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I'm wondering about the difference between a Red Japanese Maple and a Bloodgood Japanese Maple. One source says Bloodgood's a deeper red than the seed grown variety. Another said something similar. A third source didn't have a clue.

What is the difference between them?

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Yes, Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' is a cultivar developed for certain characteristics, one of which is a consistant, deep red. It it usually offered as a grafted plant, and will be more expensive than the straight species (Acer palmatum), which is raised from seed and has genetic variability. If you care enough that you want the cultivar (especially recommended if you are planting more than one), go for it.

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There are so very many cultivars of 'Red Japanese Maple' or Acer palmatum. Bloodgood is a very solid and predictable variety. The leaves aren't too small/fine, too big and fat...the color is also predictable, not too dark nor abnormally red. I've done 'groves' of Japanese Maples and this was the cultivar I ended up using. If you are able, plant more than three...never two and planting just one as a specimen works well. What exactly are you trying to achieve? The Bloodgoods I've used are not grafted. These should be a smallish, patio tree that grows 20'X20'...grafted trees are usually the 'weeping' types. These will never get any taller yet definitely wider. Send pictures of the environment and what you expect to achieve. Pictures of the trees you are thinking to buy...

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