How do I Plant Japanese Maple?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 December 2019
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Japanese maples or Acer Palmatum are considered some of the loveliest trees. They may have red or green leaves and they are typically short in stature. Some are grown solely as bonsai. Many find the elegance of these trees exceptionally attractive and chose to plant them. With a little care when people plant Japanese maple, the trees may thrive and live to delight for many years.

A few considerations exist for those who would like to plant Japanese maple. First, people should determine where and when to plant a tree or trees. Some gardeners advise choosing early spring, after the last frosts for planting. Yet others suggest trees can be safely planted throughout spring and summer, or even in early fall.

Thought must be given as to where the trees will be most happy. Most recommendations are to plant in full to partial shade, particularly in hot climates. In cooler areas, the trees may prosper in full sun, but they are usually better off in areas where they don’t receive a lot of afternoon sun. It should be noted that sun doesn’t necessarily kill the maple. It can affect the look of the leaves though.


Probably one of the most important factors when people plant Japanese maple is choosing soil that is well-drained. If soil does not drain particularly well, plant Japanese maple in a slightly shallower hole, and be sure to plant in at least partial shade. It can also help when people plan to use organic soil like compost once they get ready to fill the hole after placing the tree in it.

Many will need to determine how big a hole to dig for planting the tree is necessary. This depends on size of the root ball. Typically these trees are planted when they reach a height of about a couple of feet or less. The root ball could vary in size depending on height of the tree. Standard instructions are to dig a hole only slightly deeper than the root ball, but at least two and preferably three times as wide as it. The tree has shallow roots and this will allow it to expand outward.

There are also some varieties of Japanese maple that prosper very well in larger pots. Though things like oak barrels might seem the natural planting vessels for small trees, they don’t always hold up well, and this may necessitate replanting at a future point. More durable planting containers are advisable since some of the trees can live for numerous years.

After gardeners have been successfully able to plant Japanese maple, they need to care for the plants during the first few weeks and months. Regular watering is quite important, and people should plan to water once a week, unless frequent rains are occurring. Typically no fertilization is required, and though Japanese maples may get the occasional infestation of aphids, they don’t tend to need much in the way of pest control.



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Post 1

will a dwarf japanese maple thrive near a black walnut and cherry tree?

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