Acer circinatum ‘Pacific Fire’

red-bark vine maple

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

  • © J. Frank Schmidt & Son. Co.

Outstanding Qualities

This is a stunning twist on our native vine maple. 'Pacific Fire’ was selected for its glowing and brilliant red twigs that fade to a softer orange-red on the older branches. This characteristic is very pronounced in young trees with strong vigorous growth. Slower growing older trees will have bright red tips with orange-red tones reaching far down the branches giving a lovely, but more subtle glowing effect in the winter. Like the typical vine maple, which is very closely related to Japanese maples, 'Pacific Fire' has the same versatility in the small garden or woodland, but with a more relaxed feel. As they mature the trunks often have an interesting rustic architectural interest. Fresh, light green leaves turn golden-yellow with dappled shade and are blushed orange in full sun early in the autumn, holding their color well though the season. This small tree is a great choice for the urban garden.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright tree

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 18 ft. 0 in. (5.49 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 9

Flower Color: red

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to dappled shade

Water Requirements: regular to occasional watering

Seasonal Interest: attractive year-round, but the red twigs are a stand-out in late autumn & winter

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: blue, white, yellow

Great Color Partners: burgundy, green, orange, red

Culture Notes
This red-bark selection of our native vine maple thrives in open to dappled shade. It is typically grafted onto Japanese maple rootstocks so it is not as drought tolerant as a typical vine maple; therefore it requires occasional watering during dry weather. 'Pacific Fire' will grow well in a wide range of soils including sand and clay, but prefers a well drained location. It has a graceful upright branching habit that requires little pruning other than the removal of poorly developed branches, dead wood or broken limbs.