The Japanese maple is a tree of rather small dimensions in possession of leaves from extravagant shapes and bright colors, a tree therefore elegant and suggestive.
Originally, as the name implies, of Japan, this tree is today very widespread throughout the rest of the world, in fact chosen for beautify the gardens of homes and even parks public.
Let’s go together to discover its most important characteristics, the best way to take care of this plant so full of charm and of course of the different species available.
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Japanese maple: because it is an ideal plant for the garden
The Japanese maple is the ideal plant for the garden first of all for its exceptional aesthetics.
As we have just had occasion to observe, in fact, her wonderful ones colored leaves I am able to enrich every environment in which this tree is inserted and it is necessary to remember also that its forms and theextreme order of the leaves allow you to give life to a relaxing and peaceful environment.
This is also one of the reasons why in Japan it is also used in Zen gardens, where the sense of tranquility must be extreme.
The Japanese maple is not the ideal choice for the garden but only for its beauty and for the sensations that it manages to emanate. This is also an ideal choice for his small size.
It is important to emphasize in fact, there are few people who are in possession of very large gardens today: in fact, houses with such large gardens have a very high cost that few can afford, without considering that, given the ever lower building space, new buildings tend to have only small courtyards.
Not only that, more and more people are choosing small gardens because the time available for their care and maintenance is less than what the previous generations had. Today, in fact, everyone is always on course, mainly because of work commitments.
This last consideration brings us to the last reason, the Japanese maple is the ideal choice for the garden also because it does not need particularly intensive maintenance. It can also withstand the most intense cold without any difficulty.
Japanese Maple: the cultivation of this evocative tree
The best soil for the growth of Japanese maple is rich in nutrients and well drained so that water does not form. The soil should also be quite deep so that the plant’s roots can have enough space.
Despite this, the Japanese maple is a very versatile tree that has proven to be able to grow excellently even with the most common garden soil and even in places where the soil is shallow. Whatever the chosen soil, it is better to cultivate it with organic fertilizer.
Be careful though collocation. Better to choose some sunny areas only for part of the day, in fact, they also need shade and freshness to grow at their best. It is advisable to water the plants abundantly during the hottest periods of the year, in fact they fear drought.
During the coldest and most rainy periods the waterings must not be too present and it is important to check that there are no stagnant water. In the event that they are now formed it is possible to remedy the problem with sand or with a bit of pumice stone.
It is customary to believe that all trees need to be pruned, which activity is not absolutely necessary for Japanese maples. Not only is it not necessary, it is also counterproductive. The plant, in fact, never manages to respond positively to pruning and always needs a little time to be able to fully recover. They can be pruned only if their hair is excessively vigorous and you want to give it a thinning.
Japanese maple: the parasites and diseases it faces
Unfortunately, there are many parasites that can attack the Japanese maple tree. Among the most frequent we must remember theaphid, which feeds on the sap of the leaves. Realizing the attack of aphids is therefore quite simple, the leaves lose their brightness and their exceptional color to dry and fall.
Even the eliofidi they can attack this plant, creating galls on the leaves while the attack of mites leads to real malformations. Finally, remember the red spider mite, which mainly attacks maples that live in rather hot areas. To combat the attack of these parasites it is necessary to rely on the specific products available on the market.
Among the most widespread diseases we must instead remember the wood necrosis, the little family, the tracheoverticolosi and the black crusts on the leaves. These are diseases that can bring the plant to death if they are not treated properly. Fortunately it is sufficient to eliminate the damaged parts and use the special products available on the market to easily remedy the problem.
Some species of Japanese maple, especially those that do not reach great heights, can be grown in pots. The best thing to make this plant suitable for growing in pots is to get used to it from the first years of life. Why make this decision?
Maybe because in the garden you don’t have enough space at your disposal and you want to be able to insert a tree of this type on the patio or in a cemented area near the entrance of the house. Maybe because, much more simply, you are not in possession of a garden and would like to grow a Japanese maple on your terrace.
Japanese maple grown in pots it needs a lot more attention compared to the plant grown directly in the soil. This is because the pot offers little space to the plant, thus putting it under stress. The cultivation in pots subjects the plant in particular to particularly high temperatures and to the possible dehydration. Better then try to water the plant quite frequently especially during the summer months.
The beauty of pot cultivation is the possibility of move the plant to always find the right location. You can then move the plant to the shade when the summer temperatures become too high, look for places sheltered from the wind and winter frosts and manage to better manage the growth and needs of younger plants, obviously less resistant than those now old.
Japanese maple: the most common species
The Japanese maple species are very numerous, all suggestive and perfect for gardens. Here is a brief overview of the most beautiful and widespread.
Acer buergerianum, better known as trident maple, is a tree with a really dense crown with three-lobed leaves that take on a wonderful yellow-orange color during the autumn period. Although this plant can reach up to 10 meters in height, its growth is very slow and can therefore be kept under control without difficulty. Consider that for this reason it is also chosen for the creation of bonsai.
Acer campestre, better known as opium or testucchio, it has a wonderful round crown with hanging leaves, which tend towards the bottom. Also these leaves in autumn are characterized by a yellow color.
Acer cappadocicum it is one of the varieties that are in possession of flowers. In fact, in spring it is covered with purple and white flowers.
Acer griseum it is a small tree that reaches a maximum height of 4 meters and is therefore the ideal choice for those who do not have much space available. It has a unique characteristic, as the bark tends to crumple during the autumn period. The inner part is thus put on display. Nobody would expect it, but its color is an intense orange that makes the tree very impressive at this time of year.
Acer palmatum it is one of the most widespread Japanese maples, not only in residential gardens, but also in public parks. It is a slow-growing plant, easy to manage and characterized by leaves that get very bright reddish hues in autumn.
Acer platanoides. This species has very intense green leaves that turn yellow during autumn. The shades of the leaves change a lot from variety to variety, they have, for example, purple reflections those of the Crimons King, much used in city parks.
Acer pseudoplatanus. The mountain maple has a very compact round shape that, because of this characteristic, can also be used as a windbreak to repair some particularly exposed areas of the house.
Acer saccharinum. Wonderful the yellow and pink color that the leaves of this wonderful tree grow in winter. The leaves are suggestive also during the rest of the year, in fact a very bright green in the upper part and a silvery white color in the lower part instead.
They are trees that like to change, whose leaves change according to the seasons and whose barks in some cases change shape and color.
Thanks to these characteristics they remind us that nature is a real artist and that her works are simply wonderful. What are you waiting for then? Go and choose the perfect Japanese maple for your home, to give color and sophistication to your gardens.