Shantung maple, an Asian species, makes a good specimen or street tree. It is also small enough to use under power lines. The glossy foliage emerges with a reddish color and then changes to a dark green. In fall, the foliage takes on shades of yellow, orange, red and even some purple.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median,
- Under utility lines
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Shade tree,
- Small tree (15-25 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
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Occasional flooding,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil,
- Road salt
- Moderately Tolerant
- Moderately Tolerant
- Fall color,
- Showy flowers
Season of Interest:
- Early fall,
- Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Insect pollinators
Tree & Plant Care
Avoid pruning in early spring as maples are 'bleeders' and will lose large amounts of sap.
Disease, pests, and problems
Susceptible to verticillium wilt and anthracnose.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Fairly resistant to leaf scorch.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to China, Japan and Korea.
Bark color and texture
Bark is grayish with a hint of purple on young trees. Older bark becomes ridged and furrowed.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple leaves in pairs (opposite); 3 to 5 inches long and wide. Leaves have 5 to 7 triangular lobes, giving the leaf a star-shaped outline.
The dark green leaves emerge with a reddish cast that disappears before summer. In fall, the leaves change to a mix of yellow, red and orange.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, pale yellow flowers in upright, rounded clusters.
Inconspicuous by themselves, but fairly showy when the whole tree is in flower.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit are winged seeds in pairs (samaras); each wing is 1 to 1 1/2 inches long and the two wings are spread at a wide angle.
Cultivars and their differences
The cultivars presented here are hybrids resulting from crosses between Acer truncatum (Shantung maple) and Acer platanoides (Norway maple).
Crimson Sunset® maple (Acer truncatum x Acer platanoides 'JFS-KW202'): A more heat and drought tolerant cultivar with purple summer foliage; grows 35 feet high and 25 feet wide.
Norwegian Sunset® maple (Acer truncatum x Acer platanoides 'Keithsform'): This cultivar has a uniform structure and good heat tolerance. Dark green foliage changes yellow-orange to red in fall. Grows 35 feet high and 25 feet wide.
Pacific Sunset® maple (Acer truncatum x Acer platanoides 'Warrenred'): Dark, glossy green leaves change to yellow-orange and red in fall. Finer branch texture than Norwegian Sunset®. Grows 30 feet high and 25 feet wide.
Ruby Sunset® maple (Acer truncatum x Acer platanoides 'JFS-KW249): Dark green, glossy foliage changes to deep red in fall. More compact form, growing 25 feet high an 20 feet wide.