Acer miyabei ‘Butterball’
‘Butterball’ Miyabe maple is a particularly compact specimen of a very under-utilized Asian maple species. The ortet originated as a chance seedling planted 35 years ago at Starhill Forest.
The five-lobed leaves of the Miyabe maple are a glossy, deep green, with few pest problems and no visible signs of stress even during our worst droughts! Its medium size, durability, and attractive uniform shape make it an excellent tree for a urban landscapes.
Fall color is a reliable show-stopper, a brilliant yellow that rivals ginkgos. Like ginkgos, the leaves tend to fall all at once, leaving a carpet of gold.
It is a superior alternative to many commonly planted maple species. Seedlings are rare, a good feature when trying to avoid issues with invasive species (Acer ginnala, A. tartaricum) and the nuisance of adventive seedlings in landscape beds. It tolerates a wide range of soils, not suffering from the chlorosis issues suffered by Acer rubrum on alkaline soils.