Mikazuki Japanese Maple

Mikazuki Japanese Maple

acer palmatum mikazuki leavesMikazuki Japanese maple is a beautiful addition to any Acer Palmatum collection. An upright tree reaching about 8–10 feet in 10 years, Mikazuki won’t overwhelm a smaller garden. As with most Japanese maples, Mikazuki puts on an extraordinary show in the spring. Like a pot of simmering strawberry and rhubarb, saturated hues of bright watermelon, fuchsia and candy apple red are threaded with olive and grass toned veins.  As the leaves unfurl, shaded areas appear frosted and reticulated with a pale pink raspberry blush.

Mikazuki 1

Mikazuki 2Mikazuki has some similarities to Olsen’s Frosted Strawberry, but I find the color much more vibrant, and the leaves slightly larger. The habit of Olsen’s is also more squat, and horizontal, while Mikazuki reaches upward. It’s a rather fun growth habit in fact. Leaves tend to cluster in denser bunches and occasionally produce longer shoots which cluster again. In maturity this should offer some great views of the green bark through the richly colored leaves.

Mikazuki 4The name, Mikazuki, means “crescent moon.” It was chosen for the thinly-lobed leaves, but it’s not really the most descriptive name for this tree. I think something that captures the fantastic reticulated talon-like leaves, resembling hooked and scaly dragon claws, would have been more appropriate for the cultivar’s name.

Mikazuki is a fast growing Japanese maple that is quite hardy—at least to zone 5. It prefers more sun to get the best color, and even though reticulated maples usually do well with protection from mid day heat, Mikazuki can tolerate full sun.

Mikazuki 7

Mikazuki 6

Mikazuki 5