Many people love Japanese Maples, but if you live in a warmer, drier area they can be difficult to grow well, so the Pacific Fire Vine Maple is the perfect choice for any gardener who has had that problem. This beautiful small tree has lovely leaves a little like those of the Japanese maple, with spectacular fall coloring, but most special of all it has beautiful bright red winter twigs that bring spectacular color to the winter garden, wherever you live. It forms a beautiful small tree, growing steadily to around 10 feet tall, and is much easier to grow than many Japanese maples, since it is happy to grow in drier summer conditions, as long as it gets plenty of water in winter and spring. In fact the fall color will be best following a dry summer.
The Pacific Fire Vine Maple grows at a moderate rate into a tree up to 10 feet tall and around 8 feet wide. It has a broad, upright habit, with attractive branching patterns. Its biggest feature is the beautiful stems in winter, which are even brighter than the well-known Red Twig Dogwood. Even better, the color is not just in younger branches, but all the way to the ground. Older branches are more orange than red, but nevertheless the whole tree is ablaze with color all through the dark winter months. The foliage is also beautiful, with leaves that open a glowing lime-green in spring, become a stronger green in summer, but then in fall explode into shades of yellow, orange and brilliant red. As the leaves fall the spectacular twig color is exposed, so one great feature just naturally shifts into another without a break. Even in summer, as the twigs color, they can be seen between the leaves, adding more interest.
The vine maple, Acer circinatum, is an American native tree that grows wild from southern British Columbia to northern California. Although its grows only in North America, its closest maple relatives are not our Sugar Maple or Red Maple, but the Japanese maples and Korean maple that grow all the way across the Pacific Ocean. Its closest relative is the Autumn Moon Maple, another beautiful maple tree that we have available for you at the Tree Center. In its natural locations it grows under larger trees into a big shrub or tree 20 to even 60 feet tall. The leaves are almost circular in outline, but divided into broad, finger-like lobes, between 7 and 11 on each leaf. They are similar to those of the Japanese maples, but not so finely divided, so they do not dry out in summer as Japanese maple leaves can do.
The Pacific Fire Vine Maple is a special, selected dwarf form of the vine maple, which was found among a group of seedlings and noticed for its brilliant red winter twigs. It will only grow to about 10 feet tall, so it is an ideal tree for a courtyard or smaller garden, or even as a specimen in a large pot, where it will thrive for years. By growing it in a pot you can enjoy those fiery twigs brightening the winter even if you have no garden at all. Because this is a special, selected form, it can only be grown by taking stems from the best specimens and joining them to the roots of seedling trees. This tree is nothing like the wild Vine Maple, so beware of cheaper seedlings that are not labeled ‘Pacific Fire’.
Plant your Pacific Fire Vine Maple in a sunny or partially shaded location. In cooler regions it will grow in full sun all day, but in warmer areas it is best to provide afternoon shade during the hottest months. This tree is more drought resistant than Japanese maples, and the leaves will not burn and brown in a dry summer. It is also a tougher plant than its Japanese relatives, growing well in most garden soils and competing well with the roots of larger trees growing nearby. It has no significant pests and diseases and will grow steadily in almost any garden situation. Unlike other red-twigged plants, which need regular hard pruning to keep them brightly colored, the Pacific Fire Vine Maple needs no pruning, unless you want to shape it a little, as the red winter color is persistent on all the branches and even on the trunk of this amazing tree.
We have a good supply of first-quality specimens of this tree, but our stocks can be limited, as production is a detailed and highly-skilled process, so order now while stocks last and enjoy this great easy-to-grow alternative to Japanese maples. Avoid disappointment and place your order right away.