Wide branches that sweep low to the ground and deeply furrowed, corky bark are among the charms of this densely branched shade tree. Though Miyabe’s maple is listed as endangered in its native habitat in Japan, several cultivars are considered hardy, adaptable urban street trees. The dark green leaves turn golden in fall.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet),
- Medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Commonly planted
- Fall color
Season of Interest:
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Insect pollinators
photo: John Hagstrom
Tree & Plant Care
Avoid pruning maples in spring as they are 'bleeders' and will lose large amounts of sap.
Do not plant in compacted soils.
Disease, pests, and problems
Verticillium wilt (fungus) is a potential problem for maples.
Native geographic location and habitat
Found along river banks in its native range (Japan).
Bark color and texture
Handsome corky bark developing vertical scales.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple leaves in pairs (opposite); 3 to 5 inches long.
Leaves dark green with 5 lobes; pale golden yellow in fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Inconspicuous flowers in small clusters in spring.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras).
Cultivars and their differences
State Street® (Acer miyabei ‘Morton’): Grows 35 to 50 feet tall with a uniform, oval to rounded shape. It has shown excellent heat and drought tolerance, as well as tolerance of alkaline soils. The thick, 5-lobed, attractive medium to dark green leaves remain long into fall, then rapidly change to a pale golden-yellow fall color. The parent tree was selected from the collections at The Morton Arboretum. A Chicagoland Grows® introduction.