November 1st, 2012

Japanese Maples are Showing their colours!

If you have been thinking about putting a Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) in your garden then October and November are the best months to visit our garden centers and see the fantastic colours that these trees provide in the fall. So many of the varieties that seem plain and boring in the summer turn into amazing plants in the fall.

Japanese maples grow well in well-drained soil. So select a site with good drainage. They can grow in full sun to almost full shade, but they do best with protection from mid-day sun. The amount of light affects the leaf colour; red leaf types will be more colourful in a sunnier location.

Once established, Japanese maples may be lightly fertilized only in the early spring (April). They require little pruning but and major structural trimming should be done before the new leaves emerge in spring. If you need to do any lighter pruning you can do so any time after the first major flush of growth begins in June.

Japanese maples are subject to very few pests. Aphids, leaf cutters and rollers may appear in the spring and can be effectively treated with an appropriate spray. If you notice any damage to your tree you can bring in a few leaves to the garden centre so that we can identify the pest.

Japanese maples are grown for their diverse forms, shapes, sizes, and of course colours. There are over 1,000 named varieties in cultivation. Some of the varieties showing beautiful colour are; Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Inabe Shidare’, Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Tamukeyama’, Acer palmatum ‘Orangeola’, Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’, Acer palmatum ‘Ukigumo’, Acer palmatum ‘Villa Taranto’, Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’, and Acer sieboldianum ‘Kinugasa Yama’.