If your soil is heavy, it should be a amended with sand, bark, or other material to improve drainage, and the soil should be mounded above grade to assure good drainage. Maples are very adaptable to soil types, so if drainage is good, the addition of compost for nutrients and tilth is all that is needed.
Frequent, regular watering will get your Maple off to a great start Maples are not deep rooted trees, so please remember to water. It is the single most important thing you can do to insure yourself a beautiful tree. We water our landscape trees three times a week, except when it rains.
A good mulch of 3 or so inches over the soil will help keep the soil temperature moderated and conserve moisture. Be sure to pull the mulch away from the trunk slightly to prevent crown rot and insect damage, especially in the South. Winter mulching is essential in zone 4 & 5 where the ground freezes. It is also helpful in the South during the summer to keep the ground cool.
Landscape Culture – Japanese Maples
Most cultivars benefit from full morning sun and appreciate some afternoon shade. A spot on the north or east side of a house is ideal in most situations, since it affords some wind protection and also blocks the afternoon heat. The intermittent shade of large trees is also an excellent placement for hot areas; full sun is appropriate to cooler areas. Maples are widely adaptable and hardy in most parts of the country.
You must provide your maple with constant moisture and good drainage. The addition of sand, fir bark, peat moss or compost to the native soil for tilth may be advisable in heavy or poor soils. Mounding maybe advisable in heavy clay soils. Regular watering is essential, since your maple must never dry out.
One light application of fertilizer in the spring is usually adequate. Maples are not heavy feeders. We find that a good mulching with compost in the fall along with a light fertilizer in the spring works best for us. Mulching protects the roots from hot dry conditions in summer and from freezing in winter.
ACER PALMATUM CULTIVARS
AKA SHIGATATSU SAWA AKITA YATSUBUSA AOBA JO ASAHI ZURU ATROLINEARE AUTUMN MOON BENI FUSHIGI BENI KAWA BENI KOMACHI BENI OTAKI BENI SCHICHIHENGE BENI TSUKASA BUTTERFLY CHISHIO COONARA PYGMY FILIGREE GROUND COVER HANAMI NISHIKI HOGYOKU HOSHI KUZU IBO NISHIKI ITAMI NISHIKI JIRO SHIDARE KAGIRI NISHIKI KAMAGATA KARASUGAWA KASHIMA KOTO HIME KOTO NO ITO KURABEYAMA KURUI JISHI MAIKO MURASAKI HIME MURE HIBARI OKAGAMI OKUKUJI NISHIKI OKUSHIMO OREGON SUNSET ORIDO NISHIKI OTOME ZAKURA PEACHES AND CREAM RED DRAGON RED FILIGREE LACE RED PYGMY RUBY STARS SAMIDARE SANGO KAKU SEIGEN SEKKA YATSUBUSA SHAINA SHARPS PYGMY SHIGARAMI SHIGATATSU SAWA SHINDESHOJO SHINO BUGA OKA SHISHIO IMPROVED SHOJO NOMURA SKEETERS BROOM SPRING DELIGHT TAMAHIME TENNYO NO HOSHI TINY LEAF UKIGUMO UKON VARIEGATUM VERSICOLOR WABITO WOU NISHIKI