In a shady garden, the best color for a highlight or focal point is light green, perhaps a lime or chartreuse green. Darker colors like reds just disappear into the shade. If you want to highlight your shade garden with a beautiful plant, then the Golden Full Moon Japanese Maple is the perfect choice. This small tree, growing between 10 and 15 or perhaps 20 feet tall in time, and just as wide, is perfect to catch your attention throughout spring and summer. In fall it turns glowing orange and red, mimicking the colors of the sugar maple, and making just as big a splash. The Full Moon Japanese Maple has larger, rounded leaves than regular Japanese maples do, so they are more noticeable, and help make this tree a stand-out feature in any garden.
The Golden Full Moon Japanese Maple is a small deciduous tree, with leaves that are about 4 inches across, and rounded. Each leave has nine to thirteen shallow lobes, not as deeply cut as the fingers on the regular Japanese maple. The leaves unfold like fans in spring, beginning the year in a bright shade of golden yellow-green, usually with a fine edging of red around the developing leaves. As the summer arrives and the leaves expand and mature, they become more chartreuse to lime-green, but still bringing a golden glow to your garden. As fall arrives the leaves begin to change color, gradually spreading until the whole tree is a stunning display of glowing oranges and reds, competing with the best of the fall maples to catch your attention. Established trees produce clusters of small red flowers, just as the leaves are beginning to appear, and over summer these develop into bright-red maple ‘keys’, like miniature versions of those commonly seen on large maple trees. These create a lovely display in late fall and winter, hanging on the branches in a colorful show.
The Golden Full Moon Japanese Maple grows into a small tree or multi-stem shrub, with a broad habit and graceful look. It will grow best in full sun in cooler areas, and in light shade, preferably in the afternoon, in warmer areas. It will also grow well in the dappled shade beneath large shade trees, but with more shade there will be some reduction in the intensity of fall colors. It should be grown in rich, well-drained soil, and although established trees can tolerate some short periods of dryness, for the best look, especially during summer, regular watering is recommended. Pay particular attention to watering during the first season or two, watering at least once a week from spring to fall. Use a mulch over the root zone, and check that the soil underneath it is moist at all times.
You may also want to grow this tree in a large container, where it will live for many years. This way it can be given the best watering and fertilizing, and it can also be easily moved as needed for suitable light conditions and to show it off at peak periods. With attention to watering, the Golden Full Moon Japanese Maple is actually easy to grow, and rarely suffers from any pests or diseases.
The Full Moon Japanese Maple, Acer shirasawanum, is one of three closely-related small maple trees that grow in Japan, under larger trees and on the margins of forests. The other two closely-related species are Acer japonicum – the Japanese maple which is so well known to gardeners, and which comes in so many beautiful varieties – and Acer sieboldianum, Siebold’s maple, which is also sometimes grown in gardens, and has yellow flowers rather than the red ones seen on the other two species. The Full Moon Japanese Maple has broader, more rounded leaves, and the variety’ Aureum’ is an old one, that is widely grown for its outstanding color and special grace. It has been awarded the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society of England, so you know that in the eyes of experts this is a quality plant.
Our plants are produced from stem pieces of correctly identified specimens, attached to the roots of seedling Japanese maple trees. This special variety cannot be grown from seed, as seedlings will be the normal green color, so be sure that you choose the best – the Golden Full Moon Japanese Maple. This rare tree is only available from time to time, and the demand is always much more than the supply, so order now, while we still have stock available, because it will not be with us very long.