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What is a Crimson Queen Japanese Maple?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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The crimson queen Japanese maple is also known by its scientific name Acer palmatum dissectum, or “crimson queen.” It is an easily identified variety of Japanese maples because of its show-stopping qualities. The leaves of the tree may be purple, with the occasional bit of green when they first unfurl, but as fall approaches, the leaves appear to burst into a display of almost unrealistically bright red. The name thus relates to this characteristic and the fact that these trees may reign supreme when it comes to showcasing fall colors.

Like most Japanese maples, these are relatively short trees, and can take many years to reach their full height of about 10 feet (3.05 m). Many don’t grow this high. The spread can be impressive though, and some trees are as wide as they are tall.

Some of the things praised about the crimson queen Japanese maple include its weeping quality. Leaves appear to cascade down over the tree in willow-like fashion. This effect is partly produced because each leaf is feathery with numerous divisions. This creates the look of a sturdy tree with great delicacy and grace. Owners of this tree may additionally be charmed by its spring output of tiny red flowers.

There are many places to purchase the crimson queen Japanese maple. Since these trees are popular, they typically are widely available at local gardening stores, especially in zones where they grow well. Lots of gardening companies will also ship the trees. People should give some thought as to how to best fit the trees into a gardening scheme. Many gardeners love to have these trees standing alone as a showcase garden piece, but several crimson queens planted near each other may look beautiful too.

Issues of sun exposure are important to consider when purchasing one of these trees. They tend to do pest in partial shade environments. The leaves of the crimson queen may suffer discolorations in full sun or if they get a lot of hot afternoon sun, and those in hotter climates may want to look for a shady area in which to plant the trees. However, a well-established crimson queen Japanese maple may not exhibit this problem and may tolerate sun well if it is watered frequently.

The most important part when planting these trees is choosing well-drained soil. This is true for any Japanese maples. Their greatest susceptibility is to rotting roots, which can kill the trees easily. Due to their short stature, if poorly drained soil dominates the garden landscape, these maples are ideal for container gardening. For apartment dwellers and those who have concrete backyards or patios, the color of these trees and their elegance make them a terrific choice to improve backyard appearance and to add color.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Wisedly33 — On Dec 29, 2014

I want a crimson queen Japanese maple. I like that they aren't really big trees. I have those already. Now, I want a burst of color in the fall, and from this article, that sounds like just the tree I'm looking for.

I have pine trees in the yard, but of course, they don't turn. I want something bright. I am really looking for something easy to grow, and since I have partial shade in my yard, this tree really does sound perfect. I need something that doesn't need a whole lot of sunlight, since that's scarce in parts of my yard.

By Scrbblchick — On Dec 28, 2014

We have these trees in front of our office, and they face east, so they just get morning sun. They are really beautiful. Their leaves are so gorgeously red, and they are wonderful against an October blue sky.

I love seeing their colors when everything else has dropped their leaves, but the maple tree. They really don't look real sometimes because they are so red, but they're real. The leaves are great for school leaf collections because they're small, abundant and the color is so good. If color is important, then ginkgo leaves are great for that, too. They turn a brilliant yellow in the fall.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor,...
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