Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum 'Red Emperor'

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acer (AY-ser) (Info)
Species: palmatum (pahl-MAY-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Emperor
Additional cultivar information: (aka Emperor 1, Emperor I)
Hybridized by Red Maple Nursery (Media, PA)

Synonym:Acer palmatum var. purpureum

» View all varieties of Japanese Maples

9 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


Palmatum (deeply divided leaves)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
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:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By grafting

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

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There are a total of 15 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Iijima_Sunago On Jan 30, 2010, Iijima_Sunago from Saugerties, NY wrote:

I have had great success here in the Hudson River Valley of NY, growing and raising "Red Emperor". The summer color is splendid and the fall color is eye catching. My neighbors always comment on it every year.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 16, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Acer palmatum 'Red Emperor' (Dec) (z6) (Bon)
New & deserving its royal name!, this upright 15-20'variety has crimson leaves which open later (avoiding spring frosts) & keep their fine red color (even get darker!) thru sumr;in fall they're a fiery crimson. Sun-PSh/M


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

Juneau, Alaska
Benton, Arkansas
Rogers, Arkansas
Danville, California
Dublin, California
Garberville, California
Long Beach, California
Denver, Colorado
Baxley, Georgia
Moscow, Idaho
Sterling, Illinois
Yorkville, Illinois
Urbandale, Iowa
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Brick, New Jersey
Saugerties, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Euclid, Ohio
Gates Mills, Ohio
Lehighton, Pennsylvania
Sumter, South Carolina
Max Meadows, Virginia
Spokane, Washington
Port Edwards, Wisconsin

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