Red Emperor Japanese Maple Tree

Red Emperor Japanese Maple Tree

1 review
  • Fast growing tree

  • Vivid red foliage

  • Tolerates full sun

Regular price $149.95

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way
  • Ships in 2-3 business days
  • Buy direct from the grower
  • Family owned farm since 1980
  • You're good to grow this in Zone X


The Red Emperor Japanese Maple Tree is a vivid and fast growing maple tree perfect for any landscape!

With bright red foliage all year long and an upright growth habit, the Emperor 1 Japanese Maple tree is great in small gardens or as a focal piece where it can be seen. The red colorful foliage matches the brownish red bark throughout the year.

In early spring, new growth will emerge as purplish red and stays richly colored throughout the spring and summer growing seasons. New growth emerges 2 weeks later than other Japanese maple types and is less susceptible to a late spring frost. In fall, the fiery red leaves will turn a bright scarlet as the temperatures fluctuate and cool down. Being a deciduous tree, the Acer palmatum Emperor 1 will lose its leaves to signal the winter season has arrived.

Similar to the Bloodgood Maple, the Emperor One Japanese Maple is slightly more heat tolerant and has brighter ruby colored leaves. While they are hard to distinguish if not right next to each other, they’re both highly noted for their colorful leaves and distinct look.

The small size of this Emperor 1 Red Japanese Maple Tree makes it perfect for woodland gardens, Japanese gardens, small gardens, and you can even keep it planted in a container if you don’t have enough space in the yard. It is truly a versatile tree that can look beautiful and work for any garden or landscape.


Maple trees can grow in most locations of the United States with ease. It is zoned for USDA growing zones 5-9, and it is very cold hardy. The Japanese Red Maple Emperor 1 likes slightly acidic soil that is well draining and rich in organic matter. However, it is adaptable to many soil types. The Emperor 1 Japanese Maple likes full sun to partial shade. The best planting spot is an area with morning sun and afternoon shade to shield it from the piercing sunshine.

How to Plant a Japanese Maple Tree

Your Acer palmatum Wolff tree will come in the Perfect Plants black nursery container. You will want to take the tree out of the box and give it a good watering as soon as it arrives at your home. Dig a hole that is twice the size of the root zone. Place the ornamental tree and root ball into the planting hole and backfill with native soil or amended soil like our Slightly Acidic Potting Mix. Press firmly to get rid of any air pockets in the hole. Water the newly planted tree thoroughly the first year of planting to establish a strong root system. A thick 2 inch layer of mulch or organic matter will help to retain moisture. The best time to plant the Japanese Maple tree Red Emperor is in early spring so it has the whole growing season to establish. Fall is another great time to plant, especially if you have mild winters.

How to Prune a Japanese Maple Tree

Japanese Maples don’t require pruning but will benefit from annual pruning to shape them to the desired size. Prune back dead branches or crossed branches during any time of the year. When pruning a Japanese Maple, cut down to the trunk but be sure not to cut the branch collar off. Follow the natural growing pattern to create the best look! Avoid pruning when temperatures are too hot above 80 F. Always disinfect your pruning shears before pruning to prevent the spread of disease.

When to Trim a Japanese Maple Tree

The best time to prune Japanese Maples is in late winter or early spring while the tree is still dormant. This will give the person pruning the best view of the branch structure to make the best pruning cuts. This tree is faster growing than other Japanese Maple varieties. The Emperor 1 Japanese Maple growth rate is up to 2-3 feet per year once established. A slow release fertilizer at the top of the root ball will help the maple grow.

The Red Emperor Japanese Maple size is up to 10-15 feet tall and wide at maturity making it perfect for small spaces. Read more about How to Plant a Maple Tree.

Shop the Red Emperor Japanese Maple Tree for sale.

Check out our Maple Tree Grow Guide for more information.

Shipping information

Once your Red Emperor Japanese Maple Tree order is placed, we will ship your plant(s) within seven business days year round unless during the checkout process you request otherwise in the space provided to do so.

Perfect Plants’ shipping specialists carefully package your plants using a proven packaging method that ensures your plants arrive healthy, colorfully alive and ready to flourish. We’ve coined the term ‘upside down box test’ and we do just that; we carefully package so that regardless of the direction your box is handled, it will not harm your precious plant that’s inside.

No shipping process is without a problem from time to time. On rare occasions some plants may experience some of the following during their transit: drooping, minor leaf-loss and/or minimal yellowing/discoloration, minor limb damage, etc. These instances are quite rare, but can happen when shipping plants in boxes.

Plants normally recover within a few weeks after planting. If a damaged box has injured your plant on the inside, please notify us within 5 days of receiving you package(s) by emailing us a photograph of the damage.

We always do our very best to ensure that your plants are packed and shipped in the safest, gentlest and most effective way possible.

Will my plants and trees look like the photographs?

Absolutely! Unlike other online nurseries, our photos are of actual plants and trees we’ve grown here, on our family operated nursery.

Growing our own plants and trees helps to ensure we ship you the best quality plants that are free of pests and diseases.

Your plants and trees may however not ship with flowers on them, like the photographs. This all depends on the time of year you buy your plant or tree. Crape Myrtle trees, for example, only bloom during the summer months, so if you purchase one during the spring or fall, they would ship without flowers. Once planted, your plants will grow and thrive giving you flowers for many years to come!

Pot Sizes

Pot sizes (commonly referred to in gallons) are shipped in the same size nursery trade pots which may vary in actual volume. Some plants may have been at the approximate pot size listed, but require excess dirt to be removed so that you will not be paying any additional shipping costs. This doesn’t happen very often though.

Shipping Fees

Our shipping charges are based on the value of your order and the destination it is being shipped. Please see the chart on the Shipping Info page to get an exact amount. We frequently have a free shipping promotion to help you save!


Choose a planting location that offers adequate sunlight and shade in a low traffic area. Allow proper clearance for the mature growth size. Well-drained soil is ideal. Water regularly for the first planted year to ensure adequate water is available for establishing a strong root system. Prune as necessary to remove any damaged or dead foliage and to promote a well-balanced structure.

Planting Instructions:

Dig a hole approximately twice as wide as your new plant’s root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is equal with the ground level.

Loosen the root ball using a small garden spade or by hand. Breaking smaller outer roots can encourage growth into the new soil, but take care to not damage large primary roots.

Place the plant in the hole and ensure that it is situated evenly upright.  Use the excavated soil to fill in around the root ball, using your foot to pack it in firmly. Thoroughly soak with a hose as you fill in the dirt. Take great care to not leave any gaps or air spaces around the root ball as this could kill the plant.

A 2-4 inch layer of mulch is strongly recommended to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth. Apply mulch over the entire planting area but keep away from the stems or trunk by a few inches. Ensure that the plant and surrounding soil is completely soaked with water.

To ensure the proper nutrients are available for the life of your plant our proprietary Perfect Plants Special Blend Soil and a once yearly application of Nutricote Total 360 Fertilizer are great considerations for your new plants!

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Botanical Name
Acer palmatum 'Wolff'

Full Sun / Partial Shade

Foliage Color

Mature Width
10-15 ft

Mature Height
10-15 ft

Growing Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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Sharon M.

This tree was taller than the previous one but is more of a dark green with some darker red foliage. The previous smaller tree you sent was a deeper red which was the color I expected for the tree.

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