Japanese Bloodgood Maple Acer palmatum "Bloodgood"
The Bloodgood Japanese Maple tree is the most popular and widely planted, grafted,cultivar selection of native Japanese maple trees, mainly because the leaves remain blood red throughout the entire growing season. In Japan many variants and cultivars of Japanese maples have been tediously developed for centuries and in 1792 these trees were imported into New York , at the "Bloodgood Nursery", that was located on Long Island, New York, where it's cultivar name originated. The trees began to be distributed throughout the Eastern U.S. following the Civil War.
The "Bloodgood Japanese Maple" tree, importantly, is a grafted tree, and the leaves remain reddish-purple throughout the growing season, unlike the Acer palmatum atropurpureum, ( Japanese red maple) that is seed grown and the leaves of the seedling Japanese maple tree may temporarily appear red in the spring leaf-out-flush, but these leaves will often revert to a bronze-green during the summer and fall.
The red-purple color of the Japanese Bloodgood maple suddenly appears in late winter when the red flowers are followed by red, flat-wing seed ( samara fruit) that are brightly illuminated against the aged bark, gray in the background color and young growth of purple-red twigs. After this brilliant flowering and fruiting spectacle, the reddish purple leaves emerge rapidly covering the globe canopy.
The maturing summer leaves retain an unfaded, wine-burgundy color, despite the high heat of zone 9 or the cool night temperatures experienced in zone 5. Most other Japanese maple tree cultivars cannot perform well in the stress of extreme daytime heat temperatures of zone 9 or the cool nighttime temperatures of zone 5, but the Bloodgood Japanese maple is extensively adapted for growing throughout most of the United States.
The Bloodgood Maple tree is most often planted as a specimen tree that grows to a height of about 15 feet and a billowing, round width of 15 feet, just right for small or medium sized yards.
In the South the Bloodgood Maple tree prefers partial shade, but in zone 7, 6, and 5 this tree can be grown in full sin without any leaf scorch. The clustered roots of the Bloodgood Maple tree are not aggressive, and annuals and perennials can be handily grown in beds underneath the tree shade. The roots grow best if kept cool and moist in earth on a planting site near a pond or lake in a neutral soil pH.
The branches grow parallel and horizontally to the soil surface, much like the ginkgo tree, and the overall shape of the tree is globular. Not only is the Bloodgood Japanese Maple tree strikingly colored in glowing red twigs, leaves and seeds during the growing season, but in the Fall, the leaves change color from a red burgundy color to a startling scarlet red.