Hardy fullmoon maples

These hardy maples thrive in cool climates
Jim McCausland

Fullmoon maple

  • Native to the mountain forests of Japan, the fullmoon maple (A. japonicum) can take 10° more cold than A. palmatum varieties, but not as much heat (they burn out in California's Central Valley and in southern Oregon). They're usually upright, strong growers with green summer leaves and red, orange, and gold fall color.
  • A. japonicum 'Aconitifolium' (fernleaf fullmoon maple). Upright; 25 to 30 feet. Large, ferny, deeply dissected leaves make this a favorite.
  • 'Green Cascade'. Spreading; 4 feet. A diminutive version of 'Aconitifolium'.

Golden fullmoon maple

  • These trees are also extrahardy, and they like cool climates. They display exquisite golden green leaf color in summer. Fall color is usually soft gold, but hot fall weather can crisp the foliage. 'Aureum' variety is difficult to propagate, making it harder to find. New 'Autumn Moon' is easy and vigorous.
  • A. shirasawanum 'Aureum'. Upright; 15 feet. This tree's large, undivided leaves are the color of pale moonlight.
  • 'Autumn Moon'. Upright; 20 feet. Much like 'Aureum', but its leaves develop a peach blush where the morning sun hits them.