I’m on a bit of a “smaller” Maple rant right now. They provide a sense of maturity to a garden that I feel like you have to have some “shade trees” in place to achieve. Acer triflorum is a wonderful plant that was introduced to the US in 1923. In the wild it will get up to 45′ but in cultivation it is typically found to top out at 20-30′ with a similar width. It does have a slow growth habit so you may want to look for a larger specimen for sale to make sure that you don’t have to wait forever to see its impact. It has year round interest with exfoliating amber bark and spectacular Fall color. Acer triflorum is insect and disease resistant for the most part and hardy zones 5 to 7. This plant is a little bit more difficult to find but well worth the search.
I have been waiting to get my hands on the Fullmoon Maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’) for a while now. Until I moved to my new office I didn’t have the space for it at my house and didn’t want to use it in a clients garden till I had a chance to grow it myself. I Finally have it planted directly outside my window where I can see it’s stunning Fall foliage. Acer japonicum is a wonderful small to medium tree; in cultivation it will reach 20′ to 30′ with a similar spread and is a cousin of the Acer palmatum. The ‘Aconitifolium’ is a smaller cultivar of the species which shouldn’t get much taller than 10′-15′ making it a perfect size plant for many small and city gardens. This Maple is hardy in zone 5 to 7 according to Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.