Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'Moonfire'

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: palmatum (pahl-MAY-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Moonfire

» View all varieties of Japanese Maples

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


Palmatum (deeply divided leaves)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By grafting
By budding

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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By mgarr
Thumbnail #1 of Acer palmatum by mgarr

By mgarr
Thumbnail #2 of Acer palmatum by mgarr

By maplenut
Thumbnail #3 of Acer palmatum by maplenut

By maplenut
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By maplenut
Thumbnail #6 of Acer palmatum by maplenut

By victorgardener
Thumbnail #7 of Acer palmatum by victorgardener

There are a total of 8 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive maplenut On Oct 26, 2008, maplenut from Lacey, WA wrote:

The most amazing quality of the Moonfire and one you should definitely take into consideration in placement of it in your yard---is the view of the canopy from underneath! It is called Moonfire for a reason! If you look 'up' at the leaves and the sun is hitting it they are all but glowing through the leaf. Buy the tallest one you can so you don't have to wait too long to see what I'm talking about. This is by far one of my favorites in my garden. I made sure I can see it from my front window and placed it in full sun alongside my driveway out front. I placed it beside an O'Taki on one side and a Nicholsonii on the other and eventually the three will all but block out the tract view across the street of my neighbors parked cars and their branches and leaves will cross, with that intense color contrast that is so beautiful. My japanese maple mentor always reminded me of what he called the 'stoplight effect'. Plant red, yellow, green close together. I like that but I've gone beyond that to other great color contrasts. DEFINITELY buy a large Moonfire. It's incredible. I don't in any way compare it to a Bloodgood. The Moonfire is so superior in beauty. In Pacific NW color holds until leaves drop.

Positive Todd_Boland On Feb 5, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This selection is similar to the popular 'Bloodgood' but many consider it an improvement. The colour is more glowing than 'Bloodgood' but otherwise it is similar in final stature and size, forming a relatively large tree (7 m plus). Excellent fall colour as well. It is one of the fastest growing cultivars often putting on over 3 feet per year when young. It was introduced by Red Maple Nursery, Media, Pennsylvania.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Garberville, California
Sacramento, California
Decatur, Georgia
Palmyra, Illinois
Dayton, Nevada
Portland, Oregon
King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Mc Lean, Virginia
Lacey, Washington
Olympia, Washington

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