Maple Time

Japanese Maple

Late October is definitely Maple Time.  In the Pacific Northwest garden, maples are highly favored trees.  They are particularly effective growing in the understory of Douglas Firs, where they will add splashes of color in the fall.  Often overlooked, the humble, native Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) can produce stunning fall colors:

Vine Maple

Vine Maple

Vine Maples tend to be shrub-like, especially if grown in a more shady location.  A similar species, larger, more tree-like and with bigger leaves is the Full Moon Maple (Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium'):

Full Moon Maple

Of course, Maple cultivation has been raised to an art form in the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum).  I have three varieties, Katsura, Sango Kaku, and Osakazuki:

Katsura

Sango Kaku

Osakazuki

As always, the photos here are unretouched.  Sunset describes Osakazuki as "the Japanese Maple with the best fall color."  Even when the leaves have dropped to the ground, the beauty continues:

Osakazuki Leaves

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