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About Us

Matt and Tim Nichols


Our Family Japanese Maple Nursery

Nichols Nursery is family owned and operated. Norman Nichols started the nursery out of his interest in Japanese maples. With his wife, Evelyn, they began to propagate seedlings and eventually a few cultivars. Their two sons, Matt and Tim Nichols, grew up with an amazing love for gardening fostered by their parents and grandmother. Over time the two son’s interest into the world of acer continued to grow. As a result the nursery expanded to include a multitude of new ideas and rare trees. Together, the Nichols family strives to provide the best high quality Japanese maples to the Carolinas and beyond. With over 1000+ cultivars in propagation, Nichols Nursery provides a wide selection of diverse Japanese maples that are sure to add an exotic prestige to each new garden. We love what we do and are very invested in each tree. When you add a tree from Nichols Nursery to your yard you are taking a piece of our family with you. We hope you will enjoy these amazing Japanese maple trees as much as we do.

Thank you for your interest in MrMaple.


Our Maples
Our mission at Nichols Nursery is to provide top quality Japanese maple trees at an affordable price. To increase quality, we not only graft our Japanese maples, but we also grow our own root stocks. This process helps to ensure that each tree is healthy and disease resistant. At Nichols Nursery we know that a healthy tree starts with healthy roots. Instead of pumping our trees with high amounts of nitrogen, we use micro-nutrients and natural fertilizers that promote a natural healthy root growth. We graft our own scions and take every effort to maintain correct cultivar nomenclature throughout each process. The end product is a healthy and vibrant Japanese maple cultivar ready to be planted in the landscape and perform at high level, not only meeting but passing customer expectations.


Our Expertise
Norman Nichols has been propagating Japanese maples for over 35 years and has passed that expertise to his sons Matt and Tim. The nursery started out in local tailgate markets offering a small selection of maples and has grown to now propagating over 1000 cultivars with distribution all over the United States. Matt & Tim Nichols are constantly working to expand their knowledge of acers. As active members of the Maple Society and International Plant Propagator Society they are continually exploring new plant possibilities. Matt & Tim do not rest there; they are continuously traveling to nurseries, arboretums and private collections to observe maples growing in different locations around the United States. We feel this give us a better understanding of different growing conditions and better prepares us to explain them to our customers. As propagators, Nichols Nursery is at the forefront of new growing methods, propagation techniques and making new and exciting cultivars readily available to the general public.




What Our Customers Are Saying :

I have never met a more cordial and professional group of nurserymen as the Mr Maple guys! They are prompt with questions and the mailing of plants is awesome! The integrity of the trees are great! I have bought many trees with not a branch or leaf disturbed by mail! My hats off to you guys for your professional service with a family-friendly atmosphere! I will continue my business with the best...Mr. Maple!!!"


I've ordered 2 Japanese Maples from here so far. Both arrived in perfect condition. No breaks or bruising of the plants. The plants were much better than what I could have bought locally. Shipped on Monday, at my house on Tuesday!"


If you like Japanese maples and/or rare and unusual trees then you have found what you are looking for. Mr. Maple comes to a garden show that we have every year in Augusta, GA. I have bought 10-15 trees from him over the years and they have all been of exceptional quality and value. Matt is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about his trees. Within a minute of talking to him its obvious that he loves what he does and it shows in his product and his customer service. The nursery is already one of the best in the Southeast and at the rate that they seem to be expanding, improving, and introducing(!) I expect it will be one of the best in the country before too long."


Matt and Tim are very knowledgeable. They have an amazingly large selection of rare trees. Someone is always available to answer any questions. They set the standard for good customer service. You're not just buying a tree from them, you are buying into the Mr.Maple family. I would recommend them to anyone."


Both times which I have made purchases from Matt and Tim, they were very pleasant to deal with. Excellent customer service and good prices plus some very nice Japanese maple trees! Look no further if you're shopping for Japanese maple trees."


We only ship Japanese maples within the continental United States of America.

When you buy a Japanese maple from, due to the high volume during the COVID-19 situation, your order of Japanese maple trees will be shipped out within 2 weeks. We greatly appreciate your understanding during these times.

We have custom boxes that extra thick and allow for the safest shipment of your Japanese maples. Our new custom boxes allow us to ship your Japanese maple trees in their container, making the smoothest transition from our nursery to your garden. These boxes can fit two Japanese maples easily inside each box. You will simply need a pair of scissors to cut the tape around the box and pull your Japanese maple out.

Location is something that should be considered. Nearly all Japanese maples can handle growing in the shade or getting morning sun and afternoon shade. For planting trees in the sun it is important to make sure you are getting a selection that can handle full sun in your area. We have plenty of Japanese maples that grow and do well in full sun in Zone 8. When you get to zone 9, many of the Japanese maples should be planted with protection from the hot afternoon sun. There are a few maples we carry that can handle full sun in zone 9.

One of the most important things to remember is that Japanese maples do not like wet feet. This means that heavily boggy areas will need raised beds that allow drainage for the Japanese maple roots. This can simply be done by raising the area where you will be planting the Japanese maple with more soil.

The hole should be dug 1.5 times bigger than than container the Japanese maple is in. This extra size is primarily to losen the soil for the roots of your Japanese maple which will allow for it to get established quicker. Take the Japanese maple out of the container and place it in the hole. The main thing to remember when planting a Japanese maple is that it should be planted level with where the soil level was in the container. This is important as Japanese maples planted too deeply do not perform well in the landscape. This means that you will have to put part of the soil that you already dug back into the hole before planting.

People often ask where or not they should condition their soil for the Japanese maple. For the most part, you shouldn't. Japanese maples can do well in both sandy soils and clay soils. When you ammend the soil they have to get established in your ammendments and then get established in the exterior soil.

Japanese maples have a non-invasive root system that makes them ideal for container growing and bonsai culture. This will allow you to bring the ornamental appeal of Japanese maple to your deck, patio, poolside, and driveway expanding your garden. The concept of how big a Japanese maple will get in a container is similar to that of how big a goldfish will get inside a bowl. A Japanese maple will grow the size container it is put in. A small container will dwarf the size of the tree from the size the tree would naturally be in the landscape. Dwarf Japanese maples are often used in containers because they get fairly close to full-size in most containers. The best tip for container growing is a well-drained pot.


1. Choose your Japanese maple based on the location you plan on growing your container grown maple (ex. Sun or shade?).

2. Select the container you would like to use. The primary thing to look for is good drainage. You may be able to drill extra holes in non-ceramic containers. At least one drain hole is necessary. For containers with only one drain hole, you may consider lining the bottom of the container with 1-2 inches of medium sized gravel to increase drainage.

3. Soil should be selected based on how frequently you plan on watering the plant. For Japanese maples that will be regularly watered by an irrigation system, a soil with more perlite is ideal. An example of this would be a regular bag of miracle grow mix. For maples that will not be on a regular irrigation system, make sure to add more peat moss to the mixture. This will allow for the maple itself to retain a higher amount of moisture. When adding the soil to the container make sure to keep the root collar and trunk of the Maple at the same level it was in it’s previous container. It is also good to leave at least 1/2 inch to 2 inches of the top lip of the container free from soil. This allows for the maple to be watered effectively.

4. Select a companion plant such as small sedums that can cover the soil-surface to reduce heat and moisture loss for the roots of the maple. When choosing a companion plant it is essential to use only plants with extremely shallow and tiny root systems that will not grow into the roots of the maple.

5. Water frequently based on the finger test. If the soil around your Japanese maple feels dry, water.

6. For small containers (smaller than a nursery 3 gallon) check the root system of your Japanese maple during the winter every 3 years. If the root ball is getting very thick, trim the root system leaving 3/4 of the root system. Add soil as necessary. For larger containers, you can go much longer without root pruning the roots of your Japanese maple. We suggest checking every 7-8 years. For those that do not want to root prune, you can always upgrade your Japanese maple to a larger pot size or put the tree in the landscape, however, with a few minutes of root pruning every few years a Japanese maple can stay in any pot for its entire life.

*Japanese maples that have been stressed should be given Super Thrive at recommended doses from the bottle. This can often be purchased at Wal-Mart or your local garden center or department store. This simply gives Japanese maples the proper nutrients and hormones that will help it heal and recover and help it get back into a growing mode.

Japanese maples are extremely easy to care for. The less you do the better. Japanese maples do not like a lot of nitrogen so fertilizers are not necessary. Fertilizers with low amounts of nitrogen can be used in the early spring and mid-summer, however it is not necessary.

Trimming your Japanese maple can actually make your tree grow faster. If you trim the smaller branches back leaving larger and thicker branching with buds, your tree will often grow very quickly. This is because you get a cleaner flow or nutrients from Japanese maples that have been trimmed. It is like excersing your Japanese maples. It is best to do this in the early spring right before your Japanese maple leafs out. This is typically around the late February to early March time period for us in North Carolina. The main trick for trimming is to never trim more than 45% of your tree off. Yes, that means you can trim a Japanese maple heavily. Remember to clean your pruning tools with rubbing alcohol. This helps keep your pruning tools sanitized which helps your Japanese maple stay healthy.

Steps for Pruning:

1. Start out by pruning out branches you don't like on your Japanese maple. If the branch is larger than 3/4 of an inch in diameter we recommend using a saw. Large branches you don't like only get bigger so it is best to prune them out early in the tree's life.

2. Prune out the twiggier smaller branching. Smaller branching only makes smaller branching. This means these will make the tree grow slower. By pruning your Japanese maple and leaving the large branching you will get a larger tree quicker.

3. Trim out conflicting branching on your Japanese maple. This means if two limbs are touching are are too close, one of them should be trimmed out. A lot of pruning is judgement calls. Picking which one stays and which one goes will be a judgement call that only the owner or the pruner can make.

4. If you are trimming an upright selection, make sure to keep one branch as a central leader. This is typically the tallest part of the tree on most upright Japanese maples. If you are trimming a dwarf or a laceleaf Japanese maple, you can trim the Japanese maple to accentuate the natural shape of the tree. This can be done with laceleaf types by trimming your Japanese maple to create different levels of branching.

5. Trim out the fishtails. When there are three small branches coming out of the terminal buds on the end of a branch, it is often good to trim out the middle branch. This gives room for the other two branches and allows them have more energy.

While trimming is not necessary, if you follow these steps, your Japanese maple should grow much quicker for you.

Refund Policy:

Any customers with damaged trees from shipment must notify by phone within 3 days of delivery. After photo confirmation of the damage an assessment will be made and store credit or replacement tree may be issued.

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