Acer palmatum Red Emperor is similar to the old standard – Bloodgood, but is better suited to a smaller garden. This upright red leaf maple can reach 9-10′ tall and 6′ wide in 10 years. The leaves are the normal palmatum size for an upright maple. Spring foliage is dark red and the red/burgundy color holds well through the summer. Fall is bright fire-engine red. A stunning addition to any garden or landscape. Wonderfully shaped and pruned 2 and 3 gallon size maples are ready to buy right now! These maples are ready to plant and already shaped to form a beautiful upright tree. For more information on maintaining the shape of your maples see Pruning Japanese Maples.
Acer palmatum Red Emperor can handle full sun and needs at least 5-6 hours of sun each day to keep its red leaf color in the summer. Too little sun and the leaves change to green tones, know as greening-out. For more information see Care and Maintenance of Japanese Maples. Once established this maple is hardy to -20 degrees. USDA zone 5.
Note: the 115-117 degree heat wave of 2021 caused this cultivar to lose leaves and basically I lost one year of growth; however they have rebounded in 2022.
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.
The first photo shows the leaves of Red Emperor during the summer. The second photo is courtesy of Buchholz Nursery.