Acer palmatum 'Utsu Semi' (Japanese maple)


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Zone: 5 to 9

Height: 9.00 to 12.00 feet

Spread: 9.00 to 12.00 feet

Bloom Time: April

Bloom Description: Red

Sun: Full sun 

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Low

Flower: Insignificant

Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall

Tolerate: Rabbit, Black Walnut

Easily grown in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in sandy loams. May be grown in full sun in the northern parts of its growing range, but prefers some part afternoon shade in the southern parts (including St. Louis) of its growing range.  Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Site in locations protected from strong winds. Avoid hot and dry sites. Fertilize in spring before leaves emerge. Pruning is best kept to a minimum, but if needed should be done in late fall to mid winter. Spring or summer pruning often results in significant bleeding.

‘Utsu-semi' is an upright, shrubby cultivar. It is particularly noted for its heavy-textured green leaves that acquire showy shades of purple and scarlet in fall. It typically grows in an upright, rounded form to 5-7' tall and to 4' wide over the first 10 years, but eventually matures over time to 9-12' tall and as wide. Thick, broad, palmate leaves (to 3" long and 4" wide) are divided into broad-ovate lobes (usually 7) with finely serrate margins. Leaves emerge bright green in spring. Small reddish flowers in spring are somewhat attractive on close inspection, but are not showy from a distance.