Skip to content
Our Valentine's Day Sale is live! Click here for more information.
Our Valentine's Day Sale is live! Click here for more information.

Heat Tolerant Series

Not all zones are the same when it comes to climate! Check out this blog to identify your current zone. It's extremely important to accurately identify which zone you're located in. Once you've found your zone, you can then select the optimal cultivars that will thrive in your home environment! We have a 4-part video series that goes over the listed plants below! All of the plants listed on this blog do very well in high-heat and heavy sun areas.

 
‘Emperor 1’ is one of our favorite red upright Japanese maples. Also known as 'Red Emperor', the early spring color of this Japanese maple comes out as an extremely deep maroon with a brilliant translucent sheen that gives the leaves a nice shinny look as the sunlight hits them. This 'Emperor 1' Japanese maple holds its rich, dark red foliage well throughout the summer months, and has a brilliant scarlet fall display. The underside of the leaf is a rich olive green. This absolute tank of a plant thrives in a wide variety of climates, from Zone 5 through Zone 9.
'Kiyohime' is a dwarf spreading Japanese maple that has a nice purple-red border in the early spring on each tiny leaf. The habit is dense and multi-branched getting much wider than tall. In 10 years, 'Kiyohime' may be 2-3 ft in height by 6-7 ft in width. 'Kiyohime', sometimes referred to as ‘Kiyohime yatsubusa’, is exceptionally heat tolerant. Fall color on 'Kiyohime' is typically bright red to deep maroon. 'Kiyohime' is great for containers and is a staple in the bonsai trade. This dwarf variety also enjoys being grown in Zone 5 through Zone 9.

Tamukeyama is a weeping red Laceleaf Japanese maple. This red weeping tree is very hardy and good vigorous grower too. Tamukeyama leafs out in the early spring with deep shades of burgundy. This red weeping Japanese maple tree is one of the very best for holding its dark red coloration deep into the summer.
The autumn color on Tamukeyama is a bright scarlet red. The characteristic of this Japanese maple is cascading with an umbrella-like shape. This weeping red laceleaf Japanese maple is a very old selection by Kobayashi Nursery of Japan. Tamukeyama has been propagated for over 300 years and has stood the test of time.
Tamukeyama is a very cold hardy selection because it is late to leaf out, missing late freezes. This cultivar also grows great in high heat areas and is very sun tolerant. The color and hardiness make ‘Tamukeyama’ a perfect addition that brings timeless beauty to any location. This weeping variety thrives in Zone 5 through Zone 9.

‘Shishigashira’ is a very unique upright green Japanese maple cultivar. The deep green leaves are crinkled with compact branching that adds to the amazing architectural shape of the tree. The growth habit is very dense branching with a widening effect midway up on mature trees. The color of this Japanese maple in early spring is a deep green and it holds this color very well throughout the entire summer. In the autumn ‘Shishigashira’ puts on an amazing show of deep yellows and golden shades with hints of red and orange.
This cultivar is often referred to as Lion’s Head in America but a more literal translation refers to the head of a specific female lion character in Japanese drama. When witnessing the amazing fall spectrum on this Japanese maple it is easy to see how this majestic look has become associated with a lion’s mane. ‘Shishigashira’ grows well in sun or shade though we have noticed the tree consistently grows larger in filtered light. The height of Lionshead can reach 8-12 ft over time. The Lion's Head is a favorite in the bonsai trade for its unique growth habit and is also an excellent Japanese maple tree for container growing for a porch or patio. 'Shishigashira' makes a great addition for anyone looking for something a little interesting, unique, and outside the box. This cultivar can be grown in Zone 5 through Zone 9.
‘Seiryu’ is a fantastic upright green dissectum Japanese maple. This Japanese maple tree is very unusual because it has amazing dissectum leaves yet it is a vigorous upright grower. In the early spring it leafs out with a lush bright green. The fall color of 'Seiryu' encompasses shades of light to deep scarlet red.
This Japanese maple tree is a very vigorous grower and can grow up to 12-14 inches a year once it is established. The height of Seiryu can reach up to 20-22 ft over time. ‘Seiryu’ is unmatched in the acer world as a brilliant upright laceleaf. Seiryu is a great addition to any yard as a boarder or specimen tree and one that will grow relatively fast for a Japanese maple. ‘Seiryu’ makes an amazing contribution to your yard and adds a very exotic look that is uniquely unto itself. The name ‘Seiryu’ means blue-green dragons. 'Seiryu' can be grown in Zone 5 to Zone 9.



Acer Palmatum 'Inaba Shidare'


‘Inaba shidare’ is an excellent weeping red Japanese maple. This red laceleaf Japanese maple cultivar is pendulous but with a very arching effect. The leaf is medium sized and leafs out with a brilliant shades of deep burgundy and maroon. The fall color is a scarlet red. ‘Inaba shidare’ is a very vigorous grower. This weeping red Japanese maple tree grows great in full sun and can handle partial shade areas though the color maintains better with at least a 3-4 hours of sunlight.
This laceleaf Japanese maple tree grows slightly wider than it does tall as it will reach 5ft by 6ft wide in about 10 years. This red laceleaf Japanese maple is very hardy and adapts well to almost any situation. Inabashidare is an excellent patio plant and the growth lends itself well to large container growing. ‘Inaba shidare’ is one of the very best choices for a medium sized cascading red. The growth and shape make it the quintessential Japanese maple cultivar for any location. 'Inaba Shidare' thrives in Zone 5 through Zone 9.



Acer Palmatum 'Ryusen'


Acer palmatum ‘Ryusen’ is an exciting new pendulous Japanese maple with palmate foliage and an amazing shape. A recent introduction from Kobayashi Nursery in Japan, this small, elegant tree adds a unique form with an exotic appeal to the landscape. This weeping Japanese maple was originally named 'Ryu sei', which translates as "dragon spirit". In early spring, ‘Ryusen’ displays bright shades of chartreuse green. The beautiful chartreuse green new growth accents older growth with smooth dark green foliage throughout the summer months. An amazing fall color change highlights this weeping maple form. The ‘Ryusen’ Japanese maple has autumn leaves that reach shades of bright reds to deep oranges.
This amazing small form of weeping Japanese maple is extremely pendulous. This unique shape makes it extremely malleable to the creativity of the gardener. By growing ‘Ryusen’ will grow to its typical form and this tree reaches around 5-6 ft in 15 years. Staking a central leader can greatly change the form by adding height and unique branching. Your gardening creativity with ‘Ryusen’ can be as big (or small) as your imagination allows. We have even seen ‘Ryusen’ grown upside down from a hanging basket to add a new unique perspective to weeping Japanese maples.
The weeping ‘Ryusen’ Japanese maple is very heat tolerant and durable. This elegant tree can handle full sun up to zone 8 and makes an excellent addition for zones 5-9. Yes, this vigorous tree does great with shade as well and brings amazing shape, color and texture. ‘Ryusen’ is great for: container patio planting, bonsai and small garden areas. As a staked tree, ‘Ryusen’ make a great focal point plants in the landscape. Add ‘Ryusen’ to a bank to provide a unique cascading beauty or near a water feature to accentuate its graceful pendulous form. 'Ryusen' grows best in Zone 5 through Zone 9.



Acer Palmatum 'Summer Gold'


'Summer Gold' leafs out as bright chartreuse to yellow green with a red border. The leaf on 'Summer Gold' brightens to gold as the summer progresses providing a dynamic contrast with both red and green maples. This may be one the most heat tolerant selections of the golden leaf types as this maple does not show any burn when grown in full sun in the mountains of North Carolina.
Fall color is a deep bright orange to fiery red. This Italian selection by Ghiradelli Nursery is a summer delight in the garden. 'Summer Gold' will reach 6-8 ft in 10 years making it the perfect mid-sized golden tree for your garden or landscape. 'Summer Gold' enjoys being grown in Zone 5 through Zone 9.



Acer Palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa'


'Mikawa yatsubusa' is definitely the most popular answer. When the North American Branch of the Maple Society started the Maple of the Year Program, 'Mikawa yatsubusa' won the first award.
'Mikawa yatsubusa' is a tightly layering dwarf green Japanese maple. In the spring, the leaves are bright chartreuse green with a red sheath to the petiole. This makes this dwarf with a layering shingle-like habit extremely beautiful. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is extremely slow growing and difficult to propagate. Fall color on 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is a bright fiery red in the fall color. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' may reach 4-5 ft in 15 years. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is extremely heat tolerant and overall, a very hardy tree. 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is great for container plants, small places in the garden, fairy gardens, and conifer troughs. 'Mikawa Yatsubusa' thrives in Zone 5 through Zone 9.



Acer Palmatum 'Sango Kaku'


‘Sango kaku’ is a beautiful large coral bark Japanese maple. This Japanese maple tree has a spectacular bright red bark that stands out in any time of the year! The leaf of 'Sango kaku' in the early spring is a vibrant lush green and new growth often has light flushing of red on the edging. The fall color of ‘Sango kaku’ is a beautiful bright gold-yellow with hints of red splashed in. The golden-yellow contrast magnificently with the coral bark. ‘Sango kaku’ grows best in sun to filtered light. Heavy shade tends to wash out the bark color on some coral barks. ‘Sango kaku’ can reach up to 20-25 ft over time.
It may surprise you to find out that we enjoy ‘Sango kaku’ the most after the leaves had dropped. The cool temperatures brighten the coral bark Japanese maple as it adds amazing color even late in winter after all the other garden colors are gone. The bright warm colors of the red bark stand out so nicely accompanied by snowfall and this is one of our personal favorite times to view the beauty of ‘Sango kaku’. This amazing coral bark Japanese maple tree is sure to add year-round color to your garden and become one of favorites to photograph in any season. 'Sango Kaku' can be grown within Zone 6 through Zone 9.

Acer Palmatum 'Emerald Lace'


'Emerald Lace' has an extremely fine dissected leaf that makes it stand out among weeping lace-leaf types. The overall habit is mounding and spreading, often making this tree have a unique shape that gets wider than tall. We expect 'Emerald Lace' to get 3-4 ft in height by 6-8 ft in width in 15 years. Fall color on 'Emerald Lace' is a bright red to deep maroon. 'Emerald Lace' is extremely heat tolerant, cold tolerant and a good vigorous grower. 'Emerald Lace' was found by David Sabo near Charlotte, NC, and introduced into the nursery trade by our friend and nursery legend, the late Del Loucks.



Acer Palmatum 'Hefner's Red'


'Hefner's Red' was found as a chance Japanese Maple seedling by Hefner's Nursery in North Carolina, 'Hefner's Red' is a red upright Japanese maple has proven its heat tolerance by holding this deep maroon color from the spring through the summer and into the early fall before turning to a brighter fiery red in the late autumn. The shape of 'Hefner's Red' is upright and dense. 'Hefner's Red' Japanese maple will reach 12-15 ft in 20 years. 'Hefner's Red' performs this amazing feat even in the deep south.
'Hefner's Red' is an excellent Japanese maple to provide color in the garden, even in a southwest exposure planting in the yard. Because of the deep maroon color, 'Hefner's Red' provides as a great accent in any landscape. 'Hefner's Red' Japanese maple is also an excellent heat tolerant tree to be used as a focal point planting. If you are looking for one the deepest red Japanese maple selections on the market, 'Hefner's Red' is the maple for you.



Acer Palmatum 'Baton Rouge'


'Baton Rouge' is an interesting new cultivar that is very hard to find. This brilliant mid-sized tree is extremely heat tolerant and originates just outside of Houston, Texas. It is noted as a cultivar of Acer palmatum that has does very well in full sun for the South.
This tree has a spectacular bright red bark that stands out in any season! 'Baton Rouge' translates from French to English as "red stick" and this describes its interesting habit. The bark is very similar to that of 'Sango kaku' but the leaf is larger. In the spring 'Baton Rouge' also has more red tipping around the edge of the leaf which gives it a nice contrast to the bright red bark.
This tree is so new that little is known about the max height. From its growth rate we expect it to be in the 10-12 ft range after 10 years. The fall colors are bright yellow with flashes of red and some light translucent purple tones.
The great thing about Japanese maples with coral bark is that they really add something to each season. In the spring through fall, they are amazing like many of the other maple cultivars but in the winter 'Baton Rouge' really shines. With the lack of color in most winter gardens the flash or red bark really can brighten your day. This amazing tree is sure to add year-round color to your garden and become one of your favorites to photograph in any season.



Acer Palmatum 'Firefall'


'Firefall' is a weeping red lace-leaf Japanese maple that is going to shock the world as a weeping red Japanese maple. 'Firefall' is a cherry red in the spring. Instead of maroon, 'Firefall' is a a brighter red throughout late spring and early summer. 'Firefall' may turn to a maroon by mid-to-late summer. Fall color on 'Firefall' is on fire in the fall with a bright orange red. 'Firefall' may reach 4-5 ft in height by 5-6 ft in width in 10 years.



Acer Palmatum 'Tsukasa Silhouette'


‘Tsukasa Silhouette’ is an exciting new columnar Japanese maple that brings big fall colors to even small garden spaces. Tsukasa Silhouette was introduced in Japan by Yutaka Tanaka. In 2008, our good friend and nurserymen legend, Don Shadow named this selection in the United States. The first word of the name (Tsukasa) for the nursery of its origin and second word (Silhouette) describing the amazing slender shape.
‘Tsukasa Silhouette’ leafs out in the early spring with a bright chartreuse green display. By mid-summer, this heat tolerant Japanese maple selection has rich deep green foliage. This slim and slender columnar Tsukasa Silhouette Japanese maple tree has excellent autumn colors with ranges of orange to bright red. ‘Tsukasa Silhouette’ is most famous for its great shape. This form can reach 15-20 ft by only 6-7 ft in width in 20 years. This column of color and foliage is ideal for gardens with small spaces but it works equally as well in large gardens as an interesting accent plant. Add ‘Tsukasa Silhouette’ to your garden for a great heat tolerant Japanese maple that makes a brilliant fall display with a unique narrow form.


Acer Palmatum 'Katsura'


'Katsura’ is one of the first trees to leaf out in the early spring. It blasts out of the gates with beautiful shades of orange and yellow. ’Katsura’ is a very vigorous grower and can reach up to 15 feet in height in 15 years. The midsummer color is green and transforms into deep orange to red in the fall.



Acer Palmatum Dissectum 'Watnong'


Named and found by the former Watnong Nursery in New Jersey, this Japanese maple selection has proven itself to grow well not only in the north but has also proven to be extremely heat tolerant for the south as well. This Japanese maple selection is extremely hardy. 'Watnong' leafs out with a laceleaf that is a bright intense red before fading to a pink-red by late spring. By mid-summer, the pink-red fades to bronze before a bright intense red returns on the new growth proving dynamic contrast across the canopy. The habit of 'Watnong' is cascading, forming an umbrella shape that is 6 ft in height by 8 ft in width in 20 years. Fall colors are bright intense oranges sometimes changing to a fiery red. Best coloration with 'Watnong' are when this selection is given full-sun.



Acer Palmatum 'Fireglow'


'Fireglow' is an excellent red upright Japanese maple tree that reaches 10-12 ft in 15 years. 'Fireglow' leafs out as a bright red, before maturing to a deep maroon for the summer. This cultivar will get an orange-red glow to the back side of the leaf when grown in the sun, giving the tree a brighter appearance and making it glow, when looking up from below. 'Fireglow' turns to a brighter fiery red in the fall.
The 'Fireglow' Japanese maple is an excellent heat tolerant red selection that can perform well in the South as well as the colder climates of the North. Being a smaller mid-sized tree, 'Fireglow' can provide color in the landscape while easily keeping a smaller stature than other comparable red upright Japanese maples trees. 'Fireglow' is one of the most desired Japanese maples.



Acer Palmatum 'Kamagata'


'Kamagata' is a drought-hardy upright dwarf (6-9 ft tall) Japanese maple that's easy to grow and can thrive in a dryer rock garden setting. The trademark of this Japanese maple is that the leaf hangs delicately creating a drooping effect. Named and propagated by J.D. Vertrees, 'Kamagata' is a unique Japanese maple cultivar that adds prestige and character to your garden. Fall of color of Kamagata is a ruby red.



Acer Palmatum 'Amber Ghost'


'Amber Ghost' is one of the most amazing maples of them all. It leafs out in the early spring as a coral pink with green veining throughout the leaf. Most plants are named for their spring or fall color. This plant is named for its mid-summer coloration. Mid-summer colors are a rich amber with a deep green reticulation throughout the leaf. Fall colors are bright oranges to fire-engine reds. It will reach 8-10 ft in height 15 years in a semi-pendulous habit.

Previous article Ghost Series
Next article General Care of Japanese Maples ft. Jim Putnam of HortTube

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields