The appeal of the Japanese Maple is obvious...gorgeous dark burgundy leaves like feathers...I can't walk by them in the yard without reaching out and letting my fingers dance on the leaves to feel the texture. It's like being drawn to a fluffy coat in a store on display, you just have to touch it. They are wonderful, attention grabbing focal points in your landscape, a tree around which to design your whole garden. While every source will tell you that Japanese Maples are shade-loving trees (or at least part shade), I have them growing in flat-out, sweltering NC sun and they are doing very well, (thank you very much!) As a matter of fact, I took the photo at the top of the page just the other day while working in my veggie garden. I looked up and the rays of the sun shone through in an almost heavenly way.
Every time I see this picture, I think of Sigmund the Sea Monster (but my tree won't give you nightmares!)
Our neighbors had this beauty by their back patio but in true Japanese maple fashion, it was growing slowly and she got fed up with it and told Bo that if he came and dug it up, we could have it. We put it in our front yard and the damn thing is probably 15' tall now. It is one of my favorite trees now!