Japanese Maples: Protecting Fragile Foliage
The foliage of Japanese Maples can be very fine and delicate, which is often part of their appeal to many gardeners. To maintain a healthy plant with such delicate parts, sometimes tender care is in order. Japanese maples need protection from the sun, protection from the cold, protection from the wind, and plenty of moisture to maintain that beautiful signature foliage that makes them so popular.
Choose a good location when planting your Acer–a tree in the open will be very susceptible to the elements. As the tree grows and establishes stronger roots it will become less vulnerable, but while the tree is still young make sure there is shade and some sort of windscreen available.
Cover your tree if you are expecting a frost or an extremely windy day. Frost, drought, wind, and direct sunlight will scorch your tree in just a day – cover your tree if you suspect unfavorable conditions to hold in that much needed moisture.
Water deeply weekly. This is probably the most important tip. Give thorough waterings, but no more often than necessary – force the roots to grow down. You want your Japanese Maple Tree to grow a deep healthy root system that will allow it to have bright, full, healthy leaves even when conditions are less than adequate.