Japanese maples are much sought after trees for southern landscapes and the weeping forms can be among the most beautiful. They are stunning as front yard specimens, near an entryway or can even be planted in containers. Due to the delicate lace leaf foliage, weeping Japanese maples can easily burn in hour hot Georgia sun. They do best with afternoon shade to prevent leaf burn and you should select a variety carefully. Here are a few ideas for cultivars which have been proven to thrive in the south.
Crimson Queen – A tried and true Japanese maple for southern gardens, Crimson Queen has a spreading habit before the branches start to weep. It is ideal for a front yard garden and can tolerate some sun. The leaves are green tinged in spring, then change to red during summer. Fall colors are scarlet and orange. The bark creates winter interest as it changes to a brighter green.
Orangeola – A very pendulous Japanese maple tree which needs a lot of shade in southern climates. A very attractive cascading laceleaf which goes through beautiful color changes. In spring the foliage is green with a red tinge, during summer the red coloring will become more dominant. In fall the colors are brilliant oranges and yellow which will really stand out in your landscape design. Orangeola is a good choice for a small space or container due to its habit of the branches falling and weeping straight down.
Red Dragon – A newer variety witch preforms well and can tolerate more sin than other Japanese maples, Red Dragon is known for holding a consistently red color. It is a best pick for a front yard or entry way against a lighter background where the red color can stand out. This tree has a spreading habit so give it space! In fall the foliage will turn to a bright scarlet and the bark becomes bright green during the winter months.
Tamuke Yama – A gorgeous choice for Georgia gardens, Tamuke Yama is ideal for a shady spot. This red laceleaf requires afternoon shade for relief from our hot Georgia sun during the summer months. Color is outstanding throughout the seasons. New growth will be deep crimson red and during the summer months the leaves will be a deep reddish purple. For fall ‘Tamukeyama’ changes to a stunning scarlet.
Viridis – A particularly beautiful green weeping Japanese maple, Viridis is a good choice for placing against a dark background such as a brick home. The brilliant chartreuse foliage will really stand out and the fall color can’t be beat. In autumn Viridis is show stopping yellow and orange, it really lights on fire! The bark is a beautiful bright green which will show well in a winter landscape.
Waterfall – Another tried and true standard which does well in Georgia landscapes, Waterfall always seems to be changing color. New growth is a medium green which turns to a red with green centers for summer. Fall colors are orange, scarlet, a deep reddish purple and a touch of yellow. The barks is classically green and the weeping form adds texture to a winter garden.
Also see our article on Upright Japanese Maples – Beyond Emperor I for more advice on Japanese maple trees for southern landscapes.
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