Tamukeyama Japanese Maple is a red-leaf, dissected (cutleaf/laceleaf) cultivar that grows in a mound or dome to 6-8’ tall spreading by weeping and cascading branching to 12’ wide. It features deeply cut and dissected purple red leaves (to 4” long) that turn brighter red in fall. Foliage is noted for retaining good color throughout the summer. Small reddish-purple flowers in spring are somewhat attractive on close inspection, but are not showy from a distance. Flowers are followed by samaras that ripen in late summer to fall.
This cultivar has the multidissected leaves of the Dissectum Group, but the pinnatifid cuts are not as deep as they are in such forms as ‘Crimson Queen’ and ‘Dissectum Nigrum’. The center of the lobe is a little wider, making each lobed appear slightly bolder. The seven or nine lobes radiate outward, terminating in an extremely fine tip. The leaves are 7-9 cm long and up to 11 cm wide. The stiff, red petioles are 3-4 cm long.
The new foliage is a deep crimson red when unfolding, but soon changes to a very dark purple red. It is an excellent color tone which holds very well through the summer. In Oregon, it holds its color better than any other cultivar does. Growers in the eastern United States report that it holds up extremely well in the combination of high heat and humidity. Fall color is a bright scarlet. The bark of the twigs and young branches is a deep maroon red, overcast with whitish tone. This hardy plant is strongly cascading. It is an old cultivar, having been listed as early as 1710. The Japanese record plants 50-100 years old reaching up to 4 m tall.
The leaf shape, coloration, and growth habit of a plant called ‘Takiniyama’, growing in the Maplewood collection, were identical to those of ‘Tamuke yama’. As it matured, its charactereistics indicated it was the same as ‘Tamuke yama’. No records have been found of ‘Takiniyama’. Other names under which ‘Tamuke yama’ has been known are “Chirimen momiji’, and ‘Dissectum Tamuke yama’.
Tamukeyama Japanese Maple is best grown in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in sandy loams. May be grown in full sun in the northern parts of its growing range, but prefers some part afternoon shade of its growing range. New foliage may scorch in full sun locations in hot summers areas, particularly if soils are not kept consistently moist. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Avoid hot and dry sites. Site in locations protected from strong winds. Pruning is best kept to a minimum, but if needed should be done in late fall to mid winter. Spring or summer pruning often results in significant bleeding.
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Zone: 5 to 8 Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Reddish-purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall