Fall Shows Off Cutleaf Japanese Maples

Notice how dissected these cutleaf Japanese Maples leaves are and thier vibrant fall color.

Notice how dissected these cutleaf Japanese maples leaves are and their vibrant fall color.

This cutleaf Japanese maple has been pruned to be loose and open. This plant is about 15 years old.

This cutleaf Japanese maple has been pruned to be loose and open. This plant is about 15 years old.

Notice how layered this cutleaf Japanese maple has been shaped

Notice how layered this cutleaf Japanese maple has been shaped.

Here are two green cutleaf Japanese maples that are radient in fall color. While all of the various types of cutleaf Japanese maples are show-offs, the green selections are the ones that have outstanding fall color. While there are hundreds of named types with different leaf forms, leaf colors and habits of growth, the ones show above are elegantly placed and have been shaped to emphasize the space where they were planted. As I have said in discussing the common maples in a previous post, these plants perform well in pots, as well as in locations that have partial shade and good soil drainage. Because of their delicate leaves, I do not like to plant them in a full sun location in our area, but I have see some that have adjusted well to a sunny location. Like all maples they are fiberous rooted, so don’t let them get dry during summer dry periods. As for pruning, it is more complicated than we can discuss here, but if you feel yours needs pruning, first remove all of the dead wood. Then evaluate each branch you are considering cutting to make sure it will work for the tree and overall look you want the tree to ultimately have at maturity. It’s a good time to buy these now and plant them. Many garden centers have them on sale now, so check around and see what they have available.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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