Japanese maple planting and care
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With their large diversity in sizes, leaf forms, shapes and eye-catching fall colors in a range of robust hues, Japanese maple trees are sure to be the stars of the garden, adding interest all season long. Some varieties even have colorful bark. They rate as one of the most stunning and desirable trees and shrubs for gardeners everywhere. When properly planted and cared for, even beginner gardeners will have success growing Japanese maples. Continue reading because we take the mystery out of planting your Japanese maple, giving you all the tips to get it off to the best and healthiest start so it will be a show-stopper in your garden for years to come.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to Plant a Japanese Maple (How to Plant Grafted Trees)Content:
- GROWING JAPANESE MAPLES IN THE UK
- Japanese Maple Plant Care: How To Grow Acer Palmatum
- Gardening 101: Japanese Maple Trees
- Japanese Maples
- Everything You Need to Know About Bloodgood Japanese Maple Trees
- Japanese Maple (Acer) Growing Guide
- Bloodgood Japanese Maple
- Everything You Need to Know About Emperor Japanese Maple Trees
- How should I plant and care for a Japanese maple?
- Japanese Maple Tree Care Guide
GROWING JAPANESE MAPLES IN THE UK
Make a donation. Japanese maples are easy to grow in containers or in the ground, with most preferring a sheltered, shady spot. Small and slow growing with a graceful habit and beautiful foliage, they're the perfect choice for even the tiniest of gardens.
Japanese maple trees have a variety of shapes, and their range of leaf colours, shapes and autumn colours makes for year-round interest, especially for smaller gardens.
After thinking about what height and shape you would like, think about the leaf colour. However, they do best in soils that are well-drained and contain plenty of organic matter, such as garden compost or bagged soil conditioner from garden centres.
Trees are available from most good garden centres, but a bigger range is available from specialist nurseries or at flower shows. Japanese maples are widely sold as container-grown small trees, but may be available bare root from late autumn into winter from specialist nurseries. Choose a tree with a well-balanced framework of main branches. The foliage of container grown trees should not show evidence of drying out such as browning along the leaf edges.
See our guide on tree planting for more information. Japanese maples are ideal plants for growing in containers. Plant in a John Innes No. Keep the compost moist, but not soaking wet, and feed in spring and early summer with a slow-release fertiliser or liquid feed.
Your Japanese maple will need repotting into a slightly bigger container every couple of years. April or September are ideal months to do this. Long-term container-grown trees will need root pruning every two or three years.
To do this, place the pot on its side and remove the tree. Using an old saw cut 5cm 2in off the bottom of the root ball and three or four slivers down the side. Tease out the roots on the surface of the compost and repot with fresh potting compost same types as above. Place sufficient potting compost in the base of the pot so the tree is planted no deeper than previously.
The roots of maples in pots are vulnerable to frost over winter , so wrap containers with a sheet of bubble wrap, held in place with garden twine. Water regularly in dry spells during the first year to aid establishment, especially if planted in spring or later in the summer season. You may need to water once a week during hot, dry spells which can cause the leaves to brown and crinkle around the edges.
Water trees in containers regularly so they do not dry out. This can mean at least once a day in hot weather. So trees do not dry out and to suppress weeds, mulch with a 10cm 4in layer of garden compost or mulching bark.
Do keep it away from the trunk as it will rot if covered. Japanese maples in the ground are usually fully hardy, but container-grown trees should be placed on pot feet or brick and the pot wrapped in polythene bubble wrap for insulation.
Japanese maples naturally have an elegant shape and, when bought, usually require very little pruning other than removing any winter dieback at the ends of shoots. If young trees produce a strong vertical shoot this can be pruned back to a side branch in late autumn. Japanese maples are best pruned when fully dormant November to January , as maples bleed sap from pruning cuts at other times, weakening the tree. However, pruning is still best kept to a minimum as the most graceful shape comes from a tree that has been allowed to develop fairly naturally.
As a result, just remove badly-placed or crossing shoots to encourage a good framework of branches to grow. Where you do need to reduce height and width, follow long branches back to a side branch and prune it out at this point. This is not necessary on prostrate-growing trees because they should be allowed to spread naturally to gain the best effect. Always prune back to a well-placed side branch. Do not leave a stub as this is often prone to decay and dieback.
You can collect the winged seeds samaras when they fall in autumn. Sow them as soon as you can by removing the wings and sowing in a prepared seedbed dug, trod, levelled and raked to create a surface of fine crumb-like soil or sow in pots of seed compost, which are then placed in a cold frame or sheltered position outdoors over winter. The seeds germinate in spring. Most maples are difficult to propagate from cuttings, so layering in autumn or early spring is probably the easiest way of propagating named cultivars.
Commercial nurseries graft maples, but this is not an easy technique for most home gardeners as it takes a fair bit of practice to get good success. Japanese maples are generally easy to grow if planted in shade, in a good soil, sheltered from strong winds. However, you might come across the following:. Take action Why take action? Support us Donate Careers Commercial opportunities Leave a legacy. Join the RHS today and support our charitable work Join now.
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Shopping with the RHS. RHS Christmas gifts. Help us achieve our goals Make a donation. Join the RHS today and support our charity Join now. Save to My scrapbook. Quick facts. Compact, slow-growing deciduous trees, ideal for smaller gardens Attractive foliage in shades of green, yellow or burgundy, and good autumn colour Plant from October to March Best in a cool, lightly shaded spot, and ideal in a larger container Usually needs little pruning or training Mulch and fertilise in spring Can be grown from seed, but usually bought as grafted trees.
All you need to know. Choosing a Japanese maple Japanese maple trees have a variety of shapes, and their range of leaf colours, shapes and autumn colours makes for year-round interest, especially for smaller gardens. Acer japonicum selections tend to make small spreading trees Acer palmatum selections are more shrub-like because they are broader than they are tall Both of the above still offer a variety of forms including upright, spreading and weeping forms After thinking about what height and shape you would like, think about the leaf colour.
Newly emerged leaves range in colour from yellow through lime-green to bright pink. When to plant Plant from early autumn through winter, so typically October to March. Where to plant These slow-growing small trees are ideal for smaller gardens; but can make a great feature in any garden Japanese maples are hardy but do best in a spot sheltered from strong winds. Red-and purple-leaved cultivars need some sun to fully develop their dark hues.
Variegated Japanese maples need partial shade to prevent the afternoon sun from scorching the foliage. Green-leaved forms tolerate full sun, but are best in dappled shade as very bright conditions can sometimes cause scorch Japanese maples do best in slightly acidic humus-rich, well-drained soils. They will be fine in most soils, however, you can improve them by digging in well-rotted organic matter such as garden compost or bags of garden centre soil improver.
We have put together a guide to help you identify your soil type Japanese maples prefer space for their roots and do best if they do not have to compete with the plants around them so give them plenty of space Japanese maples like their roots quite shallow so plant them with no more than 2.
Water in the tree to settle the soil and continue watering regularly, especially in dry weather, during the first summer Mulch with well-rotted organic matter, such as garden compost or mulching bark from a garden centre, so the soil does not dry out in summer Growing in containers Japanese maples are ideal plants for growing in containers. Repotting Your Japanese maple will need repotting into a slightly bigger container every couple of years.
Watering Water regularly in dry spells during the first year to aid establishment, especially if planted in spring or later in the summer season. Overwintering Japanese maples in the ground are usually fully hardy, but container-grown trees should be placed on pot feet or brick and the pot wrapped in polythene bubble wrap for insulation.
Caring for older plants Japanese maples are very long-lived but slow-growing. See our guide to tree pruning. However, you might come across the following: Japanese maples can be very prone to leaf scorch in windy or excessively sunny positions, particularly those with fine-cut leaves.
Young leaves can also be caught by frost so protect with horticultural fleece when cold nights are forecast Poor autumn colour or purple-leaved varieties turning green may suggest a lack of light, such as being in a very shady spot Japanese maples in containers may be troubled by vine weevil larvae, which eat their roots Japanese maples are susceptible to scale insect damage Phytopthora root rot and verticillium wilt can also be a problem on occasions. While we think all this information will be helpful to you, we always recommend to read the instruction labels on your plants.
Discover Japanese maples Everything you need to know about choosing the right Japanese maple for you. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9.
Japanese Maple Plant Care: How To Grow Acer Palmatum
Various sources place the number of maple species in the world between ninety and two hundred. Mostly, they are found in the northern hemisphere: North America, Europe, and Asia. The Japanese maple is a popular small, deciduous tree in gardens north of Florida. Larger selections grow slowly to the size of a tree up to 30 feet tall over time.
so will need watering with greater regularity. Water your Japanese maple regularly so that it is evenly moist but not saturated. As a rule of.
Gardening 101: Japanese Maple Trees
A Japanese maple Acer palmatum is one of the statelier plants that can be used in the garden. There is incredible variation between cultivated varieties, making it difficult to describe a typical Japanese maple. They can be grown as single-stemmed small trees or large multi-stemmed shrubs, ranging in size from six to 25 feet tall, meaning a Japanese maple can fit into a variety of landscapes. The leaves range from dark green to red or reddish-purple and can have anywhere from five to nine deeply cut lobes. Fall color is very vibrant and layered branches give Japanese maples an interesting look in the winter months. Since Japanese maples are both slow-growing and expensive to purchase, it is important to consider where they will be planted and how they will be cared for. Although they are native to Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea, Japanese maples can perform well in Zones 5 and 6 if they are planted in the right location. It is not unusual for plants to experience some dieback after especially tough winters. Prevent potential hardiness issues by planting in protected locations, safe from harsh winter winds, and avoid low-lying areas. Japanese maples tend to leaf-out early in the season and are sensitive to late spring frosts.
Japanese maples are especially prized for the diversity of size, shape and colour of foliage. Foliage colour changes with the season, and many are especially spectacular in the autumn. Japanese maples are usually categorized according to leaf type. These include: palmate types: large leaves that look like your hand. Deeply divided types: the leaves are divided down to the petiole.
Everything You Need to Know About Bloodgood Japanese Maple Trees
Selected for their beauty, size and form variations, the Japanese maple tree fits into any garden. Differences in form and size, in addition to the variations of foliage colour, put these trees into a superior category. We wholeheartedly agree. And why we wanted this guide on Japanese maple tree care. Tips include how to plant and when to prune them. In our garden, the Japanese maple trees enhance the gardens along with the rhododendrons and azaleas , flowering quince , flowering dogwoods , mock orange , star magnolia and forsythia shrubs.
Japanese Maple (Acer) Growing Guide
An illustration of color variation from the lack of roots. The Orangeola on the left has many roots while the one on the right is a barerooted Orangeola without a sufficient root system. The Japanese maple Acer palmatum is native to the mountainous forests of Japan, but can be grown here in Texas with great success if given shade and water. There are hundreds of cultivars with nearly endless variations of size, shape, habit, color, etc. Upright — These trees will grow to a height of feet with an equal spread, depending on the cultivar.
A Tree That's a Natural Fit for a Container. If there's one tree that's tailor-made for growing in a pot, it's Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). Its small stature.
Bloodgood Japanese Maple
Lacy leaves, a graceful form and the ability to command attention are all reasons why the Japanese Maple is worthy of a place of honor in your yard. Choose from yellow-green, purple, red, bronze, or variegated leaves. Rest assured that your Japanese Maple is sure to turn heads and create an aura of quiet dignity in your yard.
Everything You Need to Know About Emperor Japanese Maple TreesRELATED VIDEO: How to Easily Germinate Japanese Maple Seeds (Part 1) Collecting and Stratification of the Seeds
Plants purchased from Japanese maples and Evergreens Nursery are sent in their original soil with the roots intact.
How should I plant and care for a Japanese maple?
There are literally hundreds of different Japanese maple cultivars, many of which are grown very successfully in many different parts of the country. Choosing the type, color and size of Japanese maple cultivars is not an easy task in itself. Add to that, choosing those cultivars best for your area and individual situation, it becomes even more daunting for the novice. Some cultivars can be easily grown in many areas. Many folks living in good growing zones will use different techniques than you will use due to the different environmental conditions where they are. This makes the choosing and growing of these beautiful trees successfully seem challenging.
Japanese Maple Tree Care Guide
The Japanese maple Acer palmatum is a deciduous tree from Asia with beautifully colored foliage. In spring and summer, leaves can be yellow, green or bright pink, while autumn brings spectacular shades of bright gold, crimson, orange and reddish-purple. Acers, as they're also called, come in many varieties. There are multi-trunk and single-trunk trees, for example, and a weeping variety that's wider than it is tall, with dramatically sculpted limbs.