How To Take Care Of Japanese Maples

Japanese Maples are beautiful trees that people love for their elegant look and vibrantly colored leaves. When you see the delicate leaves in various shades of green, reds, and gold in your garden, it can create a lovely atmosphere for your outdoor environment. These trees come in a big variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, so there is a perfect tree for any space. If you have been thinking about adding a Japanese Maple to your garden but are not sure how to take care of one, the tips below will help you get started.

A Popular Perennial

Japanese maple like those from The Tree Center are similar to other perennial plants. So, the care that they need is much the same as the care you provide to other perennials. Here are some basic tips:

– The soil you use should be high-quality and rich in nutrients. It should have good drainage to avoid roots getting soggy. Follow this guideline whether you are planting the tree in a pot or directly in the ground. Just remember that the roots require nutrients and good aeration.

– Your tree should come with care guidelines. Follow the instructions to find out the level of light that your variety requires. Maple leaves easily get scorched in full sun if they do not get enough shade. So, if your variety does not specifically say to plant in full sun, keep it from full sun exposure. 

– During the hot months, keep your maple watered well or else it will be stressed. During the summer, you might need to water it two times a week. Use a low-pressure hose or drip irrigation to allow the water to seep into the soil.

Special Care For Your Japanese Maple

Your Japanese maple needs certain care in order to stay healthy and happy. Here are guidelines to follow.

Plant your new tree during spring or autumn. This is the ideal planting time. If you bring it home during summer or winter, keep the tree in the pot that it came in until the end of the season. When you plant the tree in spring, you let the roots get acclimated to its new surroundings before the growing season. When your tree produces new leaves and buds during the summer, you should not disturb them or else your tree will be stressed. You also should not plant during winter because the cold can put the roots in shock. The roots do not have time to get used to the new soil before the ground freezes. Therefore, plan to plant your tree during spring or autumn for best results.

Add mulch around your maple tree. Place about three inches of organic mulch like sea soil or compost around the tree. This will suppress any weeds around the tree and will keep the soil around the base of the tree moist.

Protect your maple tree from high winds and frost. To do this, plant your tree near a tall fence or close to your house where wind and frost are not as severe. 

How to Prune Your Japanese Maple Tree

Your tree requires annual pruning to keep it looking healthy and beautiful. The ideal time to prune is late winter, before you see any signs of leaf buds showing. Pruning when your tree is dormant will prevent you from snipping away new growth for the spring. Trim away branches that look thin and which stretch out in odd angles. Keep a rounded shape with mindful pruning. Control the height to encourage it to grow wide instead. Keep the main branches that give the tree its primary structure, and just work on the minor branches for shaping. This way, your tree will continue to grow in a healthy manner.

Growing Maples in Pots

Japanese maples can look absolutely stunning in large pots by your front door or in your patio. The variety with branches and leaves that drape are perfect for this look. When you plant a maple in a pot, keep these tips in mind:

– Get a large pot so your maple tree has room to grow. This will decrease the number of times you have to repot, which is better for the tree.

– If your maple needs to be repotted, don’t wait. When roots are cramped, your tree will suffer from stress and it will show poor growth. A weakened tree is also more prone to diseases and pests.

– If you want a large maple tree, you should plant it in the ground instead. Trees planted in pots will not grow to be as big as the ones planted in the ground.

In general, Japanese maple trees are not hard to care for. They make a lovely addition to different areas of your home. They will reward you with beautiful colors during spring, summer, and autumn. The climate on the West Coast is mild and is ideal for these maple trees. Consider adding them to your home so you can enjoy their beauty.