Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum'
GOLDEN FULL MOON MAPLE
syn. A. japonicum 'Aureum'
Pronounced: A-ser shir-ah-sa-WAN-um
Sunset zones: 2b-6, 14-17, A-3.
USDA zones: 5-7.
Heat zones: 7-5.
Height: 16-20 ft (5-6 m).
Width: 16-20 ft (5-6 m).
Leaves are suboricular, 11-13 lobed. Pale yellow in spring, darkening to a yellow green in summer. In autumn the leaves turn gold on the inside and red on the margins.
Light or dappled shade; leaves will scorch in sun.
Deep, moist, well-drained soil.
Side-dressing of compost and deep waterings during drought.
Prune to shape in late fall to winter.
Pests and Diseases:
Some pests that could be problems are aphids, scale insects, and caterpillars. Possible disease problems are Verticillium wilt, tar spot, leaf spot and root rot.
Rainy Side Notes
Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' is a slow growing maple reaching an ultimate height of 30 feet. In Japan it is a much loved tree, while here in the Pacific Northwest we love the Acer palmatums, so A. 'Aureum' often is overlooked. Its beautiful yellow-green foliage, attractive fall leaves, and prominent red flowers and seeds make this a stunning tree for the Pacific Northwest landscape.
It will take at least ten years for it to reach six feet tall, and it builds character as it ages. Light or dappled shade is best for this maple as afternoon sun will scorch its leaves and deep shade will turn the leaves too green. Plant tree in area protected from cold or strong winds as exposure can cause leaves to turn brown. This maple tolerates our acidic soils but good soil preparation with plenty of organic material will insure your tree thrives.
Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' was once thought to be an Acer japonicum, but now part of a group recognized as its own separate species, named after Japanese dendrologist--Miho Shirasawa. The Royal Horticultural Society awarded this cultivar a First Class Certificate and an Award of Garden Merit. A beautiful specimen can be seen at the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, across from the Pond Garden.
Top photo photographed in Linda Anderson's Bainbridge Island garden. Bottom photo photographed at the Rhododendron Species Foundation Garden in Federal Way, Washington.