amber ghost japanese maple is green



I planted an Amber Ghost Japanese Maple Mid Summer last year. It was almost green for most of the summer season until the Fall colour change. This Spring, I was thrilled to see the leaves in Spring growing out as the coral colour I expected but now it looks almost completely green (with red vein). It currently gets about 3 hours of morning/midday sun and then some a couple of hours of dappled sun in the afternoon. Is it green because there is not enough sunlight? I had also used 5.15.5 fertilizer when I first planted it last year but my understanding was that was not too much nitrogen…Do I need to move the tree to a sunnier spot to get the peach colours I was looking for?


May 23, 2021

Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. This is such a beautiful tree ! I checked quite a few sources to find out about the leaf colour for Acer palmatum ‘Amber Ghost’ and they all say the same thing : the colour of the leaves changes as the seasons progress, from bright pink with amber tones when they first appear in the spring, changing to a melon, pink-orange colour and then amber with green tones during the summer, and finally to bright orange and red in the fall. The location where you have planted this tree sounds exactly right, morning sun and more shaded in the afternoon. Your tree can by lightly fertilized in the spring only with 4-12-8 fertilizer or 15-30-15 water soluble mixture, but this is unlikely to have any effect on the leaf colour.

Here is a link with information about A. p. ‘Amber Ghost’ :’Amber%20Ghost’&text=’Amber%20Ghost’%20offers%20unique%20color,brings%20bright%20red%20and%20orange.&text=Noteworthy%20CharacteristicsA%20series%20of%20unusual%20foliage%20colors.

And here is a link with information about caring for Japanese maples :

I hope you enjoy your tree as it puts on a different show of colour each season!