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Growing a Japanese Maple


Maintaining a Japanese Maple


Japanese Maple Common Knowledge

Growing a Japanese Maple








What soil should I use for my Japanese Maple?


Japanese maples are very adaptable to almost any well-draining soil. Good drainage is one of the most important aspects of your soil. Here at MrMaple, we use a 80% Pinebark | 15% Peat | 5% Perlite mix. Along side of this mix we also introduce Micromax Nutrients. Try your best to avoid soils that are high in Nitrogen going into the fall, since this may cause your plant to not go into dormancy or have a very late dormancy.








When do I fertilize my Japanese Maple?


One of the questions you should ask yourself when debating about fertilizing is; do I want my plant to grow right now? If Fall or Winter is upon you, we greatly advise you to NOT FERTILIZE your Japanese maple! The absolute best time to fertilize your Japanese maple is in the early Spring when your plant is about to be putting on new growth. We also recommend to not fertilize after the end of May.








How to Water your Japanese Maple 



The proper watering process for Japanese maples is a very important key to growing a successful specimen! Ideally you'll want to have a good-draining soil. Once this has been established it's advised to water your Japanese maple, let it dry out completely, and then water again. Continuous overwatering of your Japanese maple WILL introduce root rot to your plant. If your Japanese maple is showing crispy or dying leaves outside of the Fall or Winter months this is a very good indicator of an overwatering problem that needs to be addressed ASAP!








How to Prune your Japanese Maple


Pruning is a very important step in maintaining your Japanese maple. One benefit of pruning is encouraging new growth. It's very important to not over-prune! Typically you want to only prune when it's advised to fertilize, from early Spring to around the end of May. Be sure to give this video a watch for correct pruning techniques and locations!








Growing Japanese Maples in High Heat Zones


Japanese maples typically are pretty heat tolerant, however there are certain varieties that are extremely heat tolerant such as our Heatseekers Series.
One of the most important variables to manage for your Japanese maple is the hot afternoon sun. Here at MrMaple we almost always advise protection from the sun when it's the hottest, around 1-3PM. If you're not sure of what USDA Zone you're located in, please refer to our blog post going over how to find your Zone.








Tips for Growing Japanese Maples In Cold Climates



Maintaining a Japanese Maple








How to protect your Japanese Maple from frost


Frost can be extremely damaging to your plant, it's very important to do as much as you can to set your plant up for success. DO NOT cover your plant in plastic, especially clear plastic, as this will cause more damage than good to your tree. Here at MrMaple we use frost cloth to protect our specimens that aren't under the protection of a greenhouse. It's advised to stake the frost cloth around your maple if it's not well established as extra weight ontop of your plant may result in broken branches. If you're able to, bring your plant inside!








What to do about frost damage on your Japanese Maple


The best way to deal with frost damage is to never have any in the first place, preventative care is the best type! If your plant already has frost damage, fear not we're here to help. Directly after the frost damage has occurred, wait about a week and then introduce some liquid fertilizer to the affected plant to encourage new growth. DO NOT prune your tree during this time, you may damage healthy nodules that could be hidden under frosted leaves. We also recommend that you water your tree well directly after a frost.








How to treat Spider Mites on your Japanese Maple


One of the main signs of spider mites is having webbing around the leaves of your plants. Spider mites typically target unestablished plants or stressed plants. You can test for spider mites by getting a piece of printer paper, putting it under the leaves of your plant, and shaking your plant gently. If you see red dots on the paper, you indeed have a spider mite infestation. The best treatment for spider mites is a light insecticide soap, you should spray this on the top & bottom of the foliage.








How to Remove Japanese Beetles on my Japanese Maple


The best solution for a small infestation of Japanese beetles is to manually pick them off and dispose of them. However, female Japanese beetles will leave pheromones on the plant, which may attract males back to the plants. To resolve this secondary issue, get mildly soapy water and spray down the plants that housed the beetles to wash away the pheromones.

As a last resort option for larger infestations or if the above tactics didn't resolve the issue, you can use insecticides. In the past we've had good results from using spectracide triazicide for large infestations. Always follow the safety procedures for whatever insecticide you plan on using. Once again, ensure you spray mildly soapy water on the plants you used the insecticide on afterwards to clean any left-over chemicals off.








What can I do about aphids on my Japanese Maple?


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can cause serious damage to Japanese maples. Typically green or black in color, aphids feed on the sap of the tree and can often be found on the underside of the leaves. When an infestation is present, the leaves may yellow or discolor, and new growth can be stunted.

When dealing with an aphid infestation, it is important to take action quickly. The best way to do this is to use a combination of physical and chemical controls. In terms of physical control, it is crucial to regularly inspect the tree and remove any aphids that are discovered by hand. Horticultural oil, insecticidal soaps, and neem oil can also be used as chemical control and can be applied as needed.








What To Do About Powdery Mildew On Japanese Maples


Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that can affect Japanese maples. This disease can cause the leaves of the tree to turn yellow, brown and become covered in a white, powder-like layer.

First, it is essential to maintain your Japanese maple tree’s health by making sure it receives enough water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Keeping an eye on the soil moisture levels and making sure the tree is not too wet or too dry is also important. Pruning and removing dead or diseased branches on a regular basis can also help reduce the risk of powdery mildew.

Second, it is important to keep your Japanese maple tree free of debris and other objects that can harbor moisture. This will help to reduce the chances of powdery mildew developing. Furthermore, regularly cleaning the area around your Japanese maple tree can also reduce the risk of disease.

Third, you can also use fungicides and other treatments to help prevent and treat powdery mildew. These treatments can be applied in the early spring or late fall, and should be reapplied after rainfall or when the humidity levels are high. Always follow the directions on the label and wear gloves and a face mask when applying any treatments.








What is causing spots on the leaves of your Japanese Maple?


There are many causes of spots on the leaves of your Japanese Maple. Firstly watering from the top down on your plant while it's too hot or sunny out is a main cause. However, a few years ago there was an abundance of research done on this exact topic. The study concluded that leaf thrips are the main cause of spots on your Japanese Maple. These bugs get on your plant during the spring and spray a fungus which houses their eggs, which don't hatch until later in the season. Typically these bugs prey on plants that are either showing signs of stress or that aren't well established yet. If your trees are neither stressed or young and you're still seeing spots, in the early spring to mid spring you can treat your maples with insecticide, such as spectracide. 

Japanese Maple Common Knowledge








How to Stake a Japanese Maple


We recommend staking your Japanese Maple in the early Spring, around this time your plant will have higher levels of sap and be much more flexible. Here at we have Staking Guns which allows us to put bands around the tree and bamboo pole efficiently, however this isn't needed at all. Any straight pole will work for staking, and instead of the staking gun you can use and re-use kitchen twist ties. It's highly recommended to stake weeping and laceleaf varieties, as it will promote a more upright growth habit in your tree!








Top 5 Grafting Tips



#5 - Root Stock Preparation by Encouraging White Rooting
#4 - Sharp Knife and Safe Hands
#3 - Sterilizing Utensils & Clean Workspace
#2 - Start With Healthy Rootstock & Scions
#1 - Don't Over Water

Be sure to checkout the video & our blog post going over the steps above!







How to Graft Japanese Maples & Ginkgos


Blue Ridge College visited for a tour & propagation class at our Nursery in Western North Carolina. We hope that this video will inspire anyone to get out there and try their hand at grafting and propagation. Whether you're a novice or an expert at propagating Japanese maples, we're sure you'll enjoy this propagation demonstration by Matt & Tim!









5 Tips for growing Japanese Maples


#5 - Weedeaters
- Weedeaters are very prone for stripping the base of trees! Be sure to convey to any landscaper working on your property to be aware of your Japanese maples, they're very susceptible to being damaged. An easy solution is to place a tomato cage around any young tree on your property.

#4 - Weedkillers
- Avoid weedkillers being spray in the vicinity of your Japanese maple. If you are spraying weedkiller ensure you follow the instructions, spraying when it's above a certain temperature may cause it to spread further than the initial spray zone.

#3 - Fertilizing your Japanese maple
- Fertilizing is a great way to push new growth on your Japanese maple. You want to ensure you're not over fertilizing, look out for a good distribution rate. We recommend a fertilizer with 15 or lower on Nitrogen. Fertilizing during the optimal time is also very important. We recommend to not fertilize until Spring and before May.

#2 - Don't plant Japanese maples too deep in the soil
- Japanese maples enjoy having a good oxygen flow from the roots of the plant. Planting your Japanese maple flush with the top of the soil from the container will ensure a good depth.

#1 - Good drainage
- Having good drainage is an essential key for growing a successful Japanese maple. Japanese maples don't like wet feet, especially in containers. Never leave your Japanese maple in water without providing the water a way to drain. Overwatering & poor drainage WILL cause root rot in your Japanese maple, which may cause irreparable damage to it.









5 Tips For The Japanese Maple Spring Garden


#5 - Protect your plants from Cold Snaps!

- A cold snap is a warm spell of weather followed by low temperatures, such as 60 degrees into 15 degrees the following night. Being informed is the best way to prevent damage to your trees, always be up to date with the weather in your area. If you're able to bring your plants inside we recommend doing so, alternatively you may also cover them with frost cloth to protect them.

#4 - Protect your Japanese maples from frost

- Make sure you don't use plastics to cover your plants, always use frost cloth or bed sheets.

#3 - Watch out for rootstock growth!

- Typically in the early spring you may see rootstock growth. Rootstock will grow from below your grafting point on the plant.

#2 - Spring is a great time to fertilize your Japanese maple

- Japanese maples normally push out growth once in early spring in then once in the summer. We advise you to fertilize in the Spring, and never after the end of May.

#1 - Get your cameras ready!

- Spring is a great time to enjoy your garden! Japanese maples are extremely vibrant in the early spring, be sure to take some pictures & post them to our Facebook group!









Garden Design with Bryan & Bubs



#5 - Avoid overcrowding
- Planting your specimans too closely will cause your plants to compete with each other. Ideally you want to give each plant enough room to grow.

#4 - Utilize more species than only Japanese maples!
- Conifers are a great way to bring color to your landscape, even throughout the winter! Not only that but they're also extremely low maintenance!

#3 - Mulching
- Mulching is a great way to add not only appeal to your garden but also to benefit your plants! Mulch allows your soil to not get too hot from the Sun. It'll also help with moisture control and weeds!

#2 - Determine your soil conditions before your plant!
- If there's one thing that will give you issues while growing Japanese maples, it's non-draining soil! You want to ensure your soil drains well, one way to do this is to dig a hole and fill it up with water. Note how long it takes to drain, if you come back the next day and there's still water in the hole you'll want to either aerate or even add rocks underneath your plant to promote drainage.

#1 - Choose the right plant for the location
- In the Japanese maple world, there's a plant for everyone. In this example we're showcasing a dwarf Japanese maple, Rhode Island Red, and also the larger version, Bloodgood. Depending on how much space you have in your garden, we suggest selecting the right size plant!









Who Killed The Japanese Maple Podcast









Spring Gardening Checklist for Japanese Maples









Tips for Growing Japanese Maples in the Fall

Fall is a great time to plant your Japanese maple!
- Planting in Fall allows your plant to establish their roots in the ground before Spring, which is when it'll push out new growth. Allowing your roots to have time to get established will promote better results come Spring time.

Don't fertilize during Fall months!
- When you fertilize your plant will begin pushing new growth. If you do this during the Fall months your plant may think Spring has started and it'll attempt to go into leaf.