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Japanese Maples for the Fall Landscape

Looking for dramatic fall color in the landscape? Look no further than Japanese Maples. Our landscape designers love using Japanese Maples for bold, brilliant color all through the fall.

The term Japanese maple refers to a large group of plants belonging mainly to Acer palmatum and Acer japonicum. Japanese maples offer spectacular architectural form, lacy and delicate foliage, along with dramatic color in the spring and fall. They make a great landscape plant, accent plant or even a container plant. Japanese maples prefer partial sun. If grown in a mostly shady spot, the leaves will not offer intense fall color - meaning the more sun, the brighter the leaves. A good rule of thumb is that green-foliaged varieties will tolerate almost full sun, while variegated varieties need more shade. It is important for maples to have good drainage. This will keep the crown of the tree from being surrounded by soggy soil.

Tami Eilers, one of our landscape designers, comments, "I love having so many varieties of Japanese Maples to choose from. The sky is the limit and there are so many choices. What an effective way to bring texture, color, form and size to any landscape.”

Try some of our favorite Japanese Maples:

‘Shishi gashira’ - This distinctive Japanese Maple has upright branches that are thickly covered with dense layers of foliage. This compact, shrubby tree becomes purple-red with orange-red patterns in fall. This tree will put on a dramatic color display all through fall as the brilliant oranges and yellows arrive very late in the season. Popular for bonsai, as a container subject and in small gardens.

‘Sangokaku’ - Also called the Coral Bark Maple, this beautiful small tree has brilliant, flaming coral red bark on young branches that intensifies in winter. The leaves emerge in spring with a flush of bright yellow-orange and change to soft green in summer providing a sharp contrast to the glowing coral bark. Autumn color is a bright tone of yellow and gold with hints of scarlet.

‘Ryusen’ aka ‘Ryu sei’ - A true weeping Japanese Maple, this tree boasts a magnificent weeping habit with strong, pendulous branches bearing bright green leaves. The foliage on this slow grower turns brilliant shades of golden-orange and bright red in autumn.

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