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Japanese Maple 'Moonfire'

Acer palmatum

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





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

Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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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Gardeners' Notes:


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 col... read more


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.