Acer palmatum Mikawa yatsubusa is one of the most outstanding dwarf Japanese Maples in my opinion. It has light yellow-green foliage in the spring turning to a vivid forest green in the summer. As the leaves emerge they overlap each other and form tight bunches. One of the special characteristics of this maple is the tight leaf clumps on branches that seem to layer and form a natural bonsai shape. The best display of this cultivar requires some pruning to remove some of the individual leaves on the trunk – this allows you to see the amazing branch structure. Additionally, pruning long branches that stick out further than the natural shape of the maple is necessary to create more branching and achieve that amazing bonsai look. Overall, good pruning significantly enhances the beauty of this distinctive maple. For more information see Pruning Japanese Maples.
Acer palmatum Mikawa yatsubusa may reach 6′ high and wide in 10 years. Also, this maple can handle full sun to partial shade. A great selection for bonsai or larger containers. This distinctive cultivar would make the perfect focal point in a small garden or near a water feature. Due to the natural bonsai type appearance, underneath plantings of ground cover and the use of rocks as hardscape, can easily transform any landscape into a small Japanese style garden. Relatively easy to grow, even a beginning maple collector could not go wrong with this choice. Once established this cultivar is hardy to -20 degrees – USDA Zone 5.
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.
The initial photo shows a the spring color. The next photo shows the summer green of this outstanding dwarf maple. The last photo shows the fall color of a Mikawa in a container. In the Pacific NW the crimson color is hardly ever achieved as mother nature takes her toll on the leaves which generally turn orange to brown before falling to the ground.