Volunteer Japanese maple

I have two mature Japanese maples. One is green, but turns red in fall, and the other is a deep burgundy. A couple of years ago I noticed a tiny volunteer underneath the red maple, so I transplanted it into its own spot, and it’s now about two feet tall. I’m wondering if it’s a hybrid between the two as it has pale green leaves outlined in red, and bright red branches. Anyone know if this is likely?

Most maples are grafted, so not growing on their own root stock - much like apple trees. Seeds from any tree will be a cross from anywhere, could be your 2 trees or could be from a neighbour tree - all depends on where the bees have been. It will be growing on its own root and not controlled by the grafted root stock of other maples. Because of this the result may be totally different from your existing maples.


@jsthomso so interesting! I have a very similar situation here. Some sweet little volunteer maples were underneath our beautiful Acer palmatum Satsuma Beni (green). I love this tree so I transplanted them into a little tree ‘nursery’. Most are looking quite healthy but the leaves are different on some. There is a burgundy coloured maple (Acer palmatum ‘Olivia’) nearby so I thought, also, this could be due to cross pollination. Thank you @comoxvalleyberry for the clarification!

As an aside, the other little trees are Black Pine, Bristlecone Pine, and Black Spruce — may be bonsai one day :). Moving this to a new topic to seek advice from resident bonsai expert @fhovenden

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Thanks! Very interesting and now looking forward to seeing who the baby most resembles when it grows up!