Japanese Maple is a deciduous shrub or a small tree suitable for most gardens and backyards. This tree is treasured for its leafage which remains beautiful throughout the year. Its binomial name is Acer palmatum and is also known as the Smooth Japanese Maple. It is a native of Japan, North and South Korea, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. The leaves grow in a very interesting way as they transform from an amazingly bright-yellow to an orange or red color. These trees have a hefty trunk and is grown in multiple numbers.
Caring for the Tree
- A rich, moist, and well-drained soil is ideal for its growth.
- The soil should be kept moist during the summer season and during the dry season, the watering can be done with a hose placed at the base.
- The exposure to the sun should be minimized as the leaves can get burned if exposed continuously.
- It is a good idea to let the water trickle in instead of pouring directly.
- The base needs covering during the summer in order to avoid the roots from rotting from down-pouring rain.
- They can be kept either in a shaded area or next to a tree that grows fast to receive shade. They can be shifted inside the room as they require minimal space and can be grown in a container as well.
- Appearance of wood borers is a sign of the tree's ill health as these insects bore into the wooden stem making the tree vulnerable to diseases.
- The trees are also infected by the aphids and scales that cause leaf dropping and a honey-like dripping from the tree.
- These trees are prone to diseases such as black bark, fluid secretions, tar spot, fungal droops, leaf spots, broken twigs, and manganese deficiency.
When it comes to taking care of this tree, pruning is of utmost importance. Before starting the process, make a note of all the branches or twigs that need to be removed. And while cutting the branches, make sure that there are no crossing branches left on the tree. The cutting of the new branch should be done at the point where the first two leaves of the branch are found. The tree becomes stronger and shows signs of health when it regrows after the pruning.
The Japanese Maple tree can 'bleed' copiously if pruned during the spring season. They have to be pruned when they are at a dormant stage to avoid losing the sap, or else it will kill the tree. They can be pruned during late summer and early autumn. The pruning should be done when the tree is young, and it is always better to spread the pruning over a long period.
Whenever a branch is cut, use a sealant to coat the tree. It is very important to prevent the sap from leaking. The sealant will also help to heal the cut. A sharp pruning shear should be used as a clean cut will make the tree recover faster. A bleach solution can be used to clean the shear to avoid transfer of any diseases from one branch to another.
Taking care of a tree, especially the Japanese Maple, is truly a wonderful way of using one's leisure time as it gives one a rewarding feeling. The beauty of the tree makes the extra effort spent on its care worth it.