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How to Grow and Care for Japanese Maple Tree in Hot Weather

How to Grow and Care for Japanese Maple Tree in Hot Weather

The Japanese Maple Tree, renowned for its foliage, is one of the most vibrant and familiar trees across the globe. Japanese maple trees are commonly used for landscaping purposes, not only because of the beautiful leaves but also because of their versatility and range of characteristics. With proper selection and regular tree maintenance, Japanese maple trees may thrive in a variety of environments, including sun, shade, gardens, pots, and bonsai.

Botanical Name

Acer palmatum

Common Name

Japanese maple

Plant Type


Mature Size

15 to 25 feet tall and wide

Sun Exposure

Filtered sun to part shade

Soil Type

Moist, well-drained

Soil pH

Slightly acidic

Bloom Time


Flower Color

Red or purple

Hardiness Zones


Native Area

Japan, China, Korea, parts of Mongolia and Russia

How to Grow Japanese Maple Trees

The Japanese maple is a small tree that will fit into almost any landscapes. Prized for their striking leaves, they provide visual interest in fall and winter thanks to their leaf and samara colours.

Japanese maples make a beautiful addition to any landscape design. Even though they require a little more attention, if you plant them in their ideal environment, they are rather easy to care for—you just need a little patience because they develop slowly.

The Japanese maple's size varies according to the variety. It can be anything from a little tree to a shrub. The typical dimensions are 15 to 25 feet tall and wide.

Japanese maples are susceptible to common pests like aphids, scale, Japanese beetles, and borers. Diseases and other problems to watch out for include scorch, bark split, tar spot, verticillium wilt, leaf spots, twig kill, and manganese deficiency.

  • Light

Choose a planting location that provides afternoon shade but receives morning sun. If you have a young maple, you can shade it with an umbrella or something similar to keep it cool during a heat wave.

  • Soil

Japanese maple trees grow best in moist, well-drained soil. Loamy and sandy soil will work well, but avoid soil with a high alkalinity level; Japanese maples thrive in soil with a slight acidity. Keep the soil moist but not wet. They despise soggy standing water. For a longer soak in the summer, lay the hose around the base in different areas about twice a week. Do this especially if there are going to be some extremely hot days ahead.

Because Japanese maples have shallow roots, it's important to mulch them well. You can also plant in the grass, which helps to protect the roots and retain moisture. Clean beneath the trees once a year and cover the ground with a thick layer of mulch or wood chips.


  • Water

Although Japanese maples prefer well-draining soil, they also like to receive regular waterings. The easiest way to regulate the moisture level of the soil surrounding a Japanese maple is to mulch it. When the soil feels dry, especially when it hasn't rained much, take the time to water your tree until it is well-established.


  • Temperature and Humidity

Because green-leaf Japanese maples often perform better in hot, dry areas than red-leaf types, which are more prone to leaf scorch. The trees can often endure a little bit of humidity. Avoid places with high winds when growing your Japanese maple.


  • Fertilizer

Fertilize your Japanese maple in late winter or early spring after it is a year old. In the summer, you can feed it again as necessary.


  • Propagating Japanese Maple Trees

You can propagate a Japanese maple through seeds and softwood cuttings. The different cultivars are also grafted onto rootstock.


  • Being Grown in Containers

Dwarf Japanese maples can be cultivated as conventional container trees and moved around the yard at different times of the year in addition to being used in bonsai. Plant them in a container with adequate drainage holes, because Japanese maples don't like to have their roots sitting in water. High-quality potting soil is just fine as long as it drains well.


  • Pruning

For a better appearance, prune out the lower branches and remove any branches that have crossed. Otherwise, simply prune away any branches that are dead, diseased, or damaged. Choose whether to train a single trunk or allow multiple trunks to form to control the appearance of your Japanese maple. Be very careful not to prune too many low branches or interior branches. These trees are very susceptible to sunburn on the trunks and branches. Removing those branches can expose those areas to the sun and potentially kill the tree. Similarly, be careful about pruning trees your maple is growing in the shadow of. Sudden exposure to the sun will have detrimental effects on your tree. If you must increase sun exposure, try to do so slowly throughout at least two seasons.

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