Acer palmatum Villa Taranto provides 6 months of color from brick-red in the spring to bronze red in the summer and orange to crimson in the fall. This maple grows well in full sun to partial shade. It grows in the classic ‘V’ or vase shape which is common for many Japanese Maples. It is similar in shape and structure to the green leaf version – Koto no ito. Both maples are in the linearilobum group of maples which means they have string-like leaves. Villa Taranto is not a large maple only reaching 5′ to 6′ feet tall and 5′ wide in 10 years. Once established this cultivar is hardy to -20 degrees, USDA zone 5.
Acer palmatum Villa Taranto is a hardy cultivar that grows well in full sun. Maple collectors should not be afraid of the low split in the main trunk because the branches seldom break due to snow or ice. In areas where winters are hard with a lot of snow and ice – a simple step can protect your maple. Tie a double layer of green landscape tape to hold the two main branches together. Not tight, but with just enough strength to give each branch support. Care should be taken to make sure the tape is the stretching kind that allows for growth and wears out over time and falls off.
Periodically remove branches, especially dead ones, that cross-over between V shaped trunks. Keeping the middle of the ‘V’ open increases air circulation and reduces the amount of dead leaves that get stuck. This will reduce the accumulation wet snow and/or ice. For more information see Pruning 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.It is free to join – you just have to be a Facebook member and the contributors to the group have a wealth of experience and lots of 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.
I also recommend that you purchase the 4th edition of Japanese Maples, by J.D. Vertrees and Peter Gregory. There are many photos and descriptions for more than 400 cultivars. All books on Japanese Maples are available through TimberPress. I like to give a plug to TimberPress in Forest Grove, Oregon because they were created to publish the very first book by J.D. Vertrees, the First edition of Japanese Maples. No other publishers were interested in 1978 so TimberPress was formed and they are now the leading publisher of Horticultural Books in the United States.
The first photo shows the beautiful spring color and structure of a this maple. The second photo shows summer color. Both of these photos are of the same Villa Taranto in our display garden. Photos taken 5 years apart.