Is a Japanese Maple Tree Toxic?

Written by curtis seubert
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Is a Japanese Maple Tree Toxic?
Japanese maples are prized for their beautiful autumn colours. (Image by, courtesy of Randy)

Japanese maple trees are not toxic. In fact, the tree's leaves are eaten as part of some Japanese dishes and have no adverse health effects.

Other People Are Reading


Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are native to Japan, Korea and China. Gardeners and horticulturists prize these trees for their autumn colours and beautiful foliage. Japanese maples are typically small and perfect for small gardens or for growing in containers. Tree experts often refer to them as Acers.


There are more than 1,000 cultivars (or varieties) of Japanese maple trees. Similar species include Acer duplicatoserratum, Acer japonicum (Downy Japanese Maple), Acer pseudosieboldianum (Korean Maple), Acer shirasawanum (Fullmoon Maple), and Acer sieboldianum (Siebold's Maple).


None of these organisations list the Japanese maple (or Acer palmatum) or any of its similar species as toxic: ASPCA, Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Library and Cornell University's Department of Animal Sciences.


The Japanese maple may not be toxic, but a certain fungus that grows on the bark of red maple trees is; however, the Japanese maple comes from different parts of the genus than red maple, and this fungus does not grow on the Japanese maple.


It has been confirmed that red maple is toxic to horses. This has led some to consider all maple trees toxic; however, there have been no reports of Japanese maples being toxic to either animals or humans.

Don't Miss


  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.