Fernleaf Full-Moon Japanese Maple

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

2 Reviews

Fernleaf Full-Moon Japanese Maple

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

2 Reviews

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


If you have a smaller garden, or partially shaded areas of a larger one, then the Fernleaf Full Moon Maple is a tree you should have. This relative of the Japanese maples is hardier in cool areas than most Japanese maples, less likely to suffer summer leaf-scorch, and blessed with some of the most spectacular fall colors of gold and crimson that you will see on any tree. Its smaller size, reaching no more than ten feet, means it fits perfectly into a small space, or even a large container. Its large, rounded leaves, divided into deep fingers, give it exactly the exotic feel needed for an Asian influenced garden, but it fits equally well into a more natural garden with other trees and shrubs. It grows into an upright, but rounded small tree, as broad as it is tall, and needs no special care to grow into the favorite tree in your garden.

  • Beautiful round-leafed type of Japanese maple
  • Forms an wide, upright tree to 10 feet tall and broad
  • Most spectacular fall colors of gold and crimson of any tree
  • Easily grown in ordinary garden conditions
  • The perfect specimen tree for a smaller garden

Plant your Fernleaf Full Moon Maple in a sunny location, or a partially shaded one. In warmer areas, some shade from afternoon sun is ideal. It will grow well in most garden soils, but it appreciated plenty of organic material added during planting, and regularly as mulch. Keep your tree well watered in the early years, and do not let it become too dry during the summer months. Over the years it will grow at a moderate pace, charming you in all seasons with its graceful twigs, its beautiful rounded leaves and its dramatic fall colors.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-7
Mature Width 8-10
Mature Height 8-10
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Zones 5-7

Many people are familiar with Japanese Maples, with their wide range of delicate foliage shapes, habits varying from upright to pendulous, and their spectacular fall colors. Japan boasts more than one species of Maple, and for the Japanese (as well as for discerning gardeners worldwide), there is another one they love and highly esteem. That is the Full Moon Maple. This small tree has larger, fuller leaves than the ordinary Japanese maples, and the name ‘full moon’ comes from the almost circular shape of the leaf, and the spectacular fall shades of yellow and red. The leaves can be up to six inches across, and although divided into lobes like those of its cousin, these are broader, and spread out to make the leaf an almost complete circle.

Because it only forms a small tree, no taller than ten feet tall, this is an ideal deciduous tree for a smaller garden, a more intimate area of a larger garden, a courtyard, or in a large container on a terrace or patio. If your garden is Asian-inspired or features other Japanese plants, then as a rare and beautiful alternative to an ordinary Japanese Maple, this tree is unbeatable. It will grow in a sunny spot, or in warmer areas, partial shade is better, and any soil that does not become too dry will suit it perfectly.

The subtle but valuable differences between this tree and regular Japanese Maples make it a great alternative and a ‘must-have’ for collectors. It is not widely available, so we know that our stocks will not last. Order now while you still have the opportunity to acquire this eastern treasure.

Growing Fernleaf Full Moon Japanese Maple Trees

For some people, Japanese Maples have a reputation for being difficult to grow, but that is chiefly a problem only with those trees that have extremely fine foliage, which can scorch in hot summer weather. This is not the case with the Fernleaf Full Moon Maple. The leaves are fuller and larger, so scorching is much less of a problem, unless the tree is neglected. With normal care, a location that is a little shaded in the early afternoon, and some attention to mulch and water during summer, this tree will thrive even for beginners, and add great beauty for minimal input.

The foliage opens in spring a delicate, light green, turning a cooling green all summer, and then in fall developing spectacular colors of gold and vibrant crimson, rivaling the display of the Sugar Maple. This tree is more cold tolerant than many Japanese Maples, so we recommend it for those in cooler areas, as an excellent alternative.

Climate and Planting Location

The Fernleaf Full-Moon Japanese Maple thrives in all the cooler parts of the country, and relishes damp climates, although it will grow well in all but the hot or dry states. Even in warmer areas, with a careful choice of location – on that has shade from the hottest hours of sun, it will still thrive, if it received regular watering. No pruning or trimming is required – just remove any dead twigs that may appear as the tree grows.

History and Origins of the Fernleaf Full Moon Japanese Maple

Japan has several species of Maple Trees growing, but unlike the magnificent forest giants of North America, most are smaller trees that grow below larger trees, in some shade. This means they are great choices for our gardens, where we often have larger trees throwing shade, or shade from buildings. The fact that these Japanese Maples stay smaller is another bonus in this age of small city gardens. These kinds of restricted and enclosed spaces are perfect for simple planting, with a few choice trees and shrubs, and it is important to make every tree count – by choosing something special and a little outside the ordinary. The Fernleaf Full Moon Maple is not often available at ordinary garden stores, yet it has so much to offer.

Coming from the woods of Japan, Northern China and Korea, the Full Moon Maple (Acer japonicum) has been prized for centuries for its grace and rounded, larger leaves. The form ‘Aconitifolium’ has leaves more deeply divided – into 9 to 11 lobes – forming the delicate ‘fingers’ that make the leaf resemble a hand. This is why it is called ‘Fernleaf’. It forms a broad upright tree, 7 to 10 feet tall and as much across, with several slender trunks, and smooth bark that will become rougher on very old trees.

In spring the new stems 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. The name ‘Aconitifolium’ comes from a resemblance between the leaf of this variety and the leaf of the monkshood, a perennial plant called by botanists Aconitum.

Back to top

Fernleaf Full-Moon Japanese Maple

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

2 Reviews