Japaneses Maples or Acer Palmatum
Acer Palmatum or Japanese Maples include ever increasing numbers of new and interesting forms. They range from dwarf shrubs up to small trees. Instantaneously they can transform your garden into a place of tranquillity and Zen. No garden is complete without the beauty of a Japanese Maple. The colour in the autumn alone is enough to warrant their use, add to that the pleasure of the delicate foliage swaying gently in a summer breeze; you have perfection for 9 months of the year.
Where to site your Acers
They can get quite large after several years and require a little room to appreciate them, so toward the back of the border or as a stand-alone feature. 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.
How to grow and look after your maples
They are fairly easy to grow and prefer a little dapple shade and a site out of strong winds. They are best planted in slightly acidic soil that is well drained. If your soil is not acidic, include some ericaceous compost when backfilling the planting hole.
Pruning Japanese Maples is better carried out in Autumn/Winter when the sap is falling or the plant is dormant. If it is necessary to prune at other times of the year then you should use a wound seal treatment on the cut to avoid disease getting in.
Be careful not to over feed your Acer; use little and often and use organic chicken pellets or specialist acer feed.