Emperor I® Japanese Maple

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  • Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
  • Mature Height 20 - 25 Feet
  • Mature Spread 20 - 25 Feet
  • Growing Zones 5 - 8

Japanese Maples are popular and widely grown for their intense foliage color. Perhaps one of the best examples for a smaller garden has to be the Emperor I® Japanese Maple. Botanically known as Acer palmatum Emperor I®, this small tree produces the most stunning foliage in shades of red and purple. Growing to approximately 20-25 feet tall and wide, this superb Japanese Maple comes into leaf slightly later than some other varieties, making it less susceptible to frosts. 

The Acer palmatum Emperor I® puts on new growth quickly and forms an attractive upright habit. As their name suggests, Japanese Maples originate from Asia and due to their ornamental characteristics, tend to be grown as specimen trees. Due to its relatively small size, the Acer palmatum Emperor I® is often grown where it can be seen and appreciated. 

Emperor I® Japanese Maple Care

To get the most from its colorful foliage, the Acer palmatum Emperor I® is best planted in full sun or partial shade. Ideally grown in fertile, moist and free-draining soil, it can tolerate most soils apart from those that are highly alkaline. After planting, frequent watering is necessary for its first season or two and during any future hot and dry spells. A yearly mulch of organic matter can help conserve moisture. Due to its vigorous growth and final size, care must be taken when siting this tree so as not to interfere with any overhead lines or structures.  

Regular pruning is not generally necessary. However, if any dead, diseased or crossing branches are identified, they can be pruned back in winter when the tree is dormant and leafless. 

Emperor I® Japanese Maple Spacing

If given the right conditions, the Acer palmatum Emperor I® can grow to 25 feet tall by 25 feet wide. Widely grown as a specimen tree, it is often given pride of place and grown alone so its beauty can be appreciated from all sides. If underplanting, low-growing perennials and small evergreen shrubs can produce a pleasing effect without drawing away attention from the star of the show.

Emperor I® Japanese Maple Information

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 - 8
Plant Type: Trees
Light Exposure: Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
Mature Height: 20 - 25 Feet
Mature Spread: 20 - 25 Feet
Spacing: 20 - 25 Feet
Habit: Upright
Flower Color(s): Red
Flower Description: Reddish-Purple
Bloom Period: April
Foliage Type: Deciduous
Foliage Color(s): Purple, Red
Foliage Description: Dark, Purple-Red Leaves
Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering, Summer Flowering, Fall Interest, 4 Season Interest
Watering: Low
Resists: N/A
Tolerates: Heat, Drought
Attracts: Birds
Container Role:
Uses: Edging, Hedges & Privacy, Specimen or Focal Point
Features: Attracts Pollinators, Foliage Interest, Low Maintenance
Common Name: Emperor I® Japanese Maple
Other Name(s): Emperor
Scientific Name: Acer pal. Emperor 1

Container Sizes

Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.

4.5 Pot

4.5" Pot
 Also Know As:
   4.5" Container

 Plant Age:
   ~ 6 months
 Plant Size:
   ~ 3"-6"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.5"H x 3.75"W
   1.42 quarts

Quart Pot

Quart Pot
 Also Know As:

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 4"-8"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 4.75"H x 4.5"W
   1.50 quarts

2.5 Quart

2.5 Quart
 Also Know As:
   2.5 Quart Pot

 Plant Age:
   ~ 1.5 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 8"-12"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 6.5"H x 6.5"W
   2.20-2.30 quarts

#1 Pot

#1 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #1 Container
    1 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 10"-14"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 7"H x 7.75"W
   2.26-3.73 quarts

#2 Pot

#2 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #2 Container
    2 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 2-3 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-18"
 Pot Size:
   ~ 9.5"H x 9.5"W
   1.19-1.76 gallons

#3 Pot

#3 Pot
 Also Know As:
   #3 Container
    3 Gallon
 Plant Age:
   ~ 3-4 year old
 Plant Size:
   ~ 12"-30"
 Pot Size:
   ~9.5"H x 11"W
   2.32-2.76 gallons

For more detailed information, please click here.

Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)

Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.

For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)

We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.

The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.

For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.

Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)

Planter Shipping

Standard Colors: 2-3 business days

Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice

Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations

Plant Shipping

Time of Order:

Summer Shipping

  • If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.  
    • We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location

Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.

It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.