What is a Weeping Japanese Maple?

Nychole Price

The weeping Japanese maple tree is prized for its beautiful foliage throughout most of the year, but specifically in the fall months. There are over 1000 varieties of Japanese maple trees, but only four of these varieties are defined as "weeping." These varieties include the red Japanese maple, the Japanese bloodgood maple, Japanese crimson queen maple, and the Japanese cutleaf green maple. All of these varieties can be grown in hardiness zones five through eight, which basically means the trees can survive in areas that don't reach temperatures less than -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-29 degrees Celsius).

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

The red weeping Japanese maple has leaves that are red in color during the summer months. When fall arrives, the leaves get even brighter in color, giving this Japanese maple the title of "fall foliage tree." The average red Japanese maple tree reaches 30 feet (9.14 m) in height. When in full bloom, it can reach a spread of 20 feet (6.1 m). This type of tree should be planted in partial sunlight to avoid becoming fried in the intense heat of the summer.

The bloodgood is the most popular type of weeping Japanese maple. This tree was given the name bloodgood because the leaves reach an intense crimson color during the fall months. During the summer months, the leaves are reddish purple. The bloodgood reaches a height and spread of 20 feet (6.1 m) when full grown. Like the red Japanese maple, this tree must be planted in indirect sunlight.

The Japanese crimson queen maple is the runt of all weeping Japanese maple trees. It only reaches a height of 8 feet (2.4 m) and a spread of 10 feet (3.05 m) when full grown. Like the bloodgood, this tree is appreciated for its crimson red leaves in the fall and reddish purple leaves in the summer. Avoid planting this tree in direct sunlight, as it will scorch the leaves.

The Japanese cutleaf green maple has leaves that are green in the summer months, and golden in the fall. Like the Japanese crimson queen maple, this tree is a dwarf. When full grown, this tree will only reach a height of 4 feet (1.22 m) and a spread of 6 feet (1.83 m).

Weeping Japanese maple trees are very low maintenance. During periods of average rainfall, full-grown trees will not require special watering sessions. Japanese maples shed dead branches on their own, meaning they require little, if any, pruning.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


Maples are a particularly beautiful kind of tree, and the typical Japanese garden is incomplete without them. Placid ponds with vines of the maple extending down to flowered lilies near pagoda structures is a common sight in the Zen gardens of Japan. The added beauty of Mt. Fuji in the background is always an added plus, and most people can recognize such a setting as quintessentially Japanese.


The Japanese art of making beautiful trees and interacting with nature in an artistic manner goes very far back. It is a staple of the developed Shinto animistic practices, and has been enhanced over the years by Chinese-influenced Confucian beliefs and Zen Buddhism. The Japanese see the spirituality in everything, and are able to bring out the best in nature through their appreciation of it.

Post your comments
Forgot password?