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Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ (photo courtesy of Monrovia)
Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ (photo courtesy of Monrovia)

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Zone
Zones 2-6, 15-17, 20, 21, 32-34
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Acer davidii

David’s Maple
Aceraceae
Deciduous, Trees

ACER

Maples are a varied group. They may be large and midsize shade trees; smaller trees; and dainty, picturesque shrub-trees. Leaves range from simple ovals to deeply lobed and finely dissected shapes. One element common to all maples is the fruit (seed capsule), which resembles a hardware store wingnut.

Many maples have beautiful fall color. Look for one that colors well in your locale; visit nurseries while the foliage is changing hue.

The larger maples have extensive fibrous root systems that take water and nutrients from the topsoil. The great canopy of leaves calls for a steady, constant supply of water, not necessarily frequent watering but constantly available water throughout the root zone. Occasional deep watering and periodic feeding will help keep roots deep.

Medium to large maple species need little pruning. On smaller types, prune to accentuate the natural shape. To minimize sap bleed, make any cuts in summer or early fall in mild-winter areas, from summer to the end of January where temperatures remain below freezing.

Acer davidii
Acer davidii

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Acer davidii

Native to central China. To 20–35 ft. high and wide. This maple is distinctive on several counts. Bark is shiny green striped with silvery white, particularly striking in winter. Leaves are oval or lobed, 2–7 in. long, 1 1/2–4 in. wide, deeply veined. New foliage is bronze tinted; fall color combines bright yellow, red orange, and purple. Clusters of greenish-yellow flowers are showy in spring. Plant in part shade in warmer areas.

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