For decades, Cline’s Nursery has been passionate about Japanese Maples. We are committed to growing high quality trees and providing our customers with the information needed for Japanese Maple tree selection and care. We have over 100 Japanese Maple varieties which amounts to thousands of trees each season. Many of our trees are rare and unusual. We continue to search for and collect unusual maple varieties from around the world for gardening enthusiasts and wholesale customers. Some specimens are in limited quantities and several are for our collection only. Our Japanese Maples are grown to express the essence of the tree.
With timely pruning, staking and fertilization to promote healthy roots and slow consistent growth the trees mature into perfect individual specimen. If you are overwhelmed by the vast selection of Japanese Maples and would like help deciding which to buy, we can help you. We have many which are hardy and very easy to grow. We have some that do well in shade and others that do better with a lot of sun. We love Japanese Maples and are here to help you find the perfect one for your specific needs!
The Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is known for its small, delicate leaves with pointy lobes that spread outward like fingers on a palm. These leaves turn fabulous shades of orange, red or purple in autumn. The Japanese maple is considered to be a small tree, typically growing from 5 to 25 feet tall. They like rich, acidic, well-draining soil. They also like partly-shady settings and regular irrigation water. Drought is moderately tolerated but boggy soil is really bad for these beautiful trees. In Japan, these trees can grow to 50 feet (15 m.) or more. Japanese maples typically grow one foot per year for the first 50 years.
The Japanese maple tree lifespan varies depending on luck and treatment. These trees can tolerate shade but hot, full sun can reportedly lessen their lifespan. The lifespan of Japanese maple trees is also negatively impacted by standing water, poor quality soil, drought, diseases (such as Verticillium wilt and anthracnose) and improper pruning and planting. If you want to enhance the lifespan of Japanese maple trees, give them regular irrigation, provide an annual application of good quality compost, and install them in a location that provides partial shade and good drainage.
Test your soil for soil diseases before you plant a prized Japanese maple. Japanese maples are highly susceptible to Verticillium wilt, which is a soil based disease that causes wilting in leaves and kills branches progressively.
Proper installation is very important. Make sure the planting hole is twice as large as the root ball, and ensure the roots are spread outward in the planting hole. Also, make sure the planting hole is scarified so the new roots can penetrate into the native soil and that there is some drip irrigation at the outer edge of the planting hole so the roots are encouraged to move outward. If you want to increase your Japanese maple tree lifespan, do not cut the roots. Roots that kink and circle around the root crown and lower stem, eventually choking the tree of its own life.
Shape your Japanese maple while it is young and growing so you can form it properly with small cuts. Choose a cultivar that fits the space in which it is planted so you don’t need to prune so often or at all. Wood decaying fungi can enter and kill a tree through root injury. Large cuts or wounds on the trunk or large branches are also easy targets for wood rotting fungi. If you are interested in additional resources, read what Garden Design’s article.