Acer palmatum Lileeanne’s Jewel is a stunning variegated dwarf cultivar. Light to medium colored burgundy leaves are splashed with pink, lavender and white color. The fall color is scarlet red with pink highlights. Variegated maples require sunlight to display their summer color. Some of my customers have reported that they are growing this maple in full sun. If you live in a hot climate morning sunlight up to 1:00 pm is best. Without 4-5 hours of sunlight the leaves lose their color in the summer and begin to turn green. This is known as greening out.
Lileeanne’s Jewel is from Johnathon Savelich and is named after his daughter Lileeanne. This a moderate growing maple may reach 7′ tall and 5′ wide in 10 years. It grows in the classic ‘V’ or vase shape. Smaller branches that cross between the main trunks in the ‘V’ should be removed to allow for air flow. Keeping this area clean will also prevent the build up of dead leaves in the fall. A mass of dead leaves can increase the chance of snow and ice build-up resulting in broken branches in colder climates. Additionally, long limbs of new growth that extend 2-3′ beyond the outline of the remaining branches should be pruned. Pruning can keep the maple in balance and also stimulate new growth. I believe pruning is needed for all Japanese Maples to keep them looking their best. For more information please seePruning Japanese Maples.
Once established in the ground this cultivar is hardy to -20 degrees – USDA Zone 5. When I say “established” I mean that the maple has been planted in the ground for more than a year, the longer the better. A good root system is necessary to protect the maple from extremes in temperature, both hot and cold. In zone 5 where temps can drop below zero for days on end – a mulch of 4-5 inches around the base of the maple is important if there is no moisture to prevent the ground from drying out due to frigid winds. Dried leaves, bark chips or whatever is available can help to protect the roots. Additionally, cold temperatures with periods of thawing and then refreezing are hard on the bark and branches of maples. It causes bark to split and wounds to appear. Many maple collectors wrap the trunks of their maples with burlap or other fabric, not plastic, to prevent damage. Container grown maples should be moved to an unheated shed or garage when temps are 22 degrees or colder. Containers do not give adequate protection for the roots and the roots can die at 16 degrees F. For information on the proper way to care for your maples, please seeCare 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.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 – A favorite of mine and my customers.
The photo shows the wonderful variegation of this jewel.