Growing in unique shapes and styles, compact and sometimes prostrate, Japanese maples are very popular and showcase breathtaking colors in the autumn.
Common name : Japanese Maple
Scientific name : Acer palmatum
Family : Aceraceae
Category : Trees
Type of plant : Perennial
Japanese maples, principally palmate-leaved maples (Acer palmatum) and the variety native to Japan (Acer japonicum), are remarkable for their distinct habits as well as their spring and autumn coloration. Japanese maples, like most maples, prefer a neutral or slightly acidic soil that is fresh, rather moist, well-drained, in either partial shade or full sunlight, and sheltered from dry wind. These are small trees, reaching up to four meters in height, and of which there are many cultivars ranging in colour from green to purple to yellow.
Acer palmatum, or Japanese maple, achieves heights of 8 meters in Japan, closer to 4 meters in Europe. The leaves are opposite and palm-shaped, with 5, 7, or 9 serrated lobes. Green in summer, they turn shades of red, yellow and orange in autumn. Acer japonicum has very similar characteristerics, but it's leaves each have from 7 to 11 barely-serrated lobes.
Plant my japanese maple
Plant your Japanese maple in neutral or slightly-acidic, well-drained, cool, and even humid soil. Plant in full sun or partial shade, sheltered from drying winds. Anticipate how much space your tree will end up required based on the cultivar — it may be from 40 cm to 4 m! Dig a planting hole twice the volume of the root ball, loosen the sides of the hole, then sink a support into the bottom, facing prevailing winds. First add some soil to the bottom, then place the root ball so that the neck of the tree is level with the ground, then fill in the hole with soil around the root ball. Attach the trunk to the support with an appropriately flexible connector. Tamp down, form a watering basin, and water copiously.
If potted, create a drainage layer with limestone-free gravel or any other rough granule, then plant the root ball in a mixture of good quality soil and decomposed compost. Cover with bark mulch.
Water my japanese maple
If potted, water once a week In open soil, water weekly if necessary for a year after planting, making sure to fill the watering basin completely!
Prune my japanese maple
In winter, prune dead or crossed branches. You may also prune in a way that clears out the heart of the tree to better show off it's structure.
Mulch my japanese maple
Each year, spread wood and branch chips around the base of the tree to the level of the branches.
Check on my japanese maple
Japanese maples may be subjected to verticillium wilt, which causes entire branches to wither and die, especially if the plant is in heavy, moist soil. There are no truly effective treatments, but for mild cases you should cut off and burn the branches.