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Japanese Maple Help & Information

Japanese Maple Help & Information

Acer or Japanese Maple

There are increasing numbers of new and interesting forms almost by the month. They range from dwarf shrubs up to small trees.

No garden is complete without the beauty of a Japanese maple. The colour in the Autumn alone is enough to warrant their use, add that to the pleasure the delicate foliage moving gently in a summer breeze, and you have perfection for 9 months of the year.

The dissectum varieties are better for smaller shrubs forming domes of arching deeply cut leaves. Once you have one you will want more and more.

Acers that can tolerate more sun - although the odd leaf still may scorch in the hot sun. The red varieties prefer more sun as the red is stronger:

  • beni hime - red

  • kamagata - green

  • red pygmy - red

  • seiryu - green

Acers that prefer the shade, they can go a little in the sun but can get scorched:

  • asahi zuru

  • orange dream

  • tsuma beni

  • ukigumo

Growing and Planting

They are easy to grow and prefer a little dapple shade and a site out of strong winds. Best planted in slightly acidic soil and not too wet.

If your soil is not acidic, including some peat in the backfill is enough.

They are also the perfect plant for a pot. If they are in a pot remember to wrap the pot well in Winter or take inside to stop the frost killing the roots.

When watering acers they need it consistent, you can't afford to let the dry out and then increase the water to compensate for the lack of water. Ideally, they would be best having a bit daily or get them in the soil rather than a pot.

Pruning Japanese Maples

You should consider pruning it in Autumn/Winter when the sap is falling as doing it in spring can make them bleed too much and it is possible to lose entire limbs.

If it is essential, do it, use the wound seal treatment on the cut. It's not a bad idea to get into the habit of using wound seal every time you cut into an acer.

Feeding Acers

Use the organic chicken pellets or the ericaceous food in little amounts and do it often as using too much in one go could scorch leaves.

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