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 orange to scarlet-red. Golden Falls is a pendulous upright with side branches that hang down, if staked. The terminal branch or branches should to be staked for height. 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 necessary to form an outstanding maple. For more information please see Care of Japanese Maplesand Pruning Japanese Maples.
Golden Falls is really spectacular when planted on a mound, cliff or along a wall allowing the branches to cascade down lower then the base. Therefore, planting this maple in a large ornamental container and placing it in a sunny 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. Although I have been told that in moderate summer locations full sun is OK. 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.It is free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member. The contributors to the group have a wealth of experience and post many photos. 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.
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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.