Seeing Red (leaves in spring)

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Springtime moss and Shaina Japanese maple leaves

Our Shaina Japanese maple is donning its full spring glory—bright red leaves.

While most deciduous trees are beginning to pop with new green, some Japanese maple varieties are putting on their first show of red. Shaina, a slow-growing drawf variety, is one.

I planted a Shaina last spring, so this is the first time I’ve been able to watch the leaves bud out. They begin a nice crimson in late March. As summer takes off, more green pigments appear, which has the effect of deepening the leaves to a dark maroon. At the end of autumn, when everything else is bare and brown, Shaina leaves put on a second (and fiery) act.

(c) Terri Robertson, T's Southern Garden, 2018
Acer palmatum ‘Shaina’ and hostas in early April

A few new leaf shoots grew from the trunk, and I trimmed them to preserve the tree’s form.

For the photo at the top of this post, I plunked the trimmings into the moss that carpets a portion of our backyard. The contrast of a bright green background highlights the details of the delicate leaves.