Japanese maple: Acer palmatum

This species is native to Japan, Korea and China. The trees are very decorative, usually with a round to umbel-shaped crown and reach a height of 3 m (10 ft) when grown in containers.

The purple flowers that appear in June are grouped in small clusters. In autumn the green leaves turn brilliant orange to red. For instance, the ‘red pygmy’ variety has striking brown-red leaves that are finely, and deeply cut while ‘Dissectum’ has bright green foliage that turns orange-yellow in autumn. Maples prefer partial shade and thrive in rich, well-drained soil with a low pH. They require regular watering and prefer organic fertilizers because excessive lime in the soil and fluctuating moisture levels can cause the leaves to turn brown from the edges and finally die completely. Unwanted shoots can be cut back in late autumn and winter.

For propagation, overwintering and plant protection, see Acer negundo. Young plants should be protected from cold winds.

14. April 2014 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit Trees | Comments Off on Japanese maple: Acer palmatum

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