginning of fall color – scarlet red. Both photos courtesy of Buchholz Nursery. Golden Falls was discovered and introduced by Buchholz Nursery as part of their Flora Wonder ™ Collection.