This outstanding red palmatum is exceptionally strong tree. It is comparable to 'Bloodgood'; the reliable standard to which all newer red upright palmatums are compared. 'Emperor I' exceeds even 'Bloodgood' in leaf color retention and growth rate. This beautiful tree has an additional advantage of coming into leaf two weeks later - thus reducing the risk of damage by late spring frosts and cold drying winds. 'Emperor I' holds its color well even in shaded areas. The leaves are a deep purple-red throughout the growing season then change a beautiful dark crimson in the fall. This outstanding cultivar grows thin-textured leaves that at times look translucent and glow in the sunlight. 'Emperor I' also known as 'Red Emperor' is a hardy and vigorous grower, growing 8-10 ft. in 10 years. The tree has an up-right wide crown which makes it a good focal point for a large landscape. 'Emperor I' was discovered and developed by Richard Wolff of Red Maple Nursery in Pennsylvania.