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Do Japanese Maples Lose Their Leaves?

By Carol Wiley
Japanese maples are deciduous trees that lose their leaves.
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Japanese maples are deciduous broadleaf trees, which means that they do lose their leaves in the fall.

Foliage Color

The color of Japanese maple leaves depends on the variety of Japanese maple and varies from green to red to purple to a marble pattern containing a combination of white, pink and shades of green.

Foliage Appearance

Some Japanese maples have large, bold leaves while others have finely cut leaves. Some have dissected leaves with very thin lobes that present a lacy look and fine texture.


If leaves appear in early spring when temperatures are unusually high, later low temperatures can significantly damage the leaves. Japanese maples commonly experience leaf scorch (browning of leaf margin) when they do not receive enough water or are in windy areas.

Fun Fact

Some Japanese maple leaves can be easily mistaken for marijuana leaves. According to Southern Living, you can distinguish the two types of leaves because Japanese maple leaves turn bright colors in the fall.


About the Author


Carol Wiley started writing as a technical writer/editor in 1990, was a licensed massage therapist for almost 12 years and has been writing Web content since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering, a Master of Business Administration, a Certificate in Technical Writing and Editing and a Certificate in Massage Therapy.