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Area 51 Series

Blackbeard's Gold

'Blackbeard's Gold' is exactly what everyone is searching for! This gorgeous tree is one of the lastest introductions from the Area 51 Collection at MrMaple in North Carolina. In the early spring this upright Japanese maple is a cherry red, maturing to a dark black red by late spring to early summer. By late summer the leaves turn a pleasant green. The fall color is an electric golden yellow which is where this tree gets its name, "Blackbeard's Gold". The overall habit is upright, yet semi-pendulous giving this tree a nice arching habit. We expect 'Blackbeard's Gold' to reach 15-18 ft in 20 years.
Selected as a chance seedling by our father as a Japanese maple backdrop for our display garden, this tree often steals the show in the fall. For years visitors to the nursery have been asking for this Japanese maple because of the nice spring color and exceptional golden fall color. Now is your chance! Get 'Blackbeard's Gold' today before we are sold out!

Dolly Hill

Acer palmatum 'Dolly Hill' leafs out in the spring as a bright red to deep marron with large rounded leaves. As the tree matures, the leaves become so wide that each individual leaf twists like rolling hills. Mid-summer, the leaves will go green-red but give an overall red look to the tree. Fall color is a bright scarlet red. 'Dolly Hill' may reach 12 ft in height in 15 years.
Dolly Hill was an avid gardener who loved Japanese maples. Dolly started growing Japanese maples in the 1950's in Western North Carolina and spread her love of Japanese maples all across the area. People from all over would stop and take photos with her yard, especially with the original 'Dolly Hill'. Dolly Hill had two broken hips from falling in the garden. She couldn't garden by herself and relied on family. Her two grandsons grew up working in her garden near the original 'Dolly Hill' and began to grow a love of Japanese maples in the process. Those two grandsons happen to be us, Matt and Tim Nichols.
In the early 1980's our grandmother was offered $10,000 for the original 'Dolly Hill', who could have used the money, but loved this tree too much to let it go. She quickly turned down the offer. Now is your opportunity to share in this tradition of a love of Japanese maples and plant a 'Dolly Hill' in your yard.

Dragon Master

'Dragon Master' is the one of the first of its kind. 'Dragon Master' has the colors of the ever popular "Orange Dream", but the weeping habit of 'Ryusen'. 'Dragon Master' leafs out in the spring as an orange quickly turning to a yellow. In full shade, 'Dragon Master' will be a chartreuse green. Give 'Dragon Master' some sunlight to get more golden yellow color on the weeping foliage. Protection from the hot afternoon sun is recommended for best colors and growth. 'Dragon Master' turns to an orange-red in autumn.
'Dragon Master' is a vigorous growing weeping Japanese maple. Like 'Ryusen' it will get as tall as you stake it. We recommend staking 'Dragon Master' to 4 to 6 ft for best shape. If not staked, 'Dragon Master' will make a unique ground cover. 'Dragon Master' is the first of 6 weeping golden Ryusen-types that we are able to make available. The one gallons available are young one gallons. The tree pictured is a 7 gallon, to show the shape and color of this unique tree.

Fountain of Youth

'Fountain of Youth' has longer finger-like green leaves that are displayed on heavily cascading branching. In the spring, new growth flushes may be salmon pink, to chartreuse green with a salmon pink border to the leaves. During the summer, the leaves turn to a darker green. 'Fountain of Youth' turns to bright fiery reds in the fall. We recommend staking 'Fountain of Youth' up to about 6 ft in height, which will reach about 4 ft in width in 10 years. 'Fountain of Youth' is fairly vigorous and easy to grow. 'Fountain of Youth' makes a great plant to use in a container or to use in the landscape. 'Fountain of Youth' was found as a chance seedling from a seedling from the Legacy of ‘Nakakamado Weeping’ at our nursery. This is a fun plant that you are sure to love in your garden.

Gold Digger

'Gold Digger' is a MrMaple introduction from the Area 51 Collection. 'Gold Digger' has great winter interest of light yellow towards the base of the tree with more orange toward the tips on the latest growth.
The leaves on the new growth are often a peach color that fades to the tips turning darker red. The leaf matures to a solid green. During the summer, the bark is a light yellow where this selection gets its name, 'Gold Digger'. Fall color on the leaves typically starts out with yellow and can mature to a bold red. We expect 'Gold Digger' to get to 8-10 feet in 15 years.

Jade Dragon

'Jade Dragon' is a rare dwarf selection that is one of the smallest dwarfs of them all. 'Jade Dragon' leafs out the early spring with tiny tightly clustered chartreuse green leaves. As spring progresses, the new growth matures to a rich deep green. Summer chartreuse flushes of growth are even tighter in habit with smaller leaves. Fall colors are bright golden yellow to orange. In 25 years the first grafted 'Jade Dragon' has reached 3 ft in height in an upright dense habit with a 2.5-3 ft canopy toward the top. This is much smaller and much tighter than 'Goshiki kotohime', 'Kotohime', or 'Hupp's Dwarf'. 'Jade Dragon' is the perfect dwarf for containers, fairy gardens, miniature railroad gardens, confier beds, or small spaces in the landscape. It can handle both high heat and cold climates (Zones 5-9).
'Jade Dragon' is the first introduction by our nursery. It was found as a chance seedling and brought to our father by another maple connoisseur. This selection's miniature size, thick truck, ability to manipulate structure, and the ability to make the leaves smaller make 'Jade Dragon' exceptional for bonsai. Bonsai was originally started in China. In China, a jade dragon is a dragon made out of jade that is a memento given at a special occasion such as birthday, wedding, or anniversary. This 'Jade Dragon' was produced from the original.

Japanese Lanterns

Acer palmatum 'Japanese Lanterns' is a selection from the Area 51 Collection that has green leaves that curl downward like a Japanese lantern. In the fall, 'Japanese lanterns' lights up with bright oranges to fiery reds. 'Japanese Lanterns' may reach 6-8 ft in height in 10 years.

Looking Glass Falls

In the spring time, 'Looking Glass Falls' puts on a show with a purple-red border on a bright green leaf. The habit is extremely cascading, giving the spring color effect of 'Murasaki kiyohime' while having the habit of 'Ryusen'.
'Looking Glass Falls' is a new selection of weeping Japanese maple from the Area 51 Collection™ at MrMaple that has recently also been added to the Pendulous Treasures Collection™. 'Looking Glass Falls' was found by Matt and Tim as a chance seedling from the lineage of ‘Nakakamado Weeping'.
If staked up to 5-6 ft, 'Looking Glass Falls' may reach 5-6 ft in height by 4-5 ft in width in 10 years. If not staked, 'Looking Glass Falls' may make an intriguing ground cover or tree for a hanging basket. In the fall, 'Looking Glass Falls' turns to a bright red. 'Looking Glass Falls' is named after a popular waterfall in Western North Carolina.

Pink Princess

‘Pink Princess’ is a new dwarf compact selection of Japanese maple with a variegated leaf. There are very few variegated brooms in the plant world, and this is the first variegated broom on a maple that we know of.
This new selection was found as a broom on ‘Beni shichihenge’ and selected by our good friend, Carl Munn. We had the honor and privilege to be able to get this tree first, evaluate it, and name this tree ‘Pink Princess’. ‘Pink Princess’ leafs out in the spring with pink margined variegation on a green leaf. During the summer, the pink fades to white. ‘Pink Princess’ appears to be a vigorous dwarf globe reaching 4 ft in height by 4 ft in width in 10 years. Give it protection from the hot afternoon sun to keep the pink spring color longer into the season. Fall color on ‘Pink Princess’ is orange to red.

Red Jaguar

'Red Jaguar' is a gorgeous new Japanese maple that leafs out red. Once the red color begins to fade to green, a spider-web-like white variegation comes across the foliage. The new growth during the summer can often be red with pink and white spider-web-like variegation. For best color we recommend protection from the hot afternoon sun. We expect 'Red Jaguar' to get 8 ft in 10 years. 'Red Jaguar' was found by our good friend Jason Stevens. 


'Watermelon' is a beautiful weeping laceleaf Japanese maple that leafs out as a pink-red turning to lime green with continuous pink new growth across the tree. The petioles in the spring are also a bright pink. 'Watermelon' may reach 5 ft in height by 6 ft in width in 10 years. Fall color on 'Watermelon' is bright crimson red infused with orange. 

Red Panda

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