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Similar but less problematic plants:
Pyrus calleryana Pyrus calleryana
Native alternative(s) for Acer buergerianum:
Acer glabrum Acer glabrum var. diffusum
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Acer griseum Form and hints of fall color.
Acer saccharum form
Acer rubrum Acer rubrum

Trident Maple Acer buergerianum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AY-ser bur-jer-ee-AY-num
Description

Trident maple—in the Sapindaceae (maple) family—is a small- to medium-sized, deciduous tree from Asia with a rounded, branching form. The leaves have three forward-facing lobes resembling a trident. This tree tends to grow as a multi-stemmed, low-branching specimen, but it can be pruned to a single stem. The exfoliating bark reveals an orange-brown inner bark, which adds interest. The fall color can be variable, sometimes yellows but usually reds and oranges.

Its preference is for full sun and average well-drained acidic soils; however, it is tolerant of a range of soil moistures and textures. It is also tolerant of wind, salt, drought, air pollution, and soil compaction. Trident maple has a slow to medium growth rate and is easy to transplant. Propagation is by seed. 

It is frequently used in bonsai. Other uses can be as a street tree or a shade tree for smaller spaces.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Verticillium wilt is a potential problem for maples. It may suffer limb breakage with snow or ice.

 

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See this plant in the following landscapes:
Bonsai Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aeryn'
  • 'Kifu Nishiki'
    Rounder leaves
  • 'Mino Yatabusa'
    Dwarf with long narrow leaves
  • 'Mitsubato Kaede'
    Cork-like trunk
  • 'Miyasama yatsubusa'
    Variegated leaves
  • 'Naputo Kaede'
  • 'Nokoribo'
  • 'Streetwise'
    Red fall color, single trunk, exfoliates at a younger age
  • 'Valynor' or 'ABFSS'
'Aeryn', 'Kifu Nishiki', 'Mino Yatabusa', 'Mitsubato Kaede', 'Miyasama yatsubusa', 'Naputo Kaede', 'Nokoribo', 'Streetwise', 'Valynor' or 'ABFSS'
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#small tree#shade tree#full sun tolerant#small spaces#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#tree#maple#bonsai#salt tolerant#colorful leaves#winter interest#fall interest#air pollution tolerant#playground#showy bark#cpp#wind tolerant#nighttime garden#children's garden#shimmer#pollinator plant#compaction tolerant#larval host plant#winged seeds#exfoliating bark#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#fall color red#fall color orange#moth larvae#pollinator garden#imperial moth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aeryn'
  • 'Kifu Nishiki'
    Rounder leaves
  • 'Mino Yatabusa'
    Dwarf with long narrow leaves
  • 'Mitsubato Kaede'
    Cork-like trunk
  • 'Miyasama yatsubusa'
    Variegated leaves
  • 'Naputo Kaede'
  • 'Nokoribo'
  • 'Streetwise'
    Red fall color, single trunk, exfoliates at a younger age
  • 'Valynor' or 'ABFSS'
'Aeryn', 'Kifu Nishiki', 'Mino Yatabusa', 'Mitsubato Kaede', 'Miyasama yatsubusa', 'Naputo Kaede', 'Nokoribo', 'Streetwise', 'Valynor' or 'ABFSS'
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#small tree#shade tree#full sun tolerant#small spaces#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#tree#maple#bonsai#salt tolerant#colorful leaves#winter interest#fall interest#air pollution tolerant#playground#showy bark#cpp#wind tolerant#nighttime garden#children's garden#shimmer#pollinator plant#compaction tolerant#larval host plant#winged seeds#exfoliating bark#bird friendly#dry soils tolerant#fall color red#fall color orange#moth larvae#pollinator garden#imperial moth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acer
    Species:
    buergerianum
    Family:
    Sapindaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern China, Japan, Korea
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the genus Acer support Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) larvae which have one brood per season and appear from April-October in the south. Adult Imperial Moths do not feed.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 25 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    1 inch long samaras in pairs in the fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Blooms in spring with small greenish-yellow flowers
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1.5 to 3.5-inch leaves are simple and opposite with 3 triangular lobes that point forward, resembling a trident. Leaf base is rounded. Fall color is variable but usually reds and oranges. Color changes later than most maples.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Orange
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Peeling
    Bark Description:
    Exfoliating gray bark develops on mature trunks and reveals an orange-brown inner bark. Adds winter interest.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are slender, flexible and reddish-brown. They have gray hairs. The buds are sharp-pointed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Salt
    Wind
    Problems:
    Weak Wood