Choosing a Japanese Maple

By Teo Spengler | March 23, 2018
Image by Tree Center
by Teo Spengler
March 23, 2018

Everything about Japanese maples brings enchantment and delight, from the lacy leaf shapes to the vast pallet of foliage hues. There seem to be as many cultivars as there are stars in the sky, with poetic names that seduce you even before you’ve planted one in your backyard. For the widest range of exciting options, try The Tree Center, a trusted online tree source and an open door into the magical world of Japanese maples.

When choosing a Japanese maple for the landscape, be sure it will thrive in your area first. Not only its hardiness zone but also its growing requirements (light, soil, etc.) should be considered. Next, look at its overall height and spread once mature. If you only have a small space available, then you’ll want to look for a smaller growing tree. Finally, choose a tree that complements your landscape and blends in nicely to the surrounding area. Here are some favorites that work well in nearly any setting:

Babying Your Garden – Elegance often comes in small, beautiful packages. And if you are looking for a diminutive beauty, you can’t do better than Baby Lace Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Baby Lace’). With foliage so delicate you can’t help but think of lace, this little gem doesn’t get much taller than you are.

You don’t have to wait until autumn for an explosion of color.  This much-sought-after miniature tree offers a stunning kaleidoscope of pink, red and green leaves in spring, fine-cut green foliage all summer and a vibrant blaze of fiery hues in fall. Perfect for discriminating gardeners in USDA zones 5 – 9.

Astonishing Orangeola – With a name like Orangeola, you know that this Japanese maple will light up your backyard. The stunning Orangeola Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Orangeola’) amazes you all year long with the changing shades of its cascading foliage. It only grows to 5 feet (1.5 m.) tall, but spreads to 8 feet (2.4 m.) wide.

Even emerging leaves carry a distinctive orange tone, creating a head-turning contrast with the purple hues of mature growth. But hold your breath in autumn as every leave transforms into astonishing orange-scarlet. Plant in zones 5 – 9.

Total Eclipse of the Heart – You’re guaranteed to fall head over heels for Autumn Moon Japanese Maple (Acer shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’), a rare and refined Japanese maple tree with powerful charm. Over time, the exquisite tree grows to 15 feet (4.6 m.) tall and 6 feet (1.8 m.) wide, boasting rounded, almost pleated leaves reminiscent of a geisha’s open fan.

Autumn Moon’s spring leaves open in an exotic mix of chartreuse, pink and orange tones. It amplifies the color in its crimson and orange autumn fireworks.

Move Over Sugar Maple – Not every backyard is big enough for a towering sugar maple, but every gardener longs for that type of brilliant fall color. Here comes the tree you have been waiting for: Osakazuki Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’).

Osakazuki won’t need the space a sugar maple requires, since it tops out at 25 feet (7.6 m.) tall and 15 feet (4.5 m.) wide. But it will provide a delicious dose of fall color with brilliant golds, vivid oranges and reds. Serious pests and diseases? No worries on that score. Just sit back and watch the show unfold.

The above article was sponsored by The Tree Center. The information contained in this article may contain ads or advertorial opinions.
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