Where Should You Plant A Japanese Maple Tree – A Full Guide


A red maple on the article Where Should You Plant A Japanese Maple Tree

Japanese Maple trees make an excellent focal point and can be grown in a container or into a large plant as well. It has many varieties and comes in different shapes and sizes.

This plant is no doubt a beautiful plant and will add beauty wherever you plant it!

They are famous for their leaves, color, and structure and is the most easily recognizable plant because of the way it looks.

No matter where you decide to plant this gorgeous tree it will be an asset for the place and enhance the look of the area you wish to plant this tree in.

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Basic Things To Know About A Japanese Maple Tree

Zones: 

Zones 5-8. Heat should be considered for the effect it on the Japanese Maples leave color. They leaf out early in the season.

Height

Its height varied from 8 to 30 meters tall.

Exposure

Too much or too little can have a negative effect on your Japanese Maple tree so if you want the best color of your maple tree then aims for part days sun or high light at least.

Growth Rate

Japanese Maple trees have a slow growth rate of about 1 to 2 feet per year.

They typically grow at a faster rate when they are young and slow down once they reach maturity.

However, if you want an established look from the start then opt for an older plant.

Foliage Colour

Japanese Maple trees are famous for their colors and come in a variety of colors including reds, yellows, purples, greens, and oranges.

Water

Watering your Japanese Maples on time is crucial. Although these plants can survive a certain period without water once established try to water them regularly during extreme drought.

Watering the plants is essential when it is young and try to keep the mulch away from the plant.

Fertilizer

Low nitrogen fertilizer is good during spring but try to avoid it during winters since it could affect the color of your tree.

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Where Should You Plant A Japanese Maple Tree?

A japanese mapleJapanese Maple trees are ideally dwarf plants that you can grow in a container and also as bonsai.

These attractive trees draw the eye wherever you keep them due to their crimson, gold, and orange colour.

This tree also gives shade to understory plants during the three seasons of the year.

Japanese Maples ideally need:

1) Protection from strong winds

Japanese Maples are quite fragile and dries out quickly in high winds.

Although this doesn’t mean that you should grow them in totally closed spaces but rather keep them protected from strong winds.

2) Well-drained soil

Japanese Maples do not demand too much from their soil but it should not be alkaline.

Try to grow your Japanese Maples in acidic or neutral soil and pair them with Rhododendrons to enhance their beauty.

Another thing to take care of when planting your Japanese Maple is to not plant them in salty soil.

They have a high tolerance for loose sands and heavy clays but not salty soil. If your soil is salty try growing your Japanese Maple in a container.

3) Protection from late spring frosts

Japanese Maples are most prone to damage during spring after winters. Since the sudden change in weather makes it leaves to break.

The frost period after the initial warm period may be harmful to your Japanese Maple so keep your trees covered during a frost forecast to avoid damage.

4) Dappled or afternoon shade when young

Although Japanese Maples love harsh sun if you see its leaves scorching during summers then it means they are being over-exposed to the sun which might not be a good idea for your Japanese Maple.

However, after some time if you see no difference in your Japanese Maple tree then it might mean that it needs more sun so don’t hesitate to move it to a different location!

If you’re enjoying this article, check out our article on the top 5 best small trees with non invasive roots.

Planting For Maple Trees By Season

Autumn

Autumn is the best time to plant your Japanese Maple tree and ideally you should plant it a month before the ground freezes.

Although even if you don’t plant it on time it can still grow into a beautiful plant. After planting it lay down 3 inches of mulch and keep watering it until winters arrive.

Autumn is also the ideal time to prune your Japanese Maple tree and as you might know, this plant loves pruning.

It doesn’t need an annual trim but you should do it when seeing dead or lopsided branches.

Spring

Spring might be the most vulnerable time for your Japanese Maple tree and hence it will be a good idea to keep it covered during frosty weather and come back to your routine once the weather gets better.

Summer

Summers is the only time you might see pests on your plant. However, don’t worry they are harmless and you can easily kill them with pesticides.

Winter

During winters your Japanese Maple tree is the most carefree.

The only thing you should be concerned about is the heavy snowfall and don’t let too much snow accumulate around our tree as this can be harmful. Try brushing it away but not too roughly!

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How To Prune A Japanese Maple Tree?

If you pick the right maple tree it won’t require too much pruning and it will grow in the amount of space you have given your plant and should have a natural branching structure.

However, if you still feel that your tree is getting too dense then it would be best to thin out the branches rather than head cutting the branches.

So it is better to go in and remove the branches as close to the trunk as possible to help the Japanese Maple tree stay in its organic structure which makes it more attractive.

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Propagating Japanese Maple Trees

A japanese maple tree

Have you ever propagated a maple tree? It is quite a fascinating process which will amuse you!

Japanese maple grows are all grafted on the same rootstock that means they all started with the same seed no matter what the plant looks like now!

Once the seeds are big enough different varieties of maple trees are grafted onto them.

Propagating a maple tree is a time-consuming process but if you’re a lover of these plants then keep reading to know more about how to propagate a Japanese Maple tree.

  • Fill a container with potting soil and create a 4 inches deep hole in the center.
  • Now take a cutting from your trees of about 6 inches long. Make sure to use sharp shears for a clean cut.
  • If you see any leaves on the branch beside them remove them.
  • Now insert the cutting into the soil you prepared and set it in a sunny location.
  • Lastly, mist it twice daily till the plant sprout roots. This takes about 3-4 weeks.

Try to keep the propagated plant in a container for a year and then move it into the ground once temperatures are above freezing.

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How Close Can A Japanese Maple Tree Be To A House?

If you are planning to plant a Japanese Maple tree near your house make sure to plant it at least 10 feet away from your house.

Japanese maple trees are the smallest type of maple trees and if you plant them next to your house they will give a perfect shade for your patios and to other smaller plants.

Do Japanese Maple Trees Have Invasive Roots?

Some Japanese Maple trees can grow up to 6 feet tall but they do not have invasive roots.

This deciduous tree forms a horizontal root structure and spreads mainly within the top 24 inches of the soil.

Its roots spread to the trees drip line and slightly beyond. Its roots also make it an ideal plant if you wish to grow it in a container but even if you plant them in soil its roots do not form taproots.

Final Thoughts

Japanese Maple trees make an attractive focal point if standing alone and can also make a great backdrop.

This plant also looks beautiful with any other plant particularly those which have similar plant needs.

This tree is not only attractive but also easy to take care of and can survive harsh winters and summers.

This tree fits perfectly well throughout all 4 seasons and fits perfectly well in any yard.

It is easy to take care of but the only thing this easy to take care of plant doesn’t like is alkaline soil and salty soil.

Also, try to avoid too much water for this plant as it does not require a lot of water which in return can harm your plant.

Japanese Maple trees can survive hot weathers and therefore if the plant is established you don’t need to water it frequently.

However if it is a new or a younger plant then it is ideal to water this plant frequently to let it grow naturally and take its organic structure rather than forcing its branches into a shape.

Hope you liked reading about everyone’s all-time favorite Japanese Maple Trees! Happy Gardening!

Before you go, here are some more related articles I encourage you to read below to help solve more of your gardening issues:

What Are the Fastest Growing Evergreen Trees for Small Gardens

How to Care for a Naga Linga Tree in Your House

Purple Leaf Plum Tree Problems

6 Benefits of a Owning a Japanese Maple

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