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Japanese Maple Tree Care

Recommended Japanese Maples

There are over 400 varieties of Japanese Maple giving a bewildering array to chose from. To cut down their number first decide what size of tree you want. Then decide on the leaf colour and leaf form.

This will narrow down suitable varieties to an acceptable level. Below we have selected a few recommended varieties but a lot will depend on availability and your particular preferences.

Click here to go to our Japanese Maple picture gallery of over 20 varieties.

Japanese Maples are delicate looking small or large trees and they are one of the best foliage plants for the gardener.

Japanese Maples are natives to Japan, northeast China and Korea. In their natural habitat they are normally shaded by larger trees and so prefer partial shade.

They have been cultivated from the early 17th century and are prized in Japan not only for their leaves but also their branch structure which is seen in winter.

In Japan they are called  Momiji which means to change colour ("momizu"). They make excellent subjects for bonsai making superb small trees.

Botanical Name Acer palmatum
Common Name Japanese Maple
Type Deciduous tree. Foliage provides the interest
(after 5 years)
Varies considerably depending on the variety. From 1m (3ft) to 30m (100ft) tall.
Position Partial shade but a few will tolerate full sun. Sheltered from harsh winds.
Soil Rich, moist and well-drained
Hardy Yes but some varieties can be damaged when young.
Flower Insignificant
Foliage Red, green, variegated
Scent No
Season of
Late spring to late autumn
Propagate Greenwood cuttings when flowers are dying or by layering.

Acer palmatum Bloodgood. Click picture to enlarge
Click picture to enlarge

Acer palmatum Bloodgood
A deciduous, bushy Japanese Maple with purple foliage and red stems that intensify colour in the autumn to a flaming red. In mid spring to early summer, the tree produces small red, winged seeds. Eventual height / spread 3 metres (10ft).

Click here for more information if you want buy Japanese Maple "Bloodgood" online in the UK.

Acer palmatum Nishiki Gawa. Click picture to enlarge
Click picture to enlarge

Acer palmatum Nishiki Gawa
Called the pine bark maple because as the tree ages it produces increasingly rough bark like a pine tree. In spring and summer the leaves are green. In autumn they turn a beautiful shade of orange. In late Spring the tree produces small red-winged seeds - click here for picture of the seed.

Click here for more information if you want buy Japanese Maple online in the UK.

Japanese Maple (acer palmatum) picture. Click to enlarge.
Click picture to enlarge

Acer palmatum Osakazuki
Shown in the picture with olive green leaves which turn a to a dazzling red in autumn. This Japanese Maple makes a superb specimen plant and is best suited to a part shade position. Eventual height and spread is 6 metres (19ft) but this is a slow-growing tree.

Click here for more information if you want buy Japanese Maple online in the UK.

Click picture to enlarge

Acer palmatum dissectum Atropurpureum
Shown in the picture as it appears for most of the year, this is another acer that turns bright red in autumn. A good size for the small to medium garden with a height and spread of 2.5 metres (8ft). Compact and ideal for growing in a container.

Click here for more information if you want buy Japanese Maple online in the UK.


Name: Marice Mayuga
Date posted: May 08, 2013 - 02:13 pm
Message: I bought this dying red weeping Acer about 7 years ago at  clearance section of a nursery. I planted it in fron of our house where it gets full afternoon sun. Lo and behold, 4 years ago, I noticed a new trunk coming out from the base above the ground which sprouted diff species all together. I prune it every year after the leaves fall to create a distinct contrast. Well, at present, my 2-in-1 Japanese red weeping Maple at about 3 ft. tall and what turned out to be from the Pine Bark maple species, stands about 9 ft. tall. It has now become a beautiful attraction to my neighbors and their friends to take pictures. Mostly, as their background subject. I would like to share a picture of tree like a proud Mama to a more official site. How can I post it as part of your collection of pictures to showcase it.

Name: jim@GardenAction
Date posted: October 31, 2011 - 06:55 pm
Message: Yes, they do.

Name: M.C yran
Date posted: October 31, 2011 - 05:29 pm
Message: Do the trees shed their leaves in the fall?

Name: Sam Mehr
Date posted: October 05, 2011 - 11:20 pm
Message: I have three Emperor 1 Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum) and the foliage is green all the time. How can I get the foliage to turn red all the time.

Name: Kim
Date posted: September 23, 2011 - 03:37 pm
Message: What kind of fertilizer do I need for my maple trees?

Name: James
E-mail: Private
Date posted: September 07, 2011 - 10:35 am
Message: A reply to Malcom about your 30 year old acer, sounds like one branch has had the harsh winter wind on that side more than the other side, best not to cut the affected branch off because the weight of the good branch will cause the tree to lean and stress the joint of that branch and in really windy conditions could cause it to snap or slit, try to dead head the leaves and they should sprout again in the spring.

Name: Malcolm Bell
E-mail: mgbelluk@yahoo.
Date posted: September 01, 2011 - 10:26 am
Message: We have a beautiful 30 year old acer, on which half the leaves have shrivelled and died.The affected leaves seem to be on one main branch while the leaves on the other main branch are ok.Should I cut down the affected branch or leave it another year.What causes this problem?

Name: Pat Daniels
Date posted: August 28, 2011 - 10:58 am
Message: The leaves on my japanese maple have turned brown and dried up. What should I do?

Name: Roy Collett
E-mail: Private
Date posted: August 25, 2011 - 04:28 pm
Message: I planted an acer about 3 years ago in excellent soil and conditions. Though perfectly healthy in appearance, it does not grow any bigger (about 20 inches). Any advice would be much appreciated.

Name: Mrs. Lilley
E-mail: Private
Date posted: August 01, 2011 - 12:44 pm
Message: I have a gorgeous Acer Palmatum Atropurpueum blood red leafed Japanese Maple which i have had for over 9yrs now. This year the leaves have started to go green as though the red is disappearing. Can you help please?

Name: helo
E-mail: Private
Date posted: July 25, 2011 - 01:36 pm
Message: I would like to know which Japonese Maple with red leaves, would be the best suited for a small shaded area in the morning and light sun in the afternoon. In this area there are some vines and a mid-size tree which does not have any leaves on the bottom of the trunk but at the very top. Therefore, not blocking much of the light bellow.
thank you .

Name: thomas
Date posted: July 17, 2011 - 02:38 pm
Message: hi i got a japenese maple in may, it was great when i got it but now the leaves are covered in holes, and some are disintegrating. please help i love my three and dont want it to die. my garden is quiet moist, with only partial sunshine in the morning and afternoon.

Name: diane rosenberg
Date posted: July 16, 2011 - 08:37 pm
Message: Can you grow a japanese maple in a container on a deck? Perhaps 6 feet or less?

Name: anne
Date posted: July 14, 2011 - 09:26 pm
Message: we have a mapl;e that is 2yrs. old and want to prune it so that we can have a shade tree to sit under. how and when do we prune it? we are beginners! any help is greatly appreciated! thank you anne

Name: Karen
Date posted: July 08, 2011 - 07:15 pm
Message: Hi, I have a blood red Japanese Maple tree in a pot. It's in a shady part of my yard,it also partly under another tree.The leaves have started turning brown and falling off already.What could be going on?

E-mail: Private
Date posted: July 02, 2011 - 03:42 pm

Name: val
E-mail: Private
Date posted: June 30, 2011 - 04:28 am
Message: Ihave just read Sue's problem of white mould on the bark of her red acer and I have the same problem. can you enlighten me on the problem and suggest a remedy. many thanks Val.

Name: justin
E-mail: Private
Date posted: June 12, 2011 - 03:47 am
Message: I have aquired a packet of acer autumn coloured hybrid mixed acer seeds and would like to know how to plant them. Please can you help?

Name: maureen
E-mail: Private
Date posted: June 11, 2011 - 04:56 pm
Message: my acer tree leaves have started to go brown and wither it is a young tree just planted have you any treatment suggestions would be welcome many thanks

Name: jeff
E-mail: Private
Date posted: June 09, 2011 - 10:38 pm
Message: Which Japanese maple can I grow in IOWA?

Name: mark wright
Date posted: June 07, 2011 - 05:18 pm
Message: hi i am horticulture student building garde AT PETERBROUGH SHOW ON THE 12TH JUNE I NEED 4 ACERS 3 METERS HEIGH Acer palmatum 'Fireglow'
Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki'
Japanese Maple

Acer platanoides 'Crimson King'
Purple-leaved Norway Maple

Acer rubrum
Canadian Maple or Red Maple

Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku'
Coral Bark Maple