Japanese maples are among the most beautiful small trees for the garden, and most are known for their small, often finely divided leaves. There are, however, other similar maples from Japan, and the Full Moon Maple is a tree that is popular in Japan, but less well known in America. The Ed Wood Full Moon Maple is a variety of this tree, known for its large leaves, which give it a different kind of beauty. It is also right at the top of the list for spectacular color, turning vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow in fall.
Whether you are already an admirer of Japanese maples, or simply looking for a different small tree to grow in your garden, The Ed Wood Full Moon Maple is a wonderful tree to grow. This vigorously growing tree will reach a height of 15 to 20 feet, and be about the same size across. It has a broad rounded form, but it is upright growing, and it you can easily train it into a narrower form if you choose. You will be struck immediately by the large, beautiful leaves, which are up to 6 inches across. Divided into 9 to 11 narrow fingers, each with a fringed edge, the leaf looks like an open fan, or a relaxed hand. To the Japanese people it looks like the full moon, which is why it has that name.
During spring and summer, the foliage is a beautiful green, making a lovely small tree in the garden. In fall it explodes into spectacular fireworks of yellow, orange and red. No two years will be the same, and trees in different places will be different, all depending on local conditions. The combination of warmth and cool nights, the amount of rain, exposure to sunlight, how quickly the temperatures drop – all these factors determine the exact colors your tree will turn. You can be sure, though, that it will be a dynamic kaleidoscope of color that will thrill you and everyone who sees it.
Plant your Ed Wood Full Moon Maple in well-drained soil that does not become too dry. Use plenty of organic material during planting and as mulch each spring. This will conserve moisture as well as giving nutrients to your tree. Choose a location that is sunny if you live in cooler zones, and more shaded in hotter areas. An ideal location will be shaded from the hot, afternoon sun, but some sun gives the best development of fall colors.
The Full Moon Maple, Acer japonicum, grows naturally in the woods of Japan, Northern China and Korea. With its larger, rounded leaves, it has been admired for centuries for its beauty and grace – similar to, but also different from, the regular Japanese maples. The form ‘Ed Wood’ is known for the large size of the leaves – up to 6 inches across – and remarkable fall coloring. The renowned Oregon plantsman Ed Wood selected this special tree from among hundreds of seedlings, and it has become a favorite of aficionados of these lovely trees.
The Ed Wood Full Moon Maple grows into a broad upright tree, 15 to 20 feet tall and as much across, with several slender trunks, and smooth bark that will become rougher on very old trees. The new shoots have fine white hairs on them, as do the undersides of the leaves, and even the young seeds. This feature, and the larger, rounded leaves, distinguishes the tree from other Japanese maples. Nestling among the new growth you will see clusters of small red flowers. After the leaves fall your tree will be garlanded with pretty red seeds, like miniature versions of the maple keys that fall from larger maple trees.
This tree is an ideal choice for an Asian-themed garden, as well as looking beautiful in any style of garden. It looks graceful and elegant growing under mature shade trees, perhaps with azaleas and rhododendrons. It looks perfect in a small garden standing in the lawn, to be admired by everyone. It can even be grown in a large planter or pot, so you don’t even need a garden at all to enjoy this beauty on your terrace or patio. In a planter it will stay smaller, but still develop into a beautiful tree.
The differences between the Full Moon Maple and regular Japanese maples are well known to collectors, and the Ed Wood Full Moon Maple is considered one of the very best of this type. It is not widely available, so we know that our stocks will not last long. Order now while you still have the opportunity to enjoy this Japanese treasure in your own garden.