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How to Care for a Tamukeyama Japanese Maple

Grown since the early 1700s, Tamukeyama Japanese maple (Acer palmatum Tamukeyama) is a small cutleaf cultivar with moderately dissected, seven- to nine-lobed leaves. Leaf colour is reddish-purple in spring and summer, turning to crimson red in fall. The mounded, weeping tree grows 8 to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide, making it a perfect specimen plant for small gardens. Tamukeyama Japanese maples are hardy in USDA plant zones 5 through 8.

Site your Tamukeyama maple in well-drained soil in full sun in the cooler areas of its range, and partial shade in the warmer areas. Select a planting spot sheltered from wind.

Water your maple often enough that the soil stays moist. Like all Japanese maples, this variety is not drought tolerant, so supplemental watering will be needed throughout the growing season.

Feed your tree in spring with a well-balanced tree fertiliser. Make sure the ground is moist before applying the tree food. This variety grows quickly when young, so feeding it will help ensure strong growth.

Mulch the root zone of your tree with a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch such as shredded bark. Keep the mulch 1 or 2 inches away from the tree trunk to prevent disease. Renew the mulch each year in spring.

Prune out any broken or diseased branches immediately. Disinfect the pruners between cuts with alcohol or a solution of one part household bleach to nine parts water.

Inspect your plant several times during the growing season for insects and disease. Japanese maples are rarely bothered with either, but early detection helps prevent damage.

Tip

Japanese maples are shallow-rooted, so avoid planting anything larger than small ground covers over the root zone.

Warning

Don't be tempted to use more fertiliser than the amount recommended on the product package. Too much fertiliser will burn the roots and damage or kill the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree fertiliser
  • Mulch
  • Pruners
  • Alcohol or bleach solution
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About the Author

Marie Roper began writing in 1987, preparing sales and training materials for Citadel, Inc. and then newsletters for Fullerton Garden Center. A trained horticulturist, she was a garden designer and adult-education teacher for the USDA Graduate School in Washington, D.C. Roper has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Maryland.