They are absolutely stunning. Whether driving around town, or while visiting friends at their home, it is Showtime for Japanese maples. Surely there is no other family of tree that has received more attention and cultivation. With well over 1000 cultivars, there are few persons who could possibly attain a full collection. If you had the room, (and the money) you would also need real estate outside middle Tennessee, perhaps Washington state or Vermont. Many of the cultivars, unfortunately, cannot tolerate the southern heat.
You can temper your sadness of that fact with the knowledge that several hundred cultivars do really well here. In fact, we are about as far south as you can live and still have such a great selection of colors and growth habits to choose from.
Your first mental image of Japanese maples is likely that of a small to medium-sized red-leaved tree. That is not an incorrect perception; it is however, incomplete. Japanese maples can reach over 30 feet in height or lie directly on the ground. Obviously, they are of brilliant ruby-red hues; but like emeralds they can also have a striking green glow. It doesn’t stop there. Some reflect the golden amber sun, while others display a multitude of variegated foliar variations.
The tree of desire for your garden will need to be selected not only for the “oohs and ahhs” effects, but also with careful consideration of the space and light restrictions that are unique to your specific planting area. Hint: if you have a south or west facing brick wall without significant shade from larger trees, your choices are limited. Most Japanese maples will fare much better if shaded in the hottest parts of the day. Think east facing side or locations where available existing shade trees provide cover during the afternoon. Japanese maples need sun, just not the hot afternoon sun.
We strive to offer an unmatched selection of quality plants with friendly horticultural expertise. We look forward to the opportunity to help you with your garden!