Position – Full sun or part shade
Soil – Moist, well-drained
Hardiness – Fully hardy to tender (dependent on variety)
Acer (Japanese Maples) are small deciduous trees that are renowned for their prominent and bold coloured foliage, representative of rich and colourful autumnal tones. They are a great structural and architectural feature for any style and size of garden. They generally have a growth rate of around 30-40cm (12-16”) per year, reaching an optimum height of between 4-8m (13 - 26'), so will need plenty of space to develop without restriction.
Acer are best planted in large pots or containers and will thrive in sandy soil that has a slight acidic PH level. Acer are intolerant of extreme wet, dry or alkaline conditions. Dependant on the variety of Acer you acquire determines the best aspect in which to position your tree. Variegated Acer will need to be kept in part shade so that the foliage isn’t burnt by the midday sun. Acer that adorn green foliage are tolerant of full sun, yet it is recommended they are kept in shady areas to prevent scorching.
Maintain moist soil levels without the risk of over watering, whilst applying a slow release fertiliser during the spring and early summer. Every two years or when deemed necessary, you should repot your Acer into a larger pot or container. The best time to do this would be in either April or September. Acer can be vulnerable to winter frosts, so it is best to shelter the roots with a protective sheet or layer. Mulch every two years with rotten compost or manure. Pruning should only be undertaken to improve the overall shape and appearance. If this is required, it is best to do this when your tree is dormant to prevent sap bleed.
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