Dwarf Japanese Maple Varieties: 25 Compact & Elegant Trees

Japanese maple trees make for a lovely addition to any garden, offering an elegant and peaceful atmosphere with their petite size and vibrant foliage.

Because not everyone has plenty of room for large trees, the dwarf varieties stand out for their ability to fit into small spaces while still providing the same aesthetic appeal.

In the following, we will introduce you to 25 stunning dwarf Japanese maple varieties, each with its unique charm and characteristics.

Discover the most important aspects of caring for your tree in my Japanese Maple Guide. You’ll learn about the best varieties, the basics of care, possible problems to watch for, and much more!

1. Shaina Japanese Maple

A close look at the maroon summer foliage of Shaina Japanese maple trees.

The Shaina Japanese maple is a compact variety known for its striking red leaves. This dwarf tree grows into a dense, rounded shape, making it a perfect focal point for small gardens.

  • Mature size: 5-6 feet tall and wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright red
  • Fall color: Dark red

2. Dwarf Coral Bark Japanese Maple

Foliage of a Dwarf Coral Bark Japanese maple tree.

The Dwarf Coral Bark Japanese maple is a smaller version of the popular Coral Bark trees.

It’s famous for its coral-red bark that provides a stunning contrast to its light green leaves. This feature makes it a year-round attraction in the garden.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 5-6 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright green
  • Fall color: Yellow to orange

3. Rhode Island Red Japanese Maple

A close look at the foliage of a dwarf Bloodgood Japanese maple tree.

Rhode Island Red is a dwarf variety that offers a beautiful display of red foliage throughout the growing season. Its compact size and resilient nature make it an excellent choice for containers or small gardens.

  • Mature size: 6 feet tall, 6-8 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright red darkening to burgundy
  • Fall color: Bright, fiery red

4. Butterfly Japanese Maple

A close look at the foliage of a Butterfly Japanese maple tree.

The Butterfly Japanese maple is a unique variety that features delicate variegated leaves, giving the appearance of butterflies fluttering on the branches.

This tree is a true spectacle when it bursts into shades of red and orange in the fall.

  • Mature size: 7-10 feet tall, 8-10 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green with white edges
  • Fall color: Red and orange

5. Crimson Queen Japanese Maple

A lovely Crimson Queen Japanese maple with other plants.

Crimson Queen is a weeping variety of Japanese maple. Its cascading branches covered with finely cut, crimson-red leaves create a stunning waterfall effect, making it a standout in any landscape.

  • Mature size: 8-10 feet tall, 10-15 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright red turning to deep burgundy
  • Fall color: Vibrant crimson

6. Red Dragon Japanese Maple

A lovely Red Dragon Japanese maple tree in summer.

The Red Dragon Japanese maple is a weeping variety known for its deep purple-red leaves that retain their color throughout the summer. This tree provides a dramatic display of fiery red foliage in the fall.

  • Mature size: 7-8 feet tall, 10-12 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Deep red deepening to light burgundy
  • Fall color: Fiery red

7. Tamukeyama Japanese Maple

Tamukeyama is a classic Japanese maple variety with a weeping form and deeply dissected, dark-red leaves. Its cascading branches create an elegant, waterfall-like effect.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 8-12 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Dark red
  • Fall color: Bright scarlet

8. Sango Kaku Japanese Maple

The young leaves of a Sango kaku Japanese maple.

Also known as the Coral Bark maple, the Sango Kaku is famous for its coral-red bark and light green leaves that turn golden in the fall. This tree offers year-round interest in the garden. You can find it for sale here.

  • Mature size: 20-25 feet tall, 20 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Light green
  • Fall color: Golden yellow

9. Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese Maple

The Mikawa Yatsubusa is a unique dwarf variety with a layered structure. Its small, green leaves turn golden yellow and crimson in the fall, providing a stunning contrast.

  • Mature size: 3-4 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Golden yellow and crimson

10. Pixie Japanese Maple

The Pixie Japanese maple is a compact variety with vibrant red leaves. It’s a versatile tree that can be used in containers, bonsai, or small gardens.

  • Mature size: 5-6 feet tall, 5-6 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Red to purple
  • Fall color: Fiery red to orange

11. Viridis Japanese Maple

A close look at the leaves at the tip of a branch of a Viridis Japanese maple.

The Viridis Japanese maple is a weeping variety known for its green, finely cut leaves that turn golden yellow in the fall. It’s a perfect tree for creating a serene atmosphere in the garden.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 8-10 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Pale green
  • Fall color: Golden yellow

12. Wilson’s Pink Dwarf Japanese Maple

Wilson’s Pink Dwarf is a unique variety with pinkish-red leaves in the spring that turn green in the summer. It’s a perfect tree for adding a splash of color to small gardens.

  • Mature size: 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Pinkish-red turning to green
  • Fall color: Red and orange

13. Koto No Ito Japanese Maple

Koto No Ito, meaning “Harp Strings” in Japanese, is a variety known for its slender, string-like leaves. This tree provides a delicate and elegant display in the garden.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Yellow and orange

14. Kamagata Japanese Maple

The bright green leaves of Kamagata Japanese maple.

The Kamagata Japanese maple is a small, upright variety with light green leaves that turn vibrant shades of yellow and red in the fall. It’s an excellent choice for containers or small gardens.

  • Mature size: 5-6 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Light green
  • Fall color: Yellow and red

15. Murasaki Kiyohime Japanese Maple

The Murasaki Kiyohime is a dwarf variety known for its wide, flat growth and vibrant green leaves that turn yellow and red in the fall. This tree is perfect for creating a low canopy or a bonsai.

  • Mature size: 3-4 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Yellow and red

16. Hupp’s Dwarf Japanese Maple

Hupp’s Dwarf is a compact variety with a rounded form and deep red leaves. Its small size makes it an excellent choice for containers or small gardens.

  • Mature size: 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Deep red
  • Fall color: Bright red

17. Ariadne Japanese Maple

The Ariadne Japanese maple is a unique variety with variegated leaves that display a mix of colors, including pink, red, and green. This tree is a true spectacle in any landscape.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 6-8 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Pink, red, and green
  • Fall color: Red and orange

18. Mikazuki Japanese Maple

Mikazuki is a small, upright Japanese maple known for its lacy variegated leaves that are splashed with pink, white, and green. This tree provides a stunning display of color throughout the year.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Pink, white, and green
  • Fall color: Red and orange

19. Chishio Japanese Maple

The Chishio Japanese maple is a compact variety known for its bright red spring foliage that turns green in the summer and then red again in the fall. It’s a perfect tree for adding year-round color to the garden.

  • Mature size: 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright red turning to green
  • Fall color: Red

20. Coonara Pygmy Japanese Maple

The Coonara Pygmy is a dwarf variety with finely dissected leaves that turn from green to vibrant shades of orange and red in the fall. This tree is perfect for creating a fiery display in the garden.

  • Mature size: 4-5 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Orange and red

21. Kashima Japanese Maple

The Kashima Japanese maple is a compact variety known for its green leaves and rounded form. This tree provides a serene and elegant display in the garden.

  • Mature size: 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Yellow and red

22. Twombly’s Red Sentinel Japanese Maple

Twombly’s Red Sentinel is a unique variety with a columnar form and bright red leaves. This tree is perfect for adding a splash of color to narrow spaces in the garden.

  • Mature size: 10-12 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright red
  • Fall color: Dark red

23. Ryusen Japanese Maple

The Ryusen Japanese maple is a weeping variety known for its cascading branches and bright green leaves that turn golden yellow and crimson in the fall. This tree provides a stunning waterfall-like display in the garden.

  • Mature size: 6-8 feet tall, 6-8 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Bright green
  • Fall color: Golden yellow and crimson

24. Shishigashira Japanese Maple

Also known as the Lion’s Head maple, the Shishigashira Japanese maple is a compact variety with curled green leaves that turn vibrant shades of red and orange in the fall.

This tree is perfect for creating a unique and colorful display in the garden.

  • Mature size: 10-15 feet tall, 8-10 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Red and orange

25. Mikawa Yatsubusa Japanese Maple

The Mikawa Yatsubusa is a unique dwarf variety with a layered structure. Its small, green leaves turn golden yellow and crimson in the fall, providing a stunning contrast.

  • Mature size: 3-4 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide
  • Spring and summer color: Green
  • Fall color: Golden yellow and crimson

Closing Thoughts

Dwarf Japanese maples are an excellent choice for any garden, large or small. Their compact size, vibrant foliage, and unique forms add a touch of elegance and tranquility to any landscape.

Whether you’re looking for a tree with bright red leaves, a unique form, or year-round interest, there’s a dwarf Japanese maple variety for you. Happy gardening!