The Q&A Archives: planting a japanes maple

Question: i was giving this gift bought from home depot its in a container and about 9 feet tall i have never attempted to plant a japanes maple and need to know how and where to plant it, does it need lots of shade, well drained area etc. also how much taller will it get and will it get very wide? i would like to plant it close to the house if possible. the tree has several 6 to 8 inch branches coming out but moslty just straight up at 5 ft it forks and on the right side it forks again at about 6 ft and then the left side just shoots up another 3 ft strange if you ask me, didnt know if it suppose to do that. any infor would be helpful i would like to get it in the ground this weekend ....thanks

Answer: Jeff,

Japanese maples love a forest type environment. That would mean adding composted organic matter to the soil throughout the planting area. This can be added soon after planting just don't rototill or spade so close as to damage the root ball. These trees love a little morning sun but appreciate some late day shade although this is not absolutely essential. Keep the soil moist and wait to fertilize until new growth begins in the spring. Don't worry about the branching now. Over the next 2 or 3 years you can do some pruning here and there to shape the tree as suits your aesthetic preferences.

Hope this helps!

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