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How to maintain Japanese maple trees

Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) can be a beautiful and ornamental addition to any garden or landscape. Here are some tips on how to maintain Japanese maples:

  1. Soil and Watering: Japanese maples prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They do not tolerate standing water, so make sure the soil is well-drained. Watering should be consistent and thorough, especially during dry periods. Be sure not to over-water, as this can lead to root rot.

  2. Sunlight: Japanese maples prefer partial shade, especially during the hot summer months. Too much direct sunlight can cause leaf scorch and damage to the tree.

  3. Fertilization: Japanese maples do not require a lot of fertilizer. You can use a balanced fertilizer in the spring, and another application in the fall.

  4. Pruning: Prune Japanese maples in late winter or early spring, before new growth appears. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches, and thin out branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. It's important to maintain the tree's natural shape while pruning.

  5. Winter Protection: In Toronto, it is important to protect Japanese maples during the winter months. Mulch around the base of the tree to help insulate the roots, and wrap the tree in burlap to protect it from harsh winter winds.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your Japanese maple thrives.