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10 Tips for Planting and Caring for Japanese Maples

Like so many of us, you’ve fallen in love with brilliant Japanese maples. Whether you’ve just brought yours home—or you plan to pick one out on your next visit to Crooked Oaks—you may still have some questions. No need to stress! Instead, let us help your new plant thrive with these tips for planting and caring for Japanese maples from Crooked Oaks.

Planting Your Japanese Maples

We’ll start off with the basics. Follow these guidelines when you plant your Japanese maples!

Learn about Your Type

Japanese maples come in more than 200 varieties! So, it’s safe to say that each has its own specific needs. Before you plant yours, learn about what kind you’ve chosen. That means reading up on how much shade, water, and extra space they may require. You can also ask our nursery experts!

Aim to Plant in Fall or Spring

Warm, but not too hot—that’s the ideal climate for spending time outdoors. Well, it also offers the perfect climate for planting your tree too. Try to plant in fall or spring for optimal results. If you worry that the weather is too hot and sunny for your Japanese maple, you can let it stay in your garage or shed temporarily.

Test Your Soil

Is your soil suitable? Test and see! Ideally, it will have a mildly acidic quality.

Ensure That Your Soil Can Drain

We’ve all overwatered a plant or two. Often, the culprit lies in the soil. If yours won’t drain properly, your Japanese maples will pay the price. Test out the area by watering it and seeing if it drains over the course of a day or two.

Dig In

When you dig holes for your Japanese maples, you want to make them a certain size. As a rule of thumb, the hole should be three times wider than your root ball. Don’t make it as deep, though! Then, when you bury the tree, place it so that it rests just a tiny bit over the soil line.


Your garden looks good! Here’s how to keep it that way.

Inspect Your Tree Regularly

Life gets busy! Still, you should inspect your Japanese regularly. Look out for harmful bugs like aphids, mites, and Japanese beetles. Instead of using pesticides, hit them with a blast of water. You should also familiarize yourself with the signs of the tree disease anthracnose, like black spots.

Maintain Healthy Branches

Be prudent with your pruning! You most likely won’t have to do it daily or even weekly. However, if you see damaged or dead branches on your inspection, go ahead and trim away.

Water Sparingly, But Effectively

When it comes to planting and caring for Japanese maples, watering may actually matter the most. You want to water sparingly for the maximum effect. If you feel unsure, you can always place a moisture gauge in the soil.

Maintain a Mulch Layer

Maintaining a mulch layer can make a huge difference. It helps the roots reach—and stay at—the proper temperature.

Ask for Help

There’s no shame in learning! If you have questions, we want to help. So, contact us here or see our Gardens Manager on site, Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Japanese maples captured our hearts. And now, they can grow happily in our gardens. Give them the TLC they deserve by following our tips for planting and caring for Japanese maples.

Want to find a tree of your own? We offer a variety of vibrant options—so come pick out yours. While you’re here, you can also take advantage of our hunting trips and lodging packages. Book your stay here or call us at (334) 257-1519! Finally, to learn more about Crooked Oaks, check out our blog.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lynn Powers

    I have just purchased and planted the Bloodgood Maple. I live in CA. My questions are these: how tall and wide in area should I expect the trees to become as they mature – how tall and wide?

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