Acer palmatum Villa Taranto is a dwarf maple that is a reddish green version of Koto no ito. It grows well in full sun to partial shade and has a ‘V’ shape, which is common for many Japanese Maples.  Villa Taranto is in the linearilobum group of maples which means it has string-like leaves. When a leaf first emerges as new growth it is wider compared to older leaves on the tree. Each subsequent year a leaf emerging from the same leaf node gets skinnier and skinnier – so older leaves growing lower on the branches become really skinny until they are like thin strings.

In the spring the leaves emerge with reddish brick color.  Summer color is lighter red to bronze and fall color changes from orange to dark red. Villa Taranto is not a large maple only reaching 5′ to 6′ feet tall and  5′ wide in 10 years.  A nice addition to a small garden or grown in a patio container. Once established this cultivar is hardy to -20 degrees, USDA zone 5.

Many Japanese Maples grow in a ‘V’ shape and seldom break due to snow or ice unless they are not adequately cared for. In areas where winters are rough tying green landscape tape to hold the branches together can give them the support they need to withstand mother nature’s fury. Care should be taken to make sure the tape is the stretching kind that allows for growth and wears out over time and falls off.

Additionally removing branches that cross over between the two main branches that form the ‘V’ will reduce the accumulation of snow and/or ice. This method of pruning is also the best for the maple. Keeping the middle of the ‘V’ open increases air circulation  and reduces the amount of dead leaves that get stuck and need a helping hand to remove them [both good for the health of the maple]. For more information see Pruning Japanese Maples.

The first photo shows the beautiful spring color and structure of  a this maple. The second photo shows summer color. Both of these photos are of the same Villa Taranto in our display garden. Photos taken 3 years apart.