Japanese Maples

Japanese Maples

Acer Palmatum, more commonly called Japanese maples, are among the most popular and best loved small trees. Find out more about them.

Description: Acer Palmatum is part of the genus of Aceraceae, which has over 200 species of trees and shrubs within it, mostly grown for their beautiful ornamental foliage, often brilliantly colored especially in autumn.

Growing Acers Palmatum

They grow best in sun or semi shade in well drained fertile soil. Most species are tolerant of lime in the soil.

Plant between October and March unless it is a pot grown tree, in which case it can be planted anytime as long as it is acclimatized first.

Protect from cold strong winds. They can also be damaged by late frosts followed by sun.

Propagation: Not really recommended for the amateur grower. Species trees and shrubs can be grown from seed sown in a cold frame in October.

Named varieties don’t usually grow true from seed and should be grafted on to a species rootstock.

Pruning is not usually necessary, just remove any dead branches in spring.

Pests & Diseases: They are fairly troublefree but they can be attacked by aphids, gall mites, red spider mite.

They can also suffer from coral spot, honey fungus, tar spot, and verticillium wilt.

Not a pest or disease, but the leaves of acers can be scorched, turn brown at the edges and shrivel.

Popular Japanese Maples Varieties

Acer palmatum dissectum atropurpureum – this is probably the most popular with its dark purple, deeply divided leaves.

Acer palmatum dissectum viride – similar to atropurpureum above but with bright green leaves.

Acer palmatum corallinum – this variety doesn’t have the heavily dissected foliage of ‘dissectum’, but rather lobed leaves. The mature foliage is a brilliant red turning to yellow/orange in autumn.

Acer palmatum butterfly – again with lobed foliage, this variety has green leaves with creamy and pink edges.

Acer palmatum bloodgood – lobed rather than dissected foliage, deep purple-red turning to deep bright red in autumn.

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