The right way to Develop and Take care of Weeping Japanese Maples

Acer palmatum var. dissectum

Whether or not it’s a screaming toddler within the theater, a breakup gone horribly fallacious, or the ‘It’s Not Your Fault’ scene from “Good Will Looking,” weeping speaks volumes: “Don’t carry a child to the flicks.” “Let ’em down simpler subsequent time.” “Matt Damon has vary.”

That is true within the botanical world, as nicely. Vegetation with a weeping type stand out from the upright clumps of greenery that we’re so used to seeing.

The distinctiveness of foliage not making an attempt to stretch up for daylight is intriguing, to say the least. And the beloved Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, is available in weeping type!

A close up vertical image of the foliage of a Japanese weeping maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum). To the top and bottom of the frame is green and white printed text.

We hyperlink to distributors that can assist you discover related merchandise. In the event you purchase from one among our hyperlinks, we could earn a fee.

Also referred to as A. palmatum var. dissectum, Japanese weeping maples add the majesty of dissected leaves and a cascading behavior to an already-awesome plant. It’s nicely price studying how you can develop one in your individual panorama or backyard.

A lot so, actually, that we’ve whipped up this little information right here. We’ll cowl all the things you’ll must know to develop these crops your self.

Listed here are the particular nuggets of information that you just’ll be nibbling on up forward:

What Are Japanese Weeping Maples?

Though crops can secrete tear-like water droplets from the ends of their leaves – a course of often known as guttation – this isn’t what “weeping” is referring to on this case.

When a plant’s frequent title comprises the phrase “weeping,” that is in reference to the drooping progress behavior of its branches and foliage.

A horizontal image of a weeping Japanese maple tree growing in the lawn outside a residence.

Together with this weeping type, A. palmatum var. dissectum additionally has dissected leaves with seven to eleven lobes every.

Every lobe is jagged, feathery, and finely reduce right down to its level of attachment, or node. The top result’s lace-like foliage that sways a bit extra gracefully within the wind than normal Japanese maple foliage.

For these causes, this selection can be generally known as threadleaf, cutleaf, or laceleaf Japanese maple.

A. palmatum var. dissectum has a median peak of eight to 10 ft so it’s a bit shorter than a regular Japanese maple, with a typical A. palmatum ranging in peak from 15 to 25 ft.

Each the usual species and this selection possess a selection that’s sometimes equal to or larger than their width.

I’ve generalized these particulars for a cause, although – with the entire pure variations and completely different cultivars on the market, one all-encompassing description is troublesome to supply if not inconceivable.

However a weeping behavior and finely-dissected leaves are frequent options that each one maples of this selection share.

Cultivation and Historical past

Greatest grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to eight, A. palmatum var. dissectum hails from China, Japan, and Korea. This plant owes the “Japanese” a part of its frequent moniker to the way in which it was closely cultivated by the Japanese individuals for hundreds of years.

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of a red Japanese weeping maple.

Japanese maples have been first talked about in writing manner again within the seventh century, they usually have been launched to England and the japanese United States in 1840 and 1862, respectively.

The vast majority of Japanese weeping maple varieties have been carried to America by Japanese immigrants, who traveled throughout the Pacific to the West Coast of the USA.

These cultivars, previously unknown to Western gardeners, have been dropped at mild by J. D. Vertrees, a retired county extension agent from Oregon who printed a guide titled “Japanese Maples” in 1978.

This was the primary textual content to cowl A. palmatum var. dissectum cultivars in English, and it was additionally the primary publication of Timber Press.

Japanese Maples

Copies of the newest version are obtainable now on Amazon.

Many alternative cultivars have been bred since then, with every possessing a singular mixture of traits that give this number of Japanese maple its personal decorative area of interest within the panorama.


Many A. palmatum var. dissectum cultivars have been propagated by taking cuttings from a mutated department of a regular Japanese maple, so it’s finest to keep away from rising Japanese weeping maple cultivars from seed.

Cuttings will produce a pure genetic copy of the plant that you just’re propagating, whereas seeds could go away you with a plant that’s not fairly what you have been on the lookout for.

Be happy to provide it a shot in the event you’re affected person and you want surprising surprises – you may be taught extra concerning the course of in our information to propagating Japanese maples from seed.

Together with rooting cuttings, you may also transplant a Japanese weeping maple that you just bought from a nursery or an internet vendor.

From Cuttings

Start by taking softwood cuttings of recent, recent progress from a mature tree in Might.

With a sterilized blade, take away a three- to four-inch chopping from the tip of a department. Select one with nodes which might be spaced shut collectively, if potential.

Take away the leaves from the decrease half of the chopping and dip the defoliated finish in rooting hormone powder or gel.

A close up of a bottle of Bonide Bontone II Rooting Powder isolated on a white background.

Bonide Bontone II Rooting Hormone

Bonide affords 1.25-ounce containers of IBA root hormone powder – sufficient for rooting 2,800 common cuttings – by way of Arbico Organics.

Stick the hormone-dipped finish of the chopping right into a well-draining, 1020-sized plastic seed tray that’s stuffed with a 50/50 mixture of sphagnum peat moss and perlite. Place the tray adjoining to a sunny window and preserve the media moist.

Hardening off can start as soon as the chopping has developed a set or two of recent leaves.

On a spring day after the specter of frost has handed, place the chopping exterior in a partially-shaded spot, and go away it out for 30 to 60 minutes. As soon as that point’s up, carry the chopping again inside.

A horizontal image of a Japanese weeping maple tree growing outside a residence pictured in bright sunshine.

The following day, do the identical factor, however add a further 30 to 60 minutes. Repeat this addition of time with every successive day till the cuttings are acclimated to a full day’s price of out of doors publicity.

At this level, you’re prepared for transplanting!

Through Transplanting

Put together holes in your backyard which might be as deep as every transplant’s root system is tall. Make the holes a bit wider than the roots, although – this makes for simpler backfilling.

A horizontal image of a specimen Acer palmatum var. dissectum growing in the middle of the lawn.

Place the transplants into their respective holes, then backfill with the dug out soil. Water within the transplants, and preserve the adjoining soil moist till they turn out to be established.

The right way to Develop

As with every plant, correct cultivation is important for ultimate well being and aesthetics.

Local weather and Publicity Wants

Japanese weeping maples develop finest in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to eight, so be sure to don’t plant north or south of those areas.

A close up horizontal image of a Japanese weeping maple growing in the garden.

A. palmatum var. dissectum loves partial shade exposures. Full solar is a bit too harsh, whereas full shade will diminish a Japanese weeping maple’s fall coloration. Assume Goldilocks – not an excessive amount of, not too little, however good.

Soil Wants

Above all else, the soil have to be well-draining. This may be achieved with many alternative soil textures, however making an attempt to enhance the drainage to plant in clay is a trouble. Select an area with a silt loam or sandy texture if potential.

A close up horizontal image of the bright red foliage of a Japanese weeping maple growing in the garden.

Barely acidic soils are additionally your finest guess, so shoot for a pH someplace within the vary of 5.5 to six.5.

Water and Fertilizer Wants

Till established, the soil the place Japanese weeping maples are planted needs to be saved moist. Afterwards, they solely want average supplemental irrigation. In apply, wait till the highest couple inches of soil are dry earlier than watering within the absence of rain.

A close up horizontal image of a small Japanese weeping maple growing in a garden border.

Each spring, A. palmatum var. dissectum may use some fertilization earlier than the leaves emerge.

That is finest achieved by working two to 4 inches of natural materials into the soil above the basis zone. Natural supplies corresponding to compost and well-rotted manure are stable decisions.

Learn extra about fertilizing Japanese maples in our information.

Rising Ideas

  • Partial shade publicity is perfect.
  • Be sure you present well-draining soil.
  • Irrigate reasonably by letting the highest one to 2 inches of soil dry out in between watering.


Be happy to take away diseased, dying, and sickly branches everytime you occur to note them. Use sterilized blades when doing so.

Fascinated with shaping your A. palmatum var. dissectum to raised fit your aesthetic imaginative and prescient? Discover extra recommendations on pruning right here.

Cultivars to Choose

There are a lot of completely different types of Japanese weeping maples to select from… it’s nearly overwhelming! Listed here are a number of that – in my humble opinion – really stand out.

Crimson Queen

Identified for its crimson purple progress that emerges in spring and persists all through the rising season, ‘Crimson Queen’ virtually calls for fealty with its beautiful leaves.

Come autumn, the foliage’s redness modifications from a blood-red crimson to a bright-red scarlet. All of that together with fantastically cascading branches, ‘Crimson Queen’ makes for a beautiful addition to the backyard.

A close up square image of the foliage of Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen.'

‘Crimson Queen’

To buy a two- to three-foot-tall ‘Crimson Queen’ in a #2 container, go to Nature Hills Nursery.

Inaba Shidare

For a purple, large-leafed, and durable A. palmatum var. dissectum cultivar, ‘Inaba Shidare’ is the one for you.

A close up vertical image of the bright red fall foliage of Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Inaba Shidare’ pictured on a soft focus background.
Picture by way of Alamy.

Through the rising season, the six-inch-wide foliage emerges a purple-red earlier than turning a shiny crimson in fall.

‘Inaba Shidare’ additionally has a quick progress fee and is cold-hardy as well, making it greater than only a fairly face. Er, tree…

A close up of the foliage of Acer palmatum 'Inaba Shidare' growing in the garden pictured on a soft focus background.

‘Inaba Shidare’

You possibly can choose up ‘Inaba Shidare’ from Maple Ridge Nursery in one-, three-, seven-, 15-, and 25-gallon containers.


In defiance of its Japanese weeping maple kin, ‘Seiryu’ has an upright rising behavior, standing tall whereas its brethren are match to droop. With a wealthy inexperienced coloration throughout the rising season, its foliage turns shades of gold, orange, and orange-red in autumn.

It’s a bit taller than common as nicely, with a mature peak of 10 to fifteen ft.

Lengthy story quick – in the event you just like the Japanese weeping maple however dislike the “weeping” half, and also you additionally need one thing aside from a regular Japanese maple, then ‘Seiryu’ is for you.

A close up square image of the foliage of an Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Seiryu' pictured on a soft focus background.


on this cultivar? Order one now from Nature Hills Nursery.


With seven- to nine-lobed leaves that begin off inexperienced in spring and switch yellow-gold or purple in fall, ‘Viridis’ is a broadly obtainable cultivar of A. palmatum var. dissectum.

With its diversified coloration scheme at completely different occasions of 12 months, many gardeners will be capable to discover a appropriate house within the panorama the place the hues of ‘Viridis’ will complement the plantings round it.

A close up square image of 'Viridis' Japanese weeping maple growing in a rock garden.


It reaches six to eight ft in peak and 6 to 10 ft in width, and specimens could be bought from


‘Waterfall’ is similar to ‘Viridis,’ apart from its massive, three- to five-inch-long and equally large leaves. It’s a bit extra shrub-like than ‘Viridis,’ with a extra rounded type.

Refined variations, positive… however ‘Waterfall’ is nonetheless an important cultivar for any diehard Japanese weeping maple collector to personal.

A square image of a small Acer palmatum 'Waterfall' growing in a garden border.


To purchase ‘Waterfall,’ take a look at Maple Ridge Nursery. Select from crops in one- or 25-gallon containers.

Managing Pests and Illness

One notable factoid: A. palmatum var. dissectum is notably immune to rabbit injury! However this plant is way from indestructible. Let’s study what varieties of pests and illnesses can threaten a Japanese weeping maple’s well being.


Along with the injury that they already trigger, bugs could be vectors for illness. By dialing of their administration, a gardener will help to stop illness outbreaks as nicely.


Aphids are small, inexperienced, soft-bodied bugs that feed immediately from the phloem of plant tissues with sucking mouthparts.

Together with the stress and structural destruction that this causes the plant, aphids excrete honeydew as they feed, which may entice ants and result in black sooty mildew infections in addition to additional tissue injury.

The perfect types of management embrace sturdy sprays of water and purposes of horticultural oil. The previous will bodily knock the aphids off of leaf surfaces, whereas the latter will snuff them out.

A bottle of Monterey Horticultural Oil isolated on a white background.

Monterey Horticultural Oil

Monterey sells horticultural oil in ready-to-spray and focus which might be obtainable at Arbico Organics.

Learn extra about managing aphid infestations in our information.

Asian Ambrosia Beetles

Also referred to as the granulate ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus crassiusculus reveals up in early spring to assault deciduous timber with skinny bark corresponding to Japanese weeping maples.

Their presence is indicated by wilting leaves and toothpick-like woody trunk protrusions.

The beetles bore into trunks, feed on sapwood and heartwood, and vector fungal pathogens. Affected by the mixed injury of all these points, infested crops typically die.

Pyrethroid insecticide purposes can work as a preventative measure, and permethrin formulations could be utilized in February, a month earlier than the beetles often present as much as bore into timber.

If pruning useless wooden doesn’t save an infested tree, it’s finest to take away and destroy all the specimen to stop additional unfold.

Inexperienced-Striped Maple Worms

Dryocampa rubicunda feeds on just a few various kinds of tree, however maples are its favourite host. The worms are the larval stage of the grownup moths, aka rosy maple moths.

A close up of a pink and yellow furry moth on a wooden surface.

These moths lay yellow eggs on the underside of leaves. The larvae that hatch out are about an inch and a half lengthy when totally grown, with black heads, inexperienced and white stripes, and purple markings on each ends of their our bodies.

A close up of a caterpillar walking upside down on the branch of a tree pictured on a soft focus background.

After hatching, the mapleworms begin feeding on foliage, which may find yourself severely defoliating infested timber.

The injury is often momentary, however general progress could be stunted if defoliation happens repeatedly in consecutive years. All this injury and stress can go away the infested tree susceptible to extra extreme points down the road.

For prevention, it’s necessary to keep away from fertilizing excessively, as an overabundance of vitamins could make plant tissues extra appetizing to the pests.

Scrape off the yellow egg clusters if you discover them, or simply take away all the leaf. Severely infested branches could be pruned away and disposed of.

Bacillus thuringiensis will goal the mapleworms whereas leaving helpful bugs alone.

A close up of three bottles of Monterey Bt isolated on a white background.

Monterey Bt Liquid Focus

Monterey sells pint-, quart-, and gallon-sized containers of Bt insecticide focus which might be obtainable from Arbico Organics.

We’ve simply hit the highlights of the most typical pest points right here. You possibly can use our in-depth pest information to be taught extra about figuring out and controlling different creepy crawlies that will hurt your timber.


Utilizing sterilized instruments, disease-free soil, and correct cultivation practices will go a great distance in retaining specimens wholesome.


Brought on by fungi, anthracnose causes darkened foliar spots, leaf cupping, leaf curling, and untimely leaf drop.

Cool and moist climate circumstances are sometimes precursors to anthracnose infections. The fungal spores overwinter in timber and fallen leaf detritus, and are splashed by water and carried by wind in spring.

Anthracnose is never greater than a beauty concern, so it may be ignored and the tree will more than likely be positive. But when management is warranted within the case of extreme infections, there are some issues you are able to do.

Raking up and destroying leaf detritus, pruning contaminated branches, and correct cultivation practices are all wonderful preventative measures. Within the occasion of extreme defoliation a number of years in a row, fungicides could be utilized to stop reinfection.

Leaf Scorch

Whereas not a illness per se because it isn’t attributable to an infectious pathogen, leaf scorch is a physiological situation that happens when there isn’t sufficient water for crops to deal with harsh warmth and solar.

On account of leaf scorch, foliage will brown and dry alongside the leaf margins. Because the scorch progresses, whole leaves will blacken and die.

There isn’t any identified treatment for scorched foliage, however crops can bounce again if the causal stressors are remediated. This implies correct watering and correct fertilizing, for the reason that former results in leaf scorch and the latter damages water-collecting roots.

Greatest Makes use of

A Japanese weeping maple makes for a super specimen planting, so remember to put yours in a spot the place it would stand out as a focus within the panorama.

A close up horizontal image of the deep red foliage of Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Crimson Queen' growing in the garden.

Most specimen crops additionally make good accents… however not this one. Its measurement, rising behavior, and foliar curiosity make it fairly powerful for an A. palmatum var. dissectum to share the highlight. However hey – a plant may actually have worse qualities.

With how these crops weep, you wouldn’t need to put any smaller crops beneath the cover, very similar to you wouldn’t need somebody with a gorgeous brow to sport bangs.

However this weeping behavior makes background plantings stand out all of the extra, so… execs and cons!

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Sort: Deciduous tree Flower/Foliage Colour: Gold, purple, purple/Inexperienced, orange, purple, purple
Native to: China, Japan, Korea Tolerance: Shade, rabbits
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 5-8 Upkeep: Low to average
Season: Spring (fall coloration) Soil Sort: Fertile, sandy, silt loam
Publicity: Partial shade Soil pH: 5.5-6.5
Time to Maturity: 10-15 years Soil Drainage: Effectively-draining
Planting Depth: 1/4 inch (seeds), depth of root ball (transplants) Makes use of: Specimen
Spacing 6-12 ft Order: Sapindales
Peak: 8-10 ft Household: Sapindaceae
Unfold: 10-12 ft Genus: Acer
Water Wants: Reasonable Species: Palmatum
Frequent Pests and Illness: Aphids, Asian ambrosia beetles, green-striped mapleworms; anthracnose, leaf scorch Selection: Dissectum

The Japanese Weeping Maple: It’ll Convey You to Tears

For some individuals, it turns into more durable and more durable to cry with age.

Set your eyes on an A. palmatum var. dissectum, nonetheless, and you could end up welling up… or, in the event you dislike revealing your delicate aspect, you could surprise aloud who’s chopping onions close by.

A close up horizontal image of a purple and a green Japanese weeping maple growing side by side in the garden.

Hyperbole apart, the Japanese weeping maple is really stunning. It’ll make a beautiful addition to your backyard or panorama!

Any remarks or questions can go within the feedback part under. We get a kick out of studying your feedback right here at Gardener’s Path, so don’t be shy!

For extra A. palmatum guides, behold what we’ve got in retailer:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *