JAPANESE MAPLE VITIFOLIUM
Article and pictures by David Marks.
Acer japonicum ‘Vitifolium’ is a strong growing Japanese Maple tree which can reach an eventual height of 10m / 35ft.
This is a superb specimen tree for the medium to large garden. The Latin ‘Vitifolium’ refers to the leaves which strongly resemble those of the grape vine. This tree received the RHS Award of Garden Merit and fully deserves its popularity.
KEY FEATURES OF ACER JAPONICUM ‘VITIFOLIUM’
|Most conditions, partial shade best
|Most types, must be
|6m / 19ft after 15 years
|4m / 13ft after 15 years
|Short stem with a rounded crown, upright
|Green, bright scarlet
|UK hardy, Zones 5 – 9
LEAF AND TREE FORM
The leaves are broad and slightly serrated. In spring they are green turning to gold in autumn and finally turning a bright scarlet. One of the best.
The tree is large for an acer but with a medium trunk and a well-formed, large and rounded head.
Below is a picture of the flower of acer japonicum vitifolium taken in April. Slightly more prominent compared to the flowers of other Japanese Maples.
CULTIVATION OF ACER JAPONICUM 'VITIFOLIUM'
Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium' prefers a slightly acidic soil which is well drained but not dry. Ideally they should be in a partial shade position but a full sun position in cooler areas is also ideal.
When the tree is approaching the size you require, prune annually after leaf fall in late November to very early January in UK weather conditions. Choose a dry day. Don't paint over the wounds, leave them to dry off naturally and quickly. A sharp and clean pair of secateurs is the ideal tool.
In older trees (five years and older) prune away some of this twiggy growth in the centre of the tree if it is becoming congested. This will allow good air circulation and help prevent fungal infections.
FEEDING AND WATERING
Avoid feeding this variety of Japanese Maple, it will be able to absorb sufficient nutrients on its own. Excessive nutrients in the soil cause soft growth which will be liable to frost damage in the winter.
In the first two years of its life water the tree if conditions become dry. After that only water if there is a significant drought. A mulch of well rotted compost or similar around the base of the tree will reduce water loss and maintain an even supply.
For more comprehensive details about caring for your Japanese Maple tree
Online only FLORASELECT
Online only HIPPOPOTTERING JAPANESE MAPLE NURSERY
Online, visits by appointment only NOTE: Do not mix up the ‘Vitifolium’ variety with other Acer japonicum varieties because they are significantly different in size and leaf form.