Acer shirasawanum ‚Munn001‘ MOONRISE

Acer shirasawanum ‚Munn001‘
Acer shirasawanum ‚Munn001‘  MOONRISE
Shirasawa maple, Japanese maple
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
 small tree
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES varigated:light green and deep pink
FLOWERS less showy but noticeable
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 5   (down to -29°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
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Japanese maples are the crème de la crème of every garden. They are compact, dense shrubs or majestic looking small trees. Every garden can have one without a need for simulating Japanese garden style. Currently, there are numerous varieties in the market, but we prefer to stick with the old-time favourites that proved to do well in our Central European climate or test new ones to see whether they deserve the attention.

Shirasawan’s maple is a sought-after species of Japanese maple valued mostly for its unique leaf shape. To date (July 2020) there are 17 recognized varieties, and MOONRISE is a recent introduction from the USA where its inventor Carl A. Munn patented it as PP16718 in 2004. He discovered it in about 1987 as a naturally occurring mutation of Aureum variety. It had different colour, faster growth, and better resistance to sun scorch.

MOONRISE Shirasawan’s maple produces bright lime yellow-green foliage in early spring which gains scarlet red flush as they open to its typical seashell shape with 7-11 lobes. As the leaves mature, red hues disappear and pop up only on newly emerging leaves at the branch tips. An important feature is also its great tolerance to full sun – it can take all day sun, only in dry soils the top of the plant may manifest some sun scald during the hottest days of summer unless regularly watered.

It grows rather fast when young, making an upright shrub with slightly V-shaped canopy. A 17-year-old plant in the inventor’s nursery was 4m tall and 3.5m wide, and the ultimate size of a mature specimen is expected to reach about 5 by 4 meters.

All green or yellow-leaved Japanese maples do best in filtered sunlight or part shade in neglected gardens. But if you are ready to water them during hot and dry spells of the season you can grow recommended varieties in full sun, too. Red-leaved maples on the contrary NEED full sun to colour well, even the dissectum type with deeply cut foliage.

Japanese maples prefer light, acidic, well-drained soil that will retain moisture – keep them mulched at all times. If you feel you need to feed it, use balanced, slow-release fertilizers only. They can be pruned in early winter or trimmed and shaped for bonsai in early summer. Still, I assume that each Japanese maple is so beautiful only if left to its own devices without any intervention, making each one an unrepeatable original. Plants older than 3-5 years (wood maturity pending) are fully hardy to about -29°C (USDA zone 5).

Last update 21-07-2020

Acer shirasawanum
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Acer palmatum
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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