Are Acers and Japanese Maple Trees the Same?

As gardeners, we're always looking for ways to diversify our green spaces and add more variety to our gardens. The Japanese Maple Tree is one such popular plant that has been in gardens for centuries. But there are some who wonder if this iconic tree is the same as Acers, another flowering plant that is often seen in gardens.


What's the Difference? 

Firstly, it is important to understand that "Acer" is actually the scientific name for the genus of trees and shrubs that are commonly known as Maples. So when people refer to "Acers," they're really talking about any tree in this particular genus. The Japanese Maple Tree is just one of the many species that belong to this genus. There are actually over 100 different species of Maples, some of which are native to Europe, North America, and Asia, among other places.

Japanese Maple tree Gift


That being said, the Japanese Maple Tree is definitely one of the most well-known and recognisable species of Maples. Known for their stunning foliage, these trees can be found in a wide range of colours, including red, green, yellow, and purple. They are popular choices for gardens because they don't grow too tall, making them perfect for landscaping smaller spaces. They're also fairly low-maintenance, as long as they're planted in well-draining soil that is kept consistently moist.


How to recognise each tree

In terms of physical characteristics, Japanese Maple Trees are known for their peeling bark and their attractive, delicate leaves. The leaves are usually palm or lobed in shape, with deep clefts and serrated edges. The colours of the leaves can vary depending on the cultivar and the season, with some turning bright red or gold in the fall. The leaves of the Japanese Maple Tree are also fairly thin, giving them an almost ethereal quality that is quite unique.

Going Green Japanese Maple

As for whether Acers and Japanese Maple Trees are the same, the answer is both yes and no. Yes because the Japanese Maple Tree is technically a species of Acer, and no because not all Acers are the same as the Japanese Maple Tree. So while it's technically correct to say that Acers and Japanese Maple Trees are part of the same genus, it's important to remember that not all Maples are the same.

In conclusion, Acers and Japanese Maple Trees are definitely related, but they are not the same thing. While the Japanese Maple Tree is one of the most famous and beloved species of Maples, it is just one of over 100 different species in this particular genus. If you're looking to add more variety to your garden, it's worth exploring some of the other types of Acers that are out there. But if you're looking for a low-maintenance, stunningly beautiful tree that is sure to impress, the Japanese Maple Tree is definitely a top pick.