Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Orangeola’ Japanese Maple
Orangeloa is best known for it’s orange color but this magnificant tree is really a color wheel with roots! The new foliage emerges in the spring with a red to orange cast to the leaves. As summer moves in the leaves take on more of a green tint and then appear almost purple. Then more new growth appears with that redish orange tinge, layered over top of the summer color. Then as fall approaches the leaves turn red, then a brilliant orange.
That’s why I am so much in love with Japanese maples. They change. Constantly changing, showing off their individual personalities.
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Orangeola is a member of the dissectum family which means that it is laceleaf and a weeping habit. Unlike most dissectums Orangeola tends to grow a little higher than it does wide. In time it could reach 8′ high, but with regular pruning which I highly recommend I’d say most will be 42″ to 48″ high unless you really want the extra height, then you’d have to stake it upright and train it to grow that way.
Most all of my dissectum maples I allow to grow in that mushroom shape that they prefer, but I do prune them at least twice a year, just a little to make sure they maintain a really attractive shape.
Orangeola will grow in zones 5 through zones 9. It does well in full sun, but some shade won’t hurt a thing. Too much shade and it won’t grow well and you won’t see much color. As with all Japanese maples the soil should be rich in organic matter and well drained. Being well drained is the most important part, they do not like wet feet.
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First of all thank you for your easy to follow guilds. They’ve been helpful and informative, especially the one related to “walkingstick.” I live near Sacramento, CA and recently purchased one in a 5 gallon pot to plant in back yard.
Seeing how branches might be fragil and fact I have two large dogs is it possible to plant in large wooden half barrel to show-light the plant and safeguard it from the dogs?
Which planting option will best suite plants best growth?
Plant in half barrel or if necessary, cut out bottom of pot and place over properly dug hole so roots can extend and not be bound by pot.
Thank so much for taking time to read this and hope to hear from you soon so I can pot plant which is now beginning to show buds.
Bruce, in your climate you can grow the Japanese maple in a pot or a barrel. Should take a long time before it would be root bound. In a colder climate I’d like to see the roots below ground for winter protection.
Hey Mike –
Always wanted a laceleaf maple, & never had one till yesterday. At a local big-box home improvement store, they had this exact variety, I think maybe in a 15 gallon container, marked down from $99 to $30, so I jumped on it.
I live in the Atlanta area, & as you may know, it gets extremely hot & humid here, & the soil is mostly compacted clay.
The tag says the tree should have morning sun only, like one of your other pages, but above you state that this variety does well in full sun, & maybe only partial shade. Which is it for this variety, considering my location? And if it got direct sunlight from about 11am to 3pm would that be too much heat?
I typically plant things here only adding some lime, but would you recommend something else for the clay? I really want this tree to become my yard’s centerpiece.
I also live in Atlanta area and am wondering how your Japanese Maple did with morning sun. I’m going to try mine in a container but like the same plant that you have .
Robin Parker Meredith says
I live in the San Francisco Bay area and I have an Orangeola Maple in a pot. It does fine but not superb. I wonder if I should plant it in the ground and if so, which facing direction would be best? And how close to the house?
The sun gets hot June – October and I don’t want to scorch it. Any recommendations?
Warrior Marshall says
I just purchased an Orangeola Red Maple two weeks ago
The tree and bamboo stake are about
3 feet 9 inches. I would like to grow the
tree to at least 6 feet tall. Do I remove the stark that
came with the plant and
install a longer stake or just tape a
longer piece to the existing stake?
Yes, that would be the process, but I have to tell you, it’s going to be a long slow process. You might be just as happy with the tree the way it is and let it grow wide. Staking it upright will only gain about 6″ per year and then you still have to let the tree grow wide from there.
I planted a orangeloa cut leaf Japanese maple about a month ago here in Ontario, it was fairly dry conditions but I continue to water it, yet to see a rain though, but yet still all the leaves have gone from red to a brown and falling off…..puzzled what to do!
In only a month? I’m guessing it either dried out at some point or possibly too wet from the watering. Make sure the tree is not planted too deep. The root ball should actually be about an inch above grade with soil mounded over that. Also fertilizer. It needs no fertilizer. If you fertilized it that cold be the problem.
B Flora says
I have an Acer Orangeola that is doing really good & it now has ‘Seeds’ all over it. Please give me some info about the seeds…How to use them for starting new trees. Do you let them dry out OR what arr the steps to take? Any/all info is appreciated. Thank You
See this for complete details; http://mcgroartyenter.wpengine.com/growing-japanese-maples-from-seed/
My Orangeola branches are drooping beautifully, but they are getting so long they will soon reach the ground. What should I do with them? Prop them up? My tree is in a pot and presently the trunk is about 45″ tall. Help!
Just cut them. Pruning Japanese maples is essential if you want a nice full plant. That plant is likely to be much happier in the ground.
I planted my orangeola last year. It gets morning sun and is shaded in the afternoon. It looked great all summer (green and red leaf mix). About a week ago I noticed the leaves are drying out. I was afraid of giving it wet feet so I haven’t watered it all summer until this past week. The shadier side still has greenish leaves but they’re drying. I scraped a little bark from a branch and it has a green tint. Do I keep watering? I’m in Chicago area Zone 5. It was a hot humid summer and the wettest July and August on record.
When it’s this hot and dry plants need water. Even watering once week is not going to cause problems if the soil drains as it should. All you can do now is wait until spring to see how it does then.
I just purchased a orangeola cutleaf and planted it in my tiny city backyard garden. I planted it about 3 ft from my neighbors house but due to a concrete culvert next to the house, the trunk is actually about 16 inches from the edge of concrete. Do I need to move it further away?
I little further away would be best, eventually the tree will get quite wide.
Anne Whipple says
Hi I just purchased two Inaba Shidaire and one Orangeola and live in the Denver area. Needing suggestions on how to plant, ground vs pot? pot size? How much growing room does the plant need? Roots? They are about 15″ high right now but are grafted to another tree branch that is giving them the height. Does this affect they growing and height?
Planting in the ground is always better than planting in a pot, especially Japanese maples. Do not plant them too deep, root crown should be above grade but covered with soil. Do not plant them in a wet area, do not fertilize them. Because these are all weeping varieties you’ll need to stake them and train a branch to the stake if you want them to grow taller. Watch for suckers on the root stock, they can ruin the tree. See this http://mcgroartyenter.wpengine.com/one-finger-pruning/
Lynn Schwirtz says
Hello. We just built a house and I chose an Orangeola. I live in Dallas TX. Originally the landscapers planted it in the wrong part of the bed. They had to move it. This was in May. This summer the Orangeola struggled and the green leaves turned brown then crispy and crumbled. Now the tree still has crispy tips, there’s still some green, a lot of bare branches and a few spots or red/orange. In the summer it gets direct sun from 8 until 1 pm. My questions- is this too much sun, what’s causing the tips to turn crispy, will it turn orange in TX, how much water should it get, is there a protocol for pruning, what time of year should it be pruned and if it needs to be moved, when should I do that?
THANK YOU DO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!!
I’d say that is too much sun given that you are in Dallas. The tree would be happier with about 40% sunlight or 50% sunlight. If you want to move it, do so during the winter. Water? Enough to keep the soil moist and cool but not soaking wet. Trim as needed to maintain some shape. Not pruning is the worst thing you can do.
We live in Madison, Wisconsin. I purchased 3 orangeola 2 years ago. There were planted in fall of 2016 – they survived their first winter. Did pretty good last summer – all budded. They all get east (morning sun) and some mid day – but they sit in the front of our house (which faces East) so after 12:00 Noon they dont get much direct sunlight. We had a COLD winter this year. And none of the trees had their leaves fall off. This spring – 2 of them are fully budding and doing great – the new buds and rain are pushing the old leaves off. The 3rd one however, is only budding on one small limb at the very bottom. All other limbs appear to be dead. What happened? What can i do to help it?! Do you think it was the cold? or could the soil in that section of my yard be staying wet longer? Diseases?
Not much you can do to help it, just give it time then prune away the dead. Could easily be winter damage. If the soil is really wet that too could be problem.
Laura J Paprocki says
if the trunk is still alive – (and i prune away the dead branches) – will new branches grow up and down the existing trunk? Or will i have to wait for the bottom (which is still alive) to become the top in order for new branches to exist. …
You should get new branches on the trunk if the trunk is still alive. This is how you test to see if a plant, or a branch on a plant has died. Just scratch the bark of your plants with your finger nail. If the tissue below the bark is green and firm your plants are fine. If the tissue is brown and mushy that part of the plant is dead.
Hi there I wonder if you could help I have a Japanese orangeola which I have nurtured for 20 yrs. It is now too big for my small garden and am wondering if there are any sights where I could offer this for sale. It is still in the ground and would need to be.taken out by the purchaser. I would also like to know if you could give me some idea of the value and best time to be dug out. It stands about 12ft tall.
Try advertising it with photos on Craig’s list. Value? Should be worth hundreds of dollars but only buyer willing to dig it can tell you what they’d pay. And now it can’t be moved until Thanksgiving.
I planted the japanese orangeola last October. The tree has started to leaf but it’s only leafing from the bottom half and the top is bare. Is the tree dead or dying? Or is it too early to tell?
Might be too early to tell but it doesn’t sound good. This is how you test to see if a plant, or a branch on a plant has died. Just scratch the bark of your plants with your finger nail. If the tissue below the bark is green and firm your plants are fine. If the tissue is brown and mushy that part of the plant is dead. About all you can do is remove the dead parts and let it fill out. But, if all of the new growth is coming from below the graft union you will end up with a generic Japanese maple. If the growth has the dissected leaves it should be fine.
Hello! Thanks for the great write up! I bought a small Acer palmatum “Orangeola” from a local garden center (it was the last one in stock so I grabbed it quick). Currently it is about 2-3 ft tall and was sold in a 1 gallon container. I want to plant it on the front corner of my driveway/walkway to my front door but after further reading I have read it can get 12-15 ft tall. I know it will take a long time to reach maturity and get that large, but is this a tree I can keep pruned to a smaller shape (~5 ft tall) or will that not be good for the tree in the long term? I love the look of these trees and the color would be amazing but I really don’t want a 12 ft tall tree in that area. Unsure if it is feasible to keep it smaller. Thanks!
It would take many, many years for this tree to get that tall and just a little pruning each year you can keep it at any height that you want. This is basically a weeping Japanese maple so to get any height those weeping branches have to pile up to make height.
Hi. I was in a garden center yesterday roaming trying to figure out what to grow in a 17 wide x 6 deep area in the front of my house. This caught my eye, it ws so beautiful. I was thinking of an emerald green arborvitae on each side. Is this ablectoe pruned to keep it relatively small.? Maybe 5/6 feet wide and tall? I’m in zone 7, facing east with morning sun unti 2 pm. Thanks
Absolutey, very easy to maintain. I have one planted at the nursery and everybody notices it and most ask about it.
Chris K says
I’m in southern Ontario, zone 6b, and just bought my first Acer. Its an Orangeola, about 4 ft tall but skinny. If I plant it in a container, can it stay outside all winter or should it be brought indoors?
It needs to be outside, but it sure would be happier in the ground.
Hello, I am thinking of getting an Orangeola Japanese Maple for my yard. I already have a Japanese Maple, but I wanted something a little different. One on line nursery has a picture of one with a beautiful twisted trunk, which is visible and then the cascading leaves. All of the other sites has pictures that have a more shrub like tree, which while beautiful is something that I don’t want for this particular space. Is there a differentiation between a tree and the shrub or is it somehow in the upkeep? If the latter is it hard to maintain the former?
It’s the same tree, one is grown taller and single stem. When you get yours you’ll probably have to train it to grow as you want it by staking it and training the main stem upright. They are a weeping tree and do not know how to grow upright without help.
Hi Mike, I just purchased an Orangeola as well, and it came with a bamboo stake. I planted it with the stake, and it’s currently about 2′ high – but like the previous person, I want the tree to develop a more twisted trunk so it has more of a bonsai shape, and less like a big mound of leaves.
I was a little confused by your response though. Should I keep it tied to the stake, or take it out to let the trunk grown in a more twisted form?
That’s a good question. Without a stake it might just become a rounded clump of foliage. I have one like that at the nursery. If you stake up the main leader you don’t have to stake it straight, you can put some curves in it.
Cristi L. says
Hi there! We just bought a beautiful and expensive Orangeola that is 3’ talk with a lovely weeping full habit. I saw it as I was leaving and traded out the Crimson Queen excitedly. However, the spot I was planting it in is full sun from 1 pm until sunset facing west. We are in zone 7 in Maryland. Will I burn it out or can it survive? I haven’t planted it yet, but was planning to do so this weekend. I don’t have any spots in our yard that get dappled afternoon sun except our back deck, sadly.
I have an Orangeola that is in full sun and it is beautiful.
I have had my orangeola maple for 2 years now. I love it! I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to prune it. I did prune it some last year, but it looks very bushy this year. Is there a right or wrong way to shape it up? I would appreciate your help..
There really is no right or wrong way to prune it and it really depends on how it has been trained thus far. I have one that is very short and round and we just shape it up. But if yours is taller you can trim it more umbrella shape if that appeals to you. Most importantly, just trim it so it doesn’t have long branches reaching out sideways. The more you prune it the fuller it gets.
I live in the Kansas City area and just recently planted an orangeola. The plant will be receiving lots of afternoon sunlight. Will this be an issue. The tag says full sunlight but I’m concerned that might be a bit much.
I have one in full sun and it does fine.
Awesome thanks for the response!
I live in Atlanta GA.. our soil is mostly clay here. Purchased Orangeola 3 seasons ago. 3 gal size. Nursery says they amended soil under and around tree so drainage would work but I have on going problems. Leafing comes out and looks great then it starts to change color goes to brown, dries up and falls off. Water, not to water? Tree sets in East side of house. Sun from morning to 3:00.
When leaves dry out then fall off that sounds like a dry condition. But you have to check the soil, it should be cool and moist to the touch, not powder dry and not soggy.
I purchased an Orangeola in a 3-gal container about a month ago. It’s been sitting in a hole (still in container) in its intended home since then. Is there still time to plant it in ground this year (currently the first of May), or will I need to wait until the fall? And if then, before or after leaves fall? I’m in zone 9b, Sacramento, CA. The tree will be getting our valley sun and heat through the mid-day hours. It does seem happy enough for now in the container.
You can plant any kind of plant at any time of the year as long as the ground is not frozen. Transplanting is different because you are doing root damage in the process. Plants are always happier in the ground.