The Japanese maple is one of my favorite trees (go figure, right?) I love the way the colors of the leaves change from spring to late fall as well as the exotic looking structure of the trunk and branches. In my opinion, this tree is one of the most attractive trees for any garden. Beyond the looks, though, what are some other reasons Japanese maples are great additions to add to your landscaping? Let me explain.

  • You always know what you’re getting (or at least you should know!) – Here at Maplestone Ornamentals, almost all of our Japanese maples are propagated using grafting. Grafting allows us to grow trees that are exact clones of the parent trees. I won’t bore you with all the fine details, but this allows us to give our buying customers exactly what they’re looking for, eliminating the chance of an unpleasant surprise (such as a big tree growing where a small tree should be). If you would like to know more about grafting and the process we use here, just check out our grafting page to learn more.
  • Japanese maples are compatible with other plants – The last thing you want to do is plant a tree that will soon overtake its surroundings, pushing your other plants out of their happy homes. Japanese maples are very compatible with other plant life due to their compact, non-invasive root structure. This means that they are great trees to plant in gardens and along walkways or entrances. Many of the varieties also offer nice shade too!
  • These beautiful trees are still tough – Many beautiful plants in the world have a fatal flaw: they are fragile! Japanese maples actually hold up very well in the elements, especially the cold. Although they’re not made for the tundra, they are just fine in sub-zero temperatures. Plus they don’t need much maintenance once they are established!
So now that you know why I am so fond of this tree, I want to go over a few basic caring tips to keep your Japanese maple healthy and happy.

Tip #1: Pruning – Pruning can take place any time of the year except spring and early summer. This is when the sap is running and new growth is soft. You want to concentrate on dead branches, overlapping branches, and branches growing in the opposite direction of the rest. Just be careful not to take off too much. Don’t try and cut back a tree that is getting too big for its space either. You’ll be much better off removing that tree and planting it elsewhere and replanting a dwarf variety in its place.

Tip #2: Watering and Soil – You definitely don’t want your Japanese maple to dry out, so be sure to keep it watered. With this being said, Japanese maples prefer a well drained soil. Saturated soil can cause the Japanese maple’s compact roots to rot, so be sure to plant your tree in an area that drains well.

Tip #3: Protect the babies – Although Japanese Maples are hardy once established, be sure to offer protection for 1 and 2 year old trees. Grow them in a pot for a year or 2 before planting them in the ground. Learn more about protecting these young trees on our Japanese Maple care page.

Well now you have the rundown on the Japanese maple along with some basic caring tips and procedures. As always, if you have any other problems or questions, feel free to reach out to me and the team.