I have 3 Japanese Maples, 2 are full moon maples and have smaller multi colored leaf, red trunk, they do their thing and are doing beautifully. The other one has a dark red burgandy colored leaf. When I purchased it, the leaves were very narrow, lacy looking leaves, kind of like the Villa Taranto or the Moonfire. However, some of the leaves are coming back very wide, still the pretty red color but the shape is more like the Osakuzuki or the Hogyoku trees. Also, the leaves don't fall off of that one tree. Even when the new growth comes out, the dead leaves still stay attached. I end up pulling them off once the new growth starts to appear, but I'm afraid I might pull off some of that new growth. I am in zone 8, by the ocean, so could it be the salt air?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This can have something to do with it, although, I think it is likely that the tree is putting out new growth from the grafted root stock. Essentially you have two trees together. It is best to cut off the growth that is different from the rest of the tree, or it will outgrow the original grafted top, which will kill it off, leaving the rootstock.