There are several popular varieties of Japanese trees used in landscaping, gardens and even as potted plants. The most popular is the Japanese maple, followed by the Japanese Cherry. Japanese trees also include a wide variety of bonsai and dwarf trees. Determine the best tree for the desired purpose, landscaping needs and environment to narrow the choices as these trees have many varieties.
This is by far the most popular landscaping tree of the Japanese trees available. There are over 400 varieties of Japanese maple but most nurseries will carry only a few of them. They can be grown in containers as small trees or planted in the ground to create an interesting landscape feature for the entire year. Popular varieties include Bloodgood which has purple leaves and red stems. Another popular variety is Red Maple that has red leaves in the spring and fall. These leaves turn green during the summer, then back to red in the fall. Autumn Blaze is a fast growing variety that is also popular with many landscapers. The Osakazui has olive colored leaves that turn red in the fall. These versatile trees area easy to care for and look good all year long as their bark is usually not brown. Each variety has different needs for sunlight, watering and care. Review the specific care for each before making a final choice.
There are also a wide variety of Japanese Cherry trees available from Japan. In the United States the most popular is the Somei Yoshino. This tree produces pale pink blossoms that may almost appear white. It is the tree planted extensively in Macon GA and is highlighted during their famous Cherry Blossom Festival. The Ukon is easily recognized as it has yellow blooms, which is unusual as most cherry trees have white or pink blossoms. The Kanzan is also popular due to its large pink blooms. A bloom from this tree will have between 30 and 50 petals. There are also weeping varieties of Japanese cherry trees, though these are not as popular. The Shidarezakura is an example of this type of tree with pink blossoms.
While the art of Bonsai is not as popular in the United States as it is in Japan it is gaining ground, particularly with the devotees of Feng Shui decorating. Popular varieties of these trees include the Money Tree, Juniper and Bamboo. The money tree is actually five trees that are braided together into a single plant. The trunks will need to continue to be braided as they grow to keep the shape of the tree. Juniper bonsai trees are grown in pots and kept inside or in gardens. They are pruned and trained to grow in very specific shapes, and require more care than many other types of houseplants. Bamboo is often planted in a pot when it is used as a houseplant or in a garden. Some varieties of bamboo can reach incredible heights, so verify the type being purchased if you're planning to plant it outside where it can reach its full height.
Choosing a popular Japanese tree will create an interesting landscape feature as these trees have unusual bark and beautiful foliage or blooms.