Japanese Maples – Fall Stock & Care 2019

We just received a huge shipment of stunning Japanese Maples, just in time for fall! Checkout our selections below to find your new favorite tree. All listed varieties and sizes are available as of 10.26.2019, but these plants won’t last long. Shop soon for the best selection.

Tallahassee Nurseries is very happy to offer our Japanese Maples in a variety of sizes and prices. We know these slow-growing trees are some of the more expensive plants we carry and we want to make them accessible to everyone. We have adorable little one gallon trees at $29.99, all the way up to impressive, landscape ready 15 gallon trees for $299.00. Whether you want one baby tree in a pot, or a whole forest of maples, Tallahassee Nurseries has the quality, selection, and service to help you get started growing Japanese Maples.

(Full Gallery Below)

Atrolinear (3gallon)- Graceful foliage earns this maple the nickname “Ribbon-Leaf”. Delicate ribbon-like leaves emerge dark red in the spring, then turn bronze & green. Expect reds & orange in fall.

Bloodgood (3, 7, 15gallon)- This is Tallahassee’s favorite red Japanese Maple! The super-strong trees produce lush burgundy red leaves that hold their color from spring through fall when planted in sunny locations.

Baby Lace (1gallon)- An exciting and rare dwarf maple w/ gracefully weeping branches. Small frilly leaves emerge reddish orange then turn bronze by summer. 

Crimson Queen (2gallon)- A truly stunning red leaf maple with weeping branches. The huge weeping maple on the property at Tallahassee Nurseries is a 50-60 year old Crimson Queen. Delicate, lacey leaves are pretty in a colorful pot or in the ground. 

Coral Bark (3, 7gallon)- Most maples are all about the leaves, but even the trunk of this variety brings the color! The bare trunk and branches turn a vibrant red color in the winter. Plant in sunnier locations for best winter color. Leaves emerge green with a reddish tinge.  Fall color is golden yellow with red overtones. A very heat tolerant maple for Tallahassee.

Emperor One (3, 15gallon)- Another bullet-proof Japanese Maple that can be planted in full sun! This variety produces crimson red leaves that hold their color from spring-fall in sunny locations. A safe tree to plant near the home.

Kamgata (3gallon)- Green spring leaves are tinted with red & crimson edges. Outstanding fall color in brilliant yellow, orange. Kamagata is a resilient & hardy selection despite its delicate appearance.

Koto-no-ito (7gallon)- Graceful leaves are like clusters of delicate lace, opening green with crimson tones, then turning a bright lively shade of pure green. Look for orange and gold in the fall.   

Lemon Lime Lace (1gallon)- Spring growth emerges a shocking yellow/green before mellowing to a calmer chartreuse for the summer. Graceful lacey leaves and a mounding habit. Expect yellow and orange fall color. 

Omato (5gallon)- A rare & unique maple with bold, large leaves that cannot be ignored. Early foliage is green with an orange/red tint, then leaves turn rich deep green. Expect rich red fall color. 

Pixie (1gallon)- Lush, deep, wine red leaves on a compact plant remind us of a miniature ‘Bloodgood’. Spring leaves are bright red, dark red in summer, then bright scarlet again in fall. 

Red Pygmy (3gallon)- An excellent small-growing maple with ribbon-like foliage. Leaves emerge bright red, then turn dark red to purple in summer. Heat-tolerant variety does well in Tallahassee. Orange in fall.

Red Dragon (1, 3, 6gallon)- The spring color is Christmas-red fading back to deep purple red.  Turns crimson red in fall. Reported to have high heat tolerance.  

Red Filigree Lace (1gallon)- Deeply cut, extremely fine foliage looks just like fine lace. Deep maroon leaves emerge in spring & hold their color through most of the summer. One of the most delicate displays of any maple. 

Shaina (1, 5gallon)- Dwarf, compact form.  Bright red new foliage matures to a deep maroon-red. Freely branching growth becomes dense with maturity.  

Sharp’s Pygmy (1, 5gallon)- The perfect choice for planting in a container, this slow-growing maple forms a compact, dense plant. Pretty green leaves are kissed w/ red edges.

Twombly’s Red Sentinel (2gallon)- A very narrow growing maple that looks like a red spire in the garden! Use for smaller spaces or in a container. Vivid red leaves from spring-fall.

Tamukeyama (7gallon)- Beautiful, contorted, weeping branches are like living sculpture whether in a container or in the garden. Leaves are brilliant red in spring and fall.

Waterfall (2gallon)- Layers of delicate, bright green leaves cascade to the ground like a mossy waterfall flowing over ancient boulders. Lovely yellow fall color. 

Japanese Maple Care

Japanese Maples are able to grow over a very wide geographical range, covering almost every bit of the continental United States. North Florida, however, is pushing the southern extreme of that range. Of the thousands of Japanese Maple varieties that exist, only a small fraction of them will be happy to live in our hot humid climate. Tallahassee Nurseries is sure to stock the most heat tolerant varieties for you to choose from, but proper care is critical to help these stunning trees look their best.

Sun Needs:
Most Japanese Maples cannot handle being planted in full sun in Tallahassee. Most Japanese Maples should be planted where they receive direct sun in the morning, but get shade in the hot afternoon. Japanese Maples also thrive in filtered or dapple light all day, like that found under mature oak trees or pines. 

Some direct sun is required to produce good leaf color throughout the growing season. Avoid planting Japanese Maples in full or deep shade. They will survive in deep shade but their color will be greatly diminished. Try to find a spot in your yard that gets the most sun possible from dawn until 1pm or 2pm. Most Japanese Maples definitely want shade in the afternoon or the leaves may be damaged. 

There are a few exceptions to the rule. Some Japanese Maples can even tolerate full sun in Tallahassee. Bloodgood and Emperor One (both red leaf), as well as Glowing Embers and Coral Bark (both green leaf) are all able to thrive in the sunniest of locations in North Florida...IF, you give them the proper care.

Soil, Mulching & Watering
Japanese Maples are best planted on low mounds of soil to ensure good drainage around their roots. Create a smooth, gentle mound of soil 3’-6’ wide and 1’-1.5’ tall in the center. This raised mound of soil will drain excess water to create just the right conditions for Japanese Maples. Gardeners should also apply and maintain a thick layer of mulch around their Japanese Maples. Any natural material is fine (pine straw, pine bark, wood chips, leaves, compost). These materials will help keep the roots cool and moist. Try to keep a 4 inch deep layer of mulch. Most people do not apply enough mulch to get the maximum benefits. Pull the mulch a few inches away from the base of the trunk to keep the trunk healthy. 

Overheating roots are the primary cause of problems for Japanese Maples in our climate. Mulch and frequent waterings in hot weather are the best way to cool the soil and roots. Mulch insulates the soil, protecting it from the sun’s heat, while the planting mound offers maximum drainage so you can water as often as needed without fear of creating soggy soil.   

Expectations for New Japanese Maples

We all want results fast (myself included), but gardening in general, and Japanese Maples specifically are a slow game. You must have patience with new Japanese Maples. This group of small trees is exceptionally strong, resilient, and long-lived, but they need time to acclimate to new environments. If you give them the basic care and time they need to become established they will can become the showpiece of your landscape.

Expect to see transplant shock from any Japanese Maple planted in spring or summer. Moving from a container in the nursery to a new home, with new conditions, and new care can be traumatic for Japanese Maples. Expect to see leaves wilting and some may even develop brown or gray edges. The key is water. Do not let new maples dry out at all. They need that cool water to help fight the heat. 

Many Japanese Maples look a little rough for their entire first year in the ground. But, with proper planting and care they almost always return in full glory for their second year, and many get prettier and stronger every year thereafter. Planting in fall or winter will dramatically reduce transplant shock. Japanese Maples are deciduous (they lose their leaves each winter), which makes them very easy to transplant or move in the winter while they are sleeping. All Japanese Maples would be planted in fall or winter ideally, but those that are moving into a sunny location benefit the most from dormant season planting. Try to look ahead to your spring garden and plant any desired Japanese Maples in the fall or winter. 

If you find the right spot, plant on a mound, mulch deep and wide, and keep them well watered you can expect to grow happy and healthy Japanese Maples in the real deep south.

This article was written by Jonathan Burns (Tallahassee Nurseries Outdoor Manager, FNGLA Florida Certified Horticulture Professional) using years of personal observations growing in the Tallahassee area.