History of the Moonfire Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum ‘Moonfire’ was first introduced in the year 1974 by Dick Wolff at one of his research facilities in Pennsylvania. Moonfire is a top-notch upright Japanese maple that boasts an airy rounded silhouette. Its flowy branches will reach toward the sky and spread out like a living work of art. It emerges a deep, dark purple in the spring and in the fall it shifts its color to a fiery red, hence the name ‘Moonfire’. Moonfire is a unique Japanese maple because it tolerates the heat and humidity typical of the Southern U.S. better than some other cultivars making it an excellent choice for a wide array of climates.
Best Environment for the Moonfire Japanese Maple
This versatile tree is quite low maintenance once established in your landscape. Many gardeners say Moonfire tends to hold its rosy red color better than a Bloodgood Japanese maple, which makes it a popular alternative especially in hotter climates. It can tolerate a wide array of soils, be it clay or sand, Moonfire will thrive. As with most Japanese maples, keep it out of damp areas as they are sensitive to overwatering.
For this compact ornamental shade tree, the more sun, the better the display of its rich red palmate, or rather, hand-shaped leaves that stand out against its stunning gray colored bark. They have a habit of greening up if placed in more shade, so find a sunnier home to make it happy. Younger trees tend to grow faster, and then they slow down as they age. Moonfire can reach twelve to fifteen feet tall in about as many years. If you have a smaller yard, this is the perfect tree for you! It even works well in a container, border, or against a tree line, you name it and Moonfire Japanese maple will put on a show. Want one yet? We bet you do!
Approximate size: 1.5′ – 2′ Height x 6″ Width
Photo credit: Don Schmidt Nursery
*Pruning might be necessary for shipping purposes.