Acer palmatum Phoenix is in the group of maples with awesome pink or red/pink new growth in the spring. The leaf color evolves to light green for the summer before a crimson red display in the fall. However, Phoenix adds one new element during the spring – yellow veins are visible in the leaves. The ability to see the veins is known as reticulation. Additionally, Phoenix has red bark on new growth. Other maples with new pink leaves include Akaji nishiki,Corallinum,Kawahara Rose,and Beni maiko.
Phoenix is an upright maple in a bushy form. A shrubby maple with irregular growth and may reach about 5′ tall and 3′ wide in 10 years. A high-heat tolerant maple likes the the sun even during those hot afternoon summer days. It is a perfect dwarf for the hot spot that cooks nearly everything else you have tried. This maple needs full sun and heat to grow well – in the shade it may not survive. However, you may get some leaf burning during the first and/or second summers because the roots have not developed enough to absorb all the water to survive in the sun. Use SuperThrive as recommended to help the roots get established sooner. Phoenix is also suitable for a container in the sun.
When planting Phoenix make sure the soil is well-drained, if clay is the problem, the maple should be mounded to keep the roots above the soggy soil or you can grow the maple in a container. Please see Mounding Japanese Maples for clay soil. If you spend a little more time up front in the planting phase you will be rewarded with a happy and healthy maple for many years. SeePlanting Japanese Maples for more information. Once established this maple is hardy to -20 degrees – USDA Zone 5.
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Photo from my nursery showing the wonderful spring color.