Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Atrolineare' (= 'linearilobum atropurpureum')

1 Review

Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Atrolineare' (= 'linearilobum atropurpureum')

1 Review

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


The Ribbon-leaf Japanese Maple is an outstanding variety of this diverse group of remarkable trees, notable for the extremely long and narrow lobes on the leaves. The leaves are also a rich purple-red color, changing to brilliant reds and oranges in the fall. The tree has an upright form, contrasting with the descending form of the leaves, creating a unique look. It grows into a large shrub or small tree, reaching 6 to 8 feet in height, and eventually perhaps 12 feet. It remains relatively narrow, only about 5 feet wide, so it is perfect for that narrow space, where you want to have something very special and eye-catching. Plant it in partial-shade beneath taller trees, as a specimen in an Asian-themed garden, as a potted tree in a beautiful pot or planter, or turn it into a remarkable bonsai. Whatever way you grow this tree, you will love its special form and vibrant beauty.

  • Dramatic foliage with thin, descending leaf lobes
  • Rich spring growth in purple-red
  • Vibrant fall colors of red and orange
  • Ideal small size for those small spaces
  • Easily grown with some basic care

The Ribbon-leaf Japanese Maple grows well in full sun in cooler areas, where it will develop the best spring and fall colors. In hotter areas it is best with some afternoon sun, to protect the leaves from scorching. It grows best in soil rich in organic material, well-drained and evenly moist. Keep it well watered, especially during the early months, and do not let it become completely dry at any time. Drought or constantly wet soil are not tolerated well, but overall this is not a difficult tree to grow, with basic care. It has no significant pests or diseases and thrives in any ordinary garden conditions.

Plant Hardiness Zones 5-9
Mature Width 5-9
Mature Height 6-12
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 5-9

The Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple grows into a large shrub or small tree. In ten years, it may be 6 to 8 feet tall, and 5 to 7 feet wide. After that it will grow slowly into a larger plant, but never getting too large, so it is ideal for smaller spaces. Upright in form, but with long leaves that hang down, creating a relaxed, slightly pendulous appearance, this is a stunningly beautiful plant, with an enormous impact in the garden, and it will win you over with its special beauty.

We have been able to find a good supply of this special tree, that is rarely available, yet very desirable. If you want to grow one of the most spectacular and striking Japanese Maples available, order now, as we know our limited supply will not last long at all.

Appearance and Colors of the Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple

The Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple’s foliage is its most outstanding feature. In spring, the leaves are a rich, deep-red to purple color, and divided into 5 large lobes, sometimes with two additional smaller ones at the sides. Each lobe is extremely long, and narrow – which is why the name ‘ribbon leaf’ is given to this plant. Because the lobes are significantly longer than in any other Japanese Maples with divided leaves, they create a distinctive pendulous look, which gives this tree its special character.

The leaves emerge in spring in a gorgeous deep-red to purple color. As the summer develops they may turn more bronze and eventually dark green. That green period is brief, because as soon as fall arrives, your Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple will put on a fantastic color display, exploding into vibrant shades of red and orange. The spring leaves have the narrowest lobes. Later leaves may have broader lobes, creating a fuller look in summer and fall.

Growing Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple Trees

With its upright form, the Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple is ideal to give some height in a small garden without taking over. If you have an Asian-styled garden, with this tree and a couple of other plants, your garden will be complete. In a larger garden this tree will become an outstanding focal point, maturing into your favorite tree, and amazing your family and friends with its glory. It also makes an excellent plant for bonsai, or for planting in a planter or large pot, so you can enjoy this beauty even if you have little or no garden space at all.

Planting Location and Soil Conditions

Plant your Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple in full sun if you live in a cooler area, or in a location with dappled shade or afternoon shade, if you live in a hotter place. The shade will protect the foliage from being scorched and shriveling. Japanese Maples grow best in rich, moist, well-drained soil, and benefit from plenty of organic material. Add this when planting, and again each spring as mulch. During the early years, keep your tree well-watered, and don’t let it become completely dry, even when it is more mature.

History and Origins of the Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple

The Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is a small tree that grows wild in Japan, China and Korea. It grows naturally in the shade of taller trees, so it has a natural tolerance for shade, making it a great choice for more shaded gardens. Special forms of this tree have been collected for centuries, and have been coming to the West for the last two hundred years. We know exactly the origin of some varieties, and little about others.

The Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple is one of those we know little about. It seems to have arrived in western gardens around 1881, but nothing more is known. It belongs to a special small group of these trees, known as the ‘Linearilobum Group’. There are several related trees in the group, and the precise naming can become confused. Some have plain green leaves, still with those characteristic narrow lobes, but this one is very special, since it also has the much-loved purple leaves that are seen in other popular varieties of Japanese Maple.

Japanese Maples are remarkable trees, for their great charm and beauty, but also for the enormous variety of forms available. Whatever your tastes and needs, there is a tree that will satisfy you. From upright to weeping, dwarf to full size, and in a wide range of leaf-types, Japanese Maples are so diverse you could fill a garden with them alone.

Here at the Tree Center, this is a plant we specialize in, and we offer a large and constantly-changing range of varieties – including both basic standards and specialty trees that are rarely available. All of them are selected for their outstanding features, reliability and relative ease of growth. With the Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple, we offer a bit of both, since this is an older variety that has stood the test of time, but not one that is widely available, so it also falls into the category of ‘rare’.

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Ribbon Leaf Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Atrolineare' (= 'linearilobum atropurpureum')

1 Review