This is the first I have heard of Japanese maples being labeled as a pest. Makes me wonder what organization will be next to jump on the band wagon? "this tree can escape from cultivation and spread into forests where it becomes highly variable with green leaves and a non-compact shape." ("Non compact shape", sounds like a real thug!) "It is listed as a problem plant by the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council and is reported as invasive in nearby Rock Creek National Park." Problem Plant: Japanese Maple Maybe we need to rescue Japanese maples in Northern Virginia from the Master Gardeners' and others that feel threatened by them.