Dwarf Japanese Maple

Interested in a dwarf maple tree for your garden? Discover the difference between ordinary and dwarf Japanese maple trees.

Contrary to popular belief the term dwarf Japanese maple is not one of the varieties of the Japanese maple. Rather it is a term used to describe small sized cultivars that are derived from the wild Japanese maple tree known as the Acer Palmatum in botanical lingo.

Amongst those cultivars that have gained popularity as dwarf cultivars is the Acer palmatum Beni hime. This is more popularly referred to as the beni hime dwarf Japanese maple tree. Although this cultivar is growing in terms of popularity it is still a difficult find. This is one plant that you will not find in every Japanese garden, rather there are only few people who have these in their homes as part of their collection of cultivars.

When we speak of dwarf Japanese maple trees we may also consider this term to refer to those Japanese maple trees that are kept as bonsai trees. The dwarfing of bonsai trees is not done due to genetic reasons rather they retain their acute size because they are deliberately grown in small containers. Plus the bonsai maples have their roots and crowns pruned.

The exact level of pruning involved in the dwarfed Japanese maple bonsai tree depends upon which traditional approach the plant owner adopts. The fact that the small size is produced solely by environmental, not genetic factors makes it possible to produce dwarf maple trees from the wild Acer palmatum or from other cultivars.

This of course does not imply that all the cultivars can be frequently used for the creation of bonsai maple trees. Rather there are some specific cultivars that are more suitable than others.

Amongst the cultivars derived from the wild is the Japanese dwarf maple tree known as the beni hime. This small sized cultivar works best for miniature landscaping. Classic examples of the use of such cultivars are the garden railroads. You will find that this particular dwarf maple is sometimes also used in rock gardens which are other wise void of any plants. Similarly this dwarfed maple tree is also found in the bonsai form.

The average Japanese maple tree has the potential to reach to a height of up to forty feet maximum. Contrary to this the Dwarf Japanese maple never exceeds the limit of eighteen inches. The dwarfed maple is a rather compact tree and does not stand in need of any top clipping or pruning. The dwarf cultivator takes its time to reach its maximum height which may even exceed a period of ten years.

The spring season causes this particular dwarf maple tree to produce leaves of pink and bright red colour. The foliage retains its reddish tints up until fall when the leaves turn from red to yellow and then golden. Even the leaves on the dwarf Japanese maple tree are extremely small in size often not even exceeding an inch.