Japanese Maple

This post, “Japanese Maple” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


There are not too many trees that have a lot of leaf color this far south like they have in more northern latitudes.  We do not get fall color except from the occasional tallow tree, and in the spring we don’t have the red maples, etc.  So there is never that spectacular show that others have.  Of course, we do have flowering trees, but people do not seem to plant them in groups to make a statement, just one here and there.


That is why the Japanese Maples (acer palmatum) are becoming so popular around here.  This is a tree that will give a great springtime display.  Just a small one in a corner can call attention to that area.



The Bloodgood cultivar is the most popular because it holds its color better and is a pretty sturdy little tree. 


To keep your Japanese maples growing healthy; the best time to fertilize them early in the new year when they are still dormant.  Japanese Maples have less stress and grow more vigorously when planted in full sunlight for the morning and early afternoon.  Japanese Maples are healthier and have better color retention when protected from the hot afternoon sun esp. in the South. I am going to have to watch mine this year as the Japanese Magnolia that was protecting it from the western sun was cut down because of a late spring storm.


This versatile tree is a slow grower and can eventually reach twenty feet.  If they need to be pruned, I’ve read that they should not be pruned in spring because they bleed.  Wait until late summer or early fall to prune.  I’ve never had to prune mine, so I don’t know how accurate this is.


This is a great tree for any landscape.  It doesn’t grow too big, has great color, and is hardy to zone 5.  So if Earth Day has you thinking of adding a tree to your patio, yard, or garden, consider the Japanese Maple.  You won’t be sorry.



  1. April 23, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    We had one that did quite well in zone 6. I have a newly planted one out back, we’ll see how it does in zone 9 now. It’s DH favorite plant.

  2. Jan said,

    April 24, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    It should do very well. I have two that are flourishing, and my sister who is farther south than I am also has one doing well. Just keep it watered during our hot summers.

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