Red Snake-Bark Maple – Acer Capillipes


Acer capillipes, also known as Snakebark Maple or Red Snake Maple, is a small to medium-sized tree with a distinctive bark pattern resembling snake-like stripes.

Acer capillipes, commonly known as the Snakebark Maple or Red Snake Maple, is a species of maple tree known for its distinctive bark and attractive foliage. Acer capillipes is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree that typically grows to a height of 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) with a similar spread. It has an upright, vase-shaped form with spreading branches. The most notable feature of this tree is its unique bark. The young bark is smooth and greenish grey, but as the tree matures, it develops striking vertical, dark green to reddish-brown stripes that resemble snake-like patterns. This distinctive bark adds visual interest and makes the Snakebark Maple easily identifiable, even in winter when the leaves have fallen.
The leaves of Acer capillipes are palmate, meaning they are shaped like a hand with lobes radiating from the central point. The leaves are medium-sized, typically about 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) long and are green in colour. In the autumn, the foliage of the Snakebark Maple turns shades of yellow, orange, and red, creating a beautiful display of autumnal colours.

Acer capillipes is native to mountainous regions of Japan and China. It is well-suited to a variety of climates and can thrive in even the harshest of UK’s winters. This species prefers moist, well-drained soils but can tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy and loamy soils. Snakebark Maple grows best in partial shade to full sun, although it can benefit from some protection from intense afternoon sun in hotter seasons.
Snakebark Maple is highly valued for its ornamental qualities. Its unique bark patterns make it an attractive focal point in gardens, parks, and landscapes. The interesting bark provides year-round visual interest, while the vibrant leaf colours add seasonal charm. Due to its smaller size, it is suitable for urban and suburban gardens, smaller gardens, or as an understory tree in larger landscapes.
Acer capillipes generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. The tree benefits from regular watering, particularly during dry periods, to ensure proper establishment and growth. Mulching around the base of the tree helps retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Pruning is minimal and primarily involves removing dead, damaged, or crossing branches. Regular inspections for common pests and diseases are recommended to address any issues promptly.

1. Style

Full Standard, Half Standard, Boxhead, Espalier, Feathered, Mini Standard, Multistem, Pleached, Umbrella


15-30cm, 30-50cm, 50-70cm, 70-90cm, 90-110cm, 110-130cm, 130-150cm, 150-170cm, 170-200cm, 200-230cm, 230-250cm, 250-270cm, 270-300cm, 300-350cm, 350-400cm, 400-450cm, 450-500cm, 500-600cm, 600-700cm, 700-800cm, 800-900cm, 900-1000cm

Stem Girth

4-6cm, 6-8cm, 8-10cm, 10-12cm, 12-14cm, 14-16cm, 16-18cm, 18-20cm, 20-22cm, 22-24cm, 24-26cm, 26-28cm, 28-30cm, 30-35cm, 35-40cm, 40-45cm, 45-50cm, 50-55cm, 55-60cm, N/A

Root Type

Pot Grown, Rootball, Bare Root

Foliage Type



Non Native

Growth Height

Medium Growing

Growth Speed

Medium Growth






No Berries


Without Thornes


Non Toxic

Drought Tolerance


Sun Preference

Full Sun, Partial Shade

Colourful Foliage


Leaf Size


Natural Growth Style




Hard Wood Cutback?


Soil Type?

Clay-Heavy, Sandy-Well Draining, Grows in most soil types

Natural Shape



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Box/Parcel – Used for plants sized 0-70cm.

Pallet – Used for plants sized 71-230cm.

Private Van/Lorry – Used for plants sized 231cm and taller.

In all cases you can request a private van delivery, where your plants are delivered by us. Upon your request we can re-evaluate your delivery fee and let you know of the delivery time.

Please note, for pallet and box deliveries we use third party companies to deliver the goods. Not often, but occasionally some delays may happen due to unforeseen circumstances, which are out of our control. For this reason, we ask you to never book gardeners, contractors, or other industry professionals for the estimated delivery date. Please do not book days off work or cancel other commitments specifically for your plant delivery to avoid disappointment.

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If you are not home at the time of your delivery, don’t worry! With your permission, we will instruct our trusted couriers to leave your plants in a safe place. If you have any requirements, or a preferred safe place for your plant delivery, please ensure to leave us a note along with your order, or simply give us a call.

Specialized Delivery

If you have any special requirements regarding your delivery, please add it to your order notes or call us on 01603 327269. Always include any delivery restrictions into your order note so appropriate vehicles and good carriers can be used to deliver your plants.

Please note that we currently are unable to deliver to Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland due to Brexit rules and regulations.

For more delivery information refer to our terms and conditions here.