Acer palmatum has long been cultivated in Japan, its unique form the image of oriental gardens. Japanese maples are generally hardy to Zone 5, but this specimen, A. palmatum ‘Baumel’, has grown in the Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden in Orono, which was long rated a Zone 4. Red varieties are immensely popular, with ‘Baumel’ a standout reaching about 12 feet in height at maturity. The tree thrives in the understory, preferring the mix of shade and sunshine. It is a fuss-free plant, as well, requiring no pruning except for dead branches or if one wishes to shape the future themselves.