Red Dragon Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Red Dragon'

Red Dragon Japanese Maple

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Height : 10 feet
Spread: 12 feet
Sunlight: full sun to partial shade
Water Usage: average to moist
Landscape Use: Accent, Mass Planting, Hedges/Screening, General Garden Use, Container Planting
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Period:In Mid Spring
Foliage Type: deciduous
Foliage Color: Red
Deer Resistant?: No

Quick Description
A stunning landscape choice, this fine small accent tree features superb reddish foliage color all season long on a compact, graceful form; a highly desirable specimen for the garden or against the foundation of the house

What Makes it Special?
Red Dragon Japanese Maple is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its ornamental globe-shaped form. It features subtle corymbs of red flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring before the leaves. It has attractive burgundy deciduous foliage which emerges cherry red in spring. The deeply cut ferny palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn an outstanding crimson in the fall. The rough gray bark and red branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.


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Landscape Attributes
Red Dragon Japanese Maple is an open deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a more or less rounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Planting & Growing
Red Dragon Japanese Maple will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. You may want to keep it away from hot, dry locations that receive direct afternoon sun or which get reflected sunlight, such as against the south side of a white wall. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Red Dragon Japanese Maple is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a ‘thriller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Want more info on sizes?
IndyPlants sells landscape size plant material. These often come in black nursery containers and are classified in sizes such as #2, #3, #5, etc. This correlates to the volume of the container, 2 gallon, 3, gallon, 5 gallon, etc. The bigger the number, the larger the pot, and the larger the plant. You’ll also see larger sizes such as 2” BB, 2.5” BB, 3” BB, etc. This stands for ‘Balled & Burlapped’. These plants are usually much larger and are not transported in black nursery pots. The sizing correlates to the diameter of the trunk of the tree.

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