Japanese Maples are known for their unique form, delicate and colorful leaves, and smooth bark. These traits give Japanese maples year-round appeal for any garden or landscape, both traditional as well as themed. The amount to choose from is quite overwhelming, as there are more than 300 cultivars available today. With so many options, it’s easy to picture one of these serene beauties in your landscape.
General Information, Culture, and Care
Japanese Maples are extremely adaptable to soil and climate conditions. Most upright forms attain a height of 15 to 25 feet in 20 years. Most weeping varieties (dissectums) mature at about five feet with a ten-foot spread over 20 years.
Green forms take full sun very well, although afternoon shade will prevent slight sunburn. Most variegated forms need semi-shade to keep lighter parts of their leaves from crisping. Red cultivars of many weeping varieties need some shade as well. However, note that they will not develop typical deep red colors without the benefit of strong sunlight for part of the day.
Japanese Maples have fibrous root networks which stay at the upper level of the soil. They are not overly competitive for water and are therefore compatible with most shrubbery.
A uniform level of moisture supply, whether great or small, must be maintained. Wet periods followed by very dry ones, or vice versa, can cause leaf drop, leaf scorch, or twig die back. Watering the leaves in full sun during the hot summer months will also cause leaf scorch.
Light fertilization of Japanese Maples is recommended using Jack’s All-Purpose Plant Food or Espoma Organic Plant Tone. Over-fertilization may cause your tree to become leggy, or even cause the foliage to burn.
Acidic or well-drained, neutral soil is preferable. Japanese Maples thrive under the same conditions as Rhododendrons.
Japanese Maple Varieties
Below are just a handful of Japanese Maple varieties carried by Meadows Farms. Our Japanese Maples come in many different sizes, may vary from each location, and may not be available at certain times. Please contact your nearest Meadows Farms nursery for sizing and availability information.
Possibly the most popular of all feature trees for the home landscape, with rich burgundy-purple palm-shaped foliage all season long and a very artistic spreading growth habit; put it in the front yard and give it lots of room to grow.
A superb compact landscape tree that demands a showcase location in the garden; finely cut purple-bronze palm-shaped leaves give rich color and texture all season long, ideal for shrub gardens and small landscapes.
A very popular tree that grows vigorously when young to a lovely vase shape; its most outstanding feature is the lovely coral bark on the younger branches in the winter and colorful foliage throughout the rest of the year from yellow-green to gold.
Weeping variety. A popular high quality small tree with rich deep purple foliage all season long and spectacular fall color in various shades of red and orange, compact and artistic growth habit; demands a place of emminence in the garden.
Weeping variety. Dazzling leaves are very finely dissected for a fine ferny texture; burgundy color during summer; elegant vase shaped habit is highly ornamental; the perfect shape, habit, and fall color in a garden accent.
Amazing crimson fall colour and summer foliage in rich burgundy-red; less dense canopy than other types; fairly sun tolerant; Japanese maples are the most coveted of all small landscape trees, it has almost the perfect shape, habit, and fall colors.
Weeping variety. Delicate lacy leaves and cascading habit; foliage begins orange in spring, turning burgundy during summer with more hints of orange-red if grown in the sun, fiery fall color; Japanese maples are the most coveted of all small landscape trees.
This cultivar’s name means ‘Great Red Tide’ and it delivers with striking red foliage emerging in spring, fading to a bronze green during summer, but then changing to a brilliant crimson in fall; perfect for the periphery of borders or rock gardens.
This compact Japanese Maple has narrow, sword-like leaves that emerge red and stay bronzy-red in summer; bushy upright habit; Japanese maples are the most coveted of all small landscape trees, it has almost the perfect shape, habit, and fall color.
This wonderful tree posesses fine ferny foliage in a lovely green and turns a brilliant scarlet in fall; unusual and rare for a dissectum in that it grows in an upright form, making this a great choice for a solitary accent in the garden.
Weeping variety. An incredibly artistic accent plant for the garden, featuring lacy foliage that emerges a beautiful crimson-red and fades to a purple-green in summer, turning stunning fiery shades of color in fall; best planted in a sheltered location.
Weeping variety. This wonderful small feature tree has fine ferny foliage which emerges a hot reddish purple turning deep purple in summer, finally blazing orange-red in fall; a great choice for a solitary accent in the garden, one of the hardiest Japanese maples.
Weeping variety. Amazing gold-orange fall color; delicate, lacy leaves of bright green during summer on a cascading form; Japanese maples are the most coveted of all small landscape trees, it has almost the perfect shape, habit, and fall colors.