Wednesday, November 1, 2023

This Month in the Garden: Feature Ornamental Tree-Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple

This Month in the Garden
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! This month we feature Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple, scientifically known as Acer palmatum ‘Rhode Island Red'. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, this eye-catching ornamental tree adds a touch of elegance to gardens and landscapes of all types. This unique cultivar is cherished for its dwarf form and striking features throughout the seasons, making it a favorite among garden enthusiasts.

Rhode Island Red Dwarf Japanese Maple
The Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple is renowned for its vivid, red tones as new foliage appears in springtime on a dense multi-branched tree with a rounded crown. As the foliage matures, it progresses to a deeper burgundy-red, before transforming into a brilliant array of red and orange hues in fall. One of the most enchanting aspects of this Japanese Maple is its ability to undergo eye-catching transformations with each passing season. Even in wintertime, the structure of the tree, with its dark red stems, creates an appealing silhouette against the winter sky.

Size and Shape:
This cultivar typically grows into a small to medium-sized tree, reaching a mature height of approximately 6 feet tall by wide. Its compact and rounded form makes it an excellent choice for both large and small gardens. 

Growing Requirements:
Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple should be planted in a location with full sun to partial shade and a rich, well-drained soil. A location which protects it from late afternoon scorching sun is ideal. Like other members of the Acer palmatum family, Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple prefers consistent moisture but should not be waterlogged. It benefits from a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture and regulate temperature.

Landscape Uses:
The Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple is a versatile addition to various landscaping settings. Whether planted as a standalone specimen or incorporated into a mixed border, this tree provides year-round interest to the garden. It is also well-suited for container gardening, allowing individuals with limited space to enjoy its beauty on patios or balconies. Reminder:  When planting in containers, choose plants which can withstand temperatures two zones colder than your location.

Low-maintenance by nature, the Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple benefits from periodic pruning to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged branches. Pruning is best performed once the leaves mature in summer to minimize sap loss. Mulching around the base helps conserve moisture and insulate the roots, especially during extreme temperatures.

Rhode Island Red Dwarf Japanese Maple

In conclusion, the Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity found in ornamental trees. Its stunning foliage, manageable size, and adaptability make it a cherished addition to the landscape. Whether you are a seasoned or novice gardener, this cultivar can be looked upon as a living work of art in your outdoor space.

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for the month of November. Be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! 

Also, Check out my Books!:


  1. Here it is a little too cold in winter to have a Japanese Maple. I do love the structure and leaves of that Maple, but they cannot seen to survive some of our winters. Nice photos. Thanks

    1. They do have a beautiful structure in the landscape, which is what draws me to them. This one is hardy to zone 5, so probably a little borderline for your climate, unless maybe in a protected area. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a hello!

  2. It's a beauty, and a cute little shrub tree. I know some folks in Madison have some of these, so I'll have to check into it.

    1. I had planted a couple at client's houses, and it was love at first I had to get one! I am drawn to how it stays more compact with the larger leaves.


Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!