Japanese Maple Help & Information
Acer Help Page
Acer Palmatum or Japanese Maples include ever increasing numbers of new and interesting forms almost by the month. They range from dwarf shrubs up to small trees.
They are fairly 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 backfil is enough. When pruning Japanese maples you should concider doing 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 woundseal treatment on the cut. It's not a bad idea to get into the habit of using woundseal everytime you cut into an acer.
When watering acers they need it consistant, 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.
Be careful feeding acers too much as it tends to increase salt levels in the leaves which will cause scorch. Use little and often and use the organic chicken pellets or the ericaceous food. 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.
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.
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 varities perfer 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: