Japanese Maples Explode With Fall Color

Green Japanese Maple in fall color

Cluster of Japanese Maple foliage

Colorful Japanese Maples in fall color at Tori Gate at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

I like green foliage trees with brilliant dependable fall color. One of the best small trees in our area for seasonal beauty with a variety of leaf variations is the green foliaged Japanese maple. While few nurseries tout these in our area because the red foliage types are popular, I think these are the best, whether a seedling or a named selection. Right now you can experience one of the best times to visit the Japanese Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens because these maples are in full fall color through the entire garden. It is, to me, more beautiful now than in the spring when the cherries bloom in this garden. Here is another asset of this small tree. These Japanese maples are easy to grow and are beautiful as multi-stem specimens. I have several in my yard, and my seedlings were selected and bought in fall based on the quality of their fall color. So now is an excellent time to purchase them (and often times they are on sale now, too). The richer the soil the more rapidly they grow, but they will tolerate somewhat poor soil, too. While they will do just fine in full sun, I have mine planted in high filtered shade in well drained areas but not where they are in a dry location. While many are single trunk stand tree shaped, they are also excellent multi-stem trees. One thing is for sure, they are show stoppers in fall.

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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