Acer palmatum ‘Emperor I’
red Japanese maple
© Great Plant Picks
The Emperor I Japanese maple sets a new standard for red-leaf Japanese maples. The new growth emerges in the spring a deep purple-red and holds the color better than the popular cultivar ‘Bloodgood’. In the fall the foliage changes to crimson. Vigorous in youth it will gain in size quickly, but still mature into a medium sized tree, perfect for the urban garden. It tends to leaf out later than many Japanese maples thereby avoiding the damage of any late frost.
Plant Type: upright tree
Foliage Type: deciduous
Plant Height: 18 ft. 0 in. (5.49 meters)
Plant Width/Spread: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)
Plant Height-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)
Plant Width-Mature: 30 ft. 0 in. (9.14 meters)
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9
Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade
Water Requirements: regular watering
Seasonal Interest: spring, summer, autumn foliage color
- Culture Notes
- This lovely upright grower develops the best foliage color in full sun to open shade. Japanese maples are surprisingly flexible in their soil requirements. Although they will grow best in a rich well-drained soil, they will also do well in sandy soils and clay. ‘Emperor I’ is very resistant to the leaves burning at the tips during the summer, but regular watering during dry weather helps maintain the tree at its best. Well pruned Japanese maples are an art form in the garden and require an expert touch, so consult an experienced pruner or take local classes before attempting to prune.