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Bonfire Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Bonfire'

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Bonfire Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Bonfire') at Meadows Farms Nurseries

Bonfire Japanese Maple foliage

Bonfire Japanese Maple foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Bonfire Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Bonfire') at Meadows Farms Nurseries

Bonfire Japanese Maple

Bonfire Japanese Maple

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Seigai


A beautiful little accent tree for the garden or smaller home landscape; tiny leaves emerge a dazzling orange-pink in spring before fading to green in summer, only to turn fiery crimson in fall; an ideal dynamic color accent

Ornamental Features

Bonfire Japanese Maple has attractive green foliage which emerges crimson in spring. The small lobed palmate leaves are highly ornamental and turn outstanding shades of crimson and orange in the fall. It features subtle corymbs of red flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring before the leaves. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The twisted gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Bonfire Japanese Maple is a deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may 'bleed' sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Bonfire Japanese Maple is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Bonfire Japanese Maple will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 60 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Bonfire Japanese Maple is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Bark 
Ornamental Features

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