Japanese maple trees can be grown and cared for in containers, flowerbeds or in the yard according to the landscaping needs of the situation. Japanese maple trees are hardy from Texas to Minnesota, according to the specific variety chosen; there are over one hundred varieties of Japanese maple trees. These versatile plants are available as both weeping bushes and upright trees. The foliage includes the red of the Bloodgood, red leaves on green stems of the Burgundy Lace, lacy purple leaves of the Dissectum and the green leaves on the Tana.
There are many varieties of Japanese maple trees so there will be one to suit the specific landscape need. Each variety will have a different leaf color, shape, size of plant and style of growing. Japanese Maples can be planted in a planter outside, placed in flower beds as accents or grown in groupings in the yard. Before choosing a specific variety decide where it will be planted and if there are any specific color or style preferences. Consider the local weather as well. Colder climates will require a hardier variety. Dry climates will require frequent watering of the tree.
Foliage may be red, green or even purple. Some Japanese Maples have leaves that will change color from red to green during the summer and change again in the fall to a red or orange. Determine if a weeping variety is preferred over one that will stand. Choose a location that is sheltered from the wind, as these trees do not stand up well to strong winds. Their shallow root systems will not keep them upright in a strong gale.
Japanese maple trees prefer well-drained soil that is not high in nitrogen. They need to have at least partial shade in the afternoon. The roots of this tree are not deep so when digging the hole only dig to the depth of the current rootball. Place the rootball in the center of the hole and recover it with dirt. Water the area thoroughly, but do not fertilize as this can damage the roots. Water regularly until the roots are well established, usually for the first month or so. If the summer is hot and dry continue to water regularly. Place mulch to a depth of 5 inches to cover the roots and keep the ground moist.
To maintain the correct PH balance of the soil plant azaleas, gardenias or another acid-loving plant close to the Japanese maple. This type of companion planting will help both the tree and the plants that are placed nearby.
Japanese Maples grow slowly so will not require frequent pruning. It is better to prune annually in the spring, as the buds appear so that too much wood is not removed. Prune only to keep the desired shape of the tree.
Japanese maple trees are an excellent addition to any yard. They are easy to care for and will grow well for many years. Their colorful foliage and bark will provide a stunning accent all year.