Choosing The Right Tree

Several ways to approach this. The first, what tree appeals to you? Pick a tree you like, then find the best place to put it. Alternatively, if you have a particular location you want to put a tree, what tree will fit the location? With either approach, you should take many factors into consideration once you've decided to beautify your space with Japanese maples.

Factors include, whether or not your tree will be in a pot or planted in the landscape. Many trees are perfectly fine in containers but others are more suited to a larger space where they can grow to their natural size. For example, it's going to be significantly easier to maintain a dwarf (6' or less) in a container than it is a tree that could grow to 25' in the landscape. That said, it is possible to keep many Japanese maples to smaller statures. If a container is to be a long term home, then, root pruning every year or two will slow the growth down plus, pruning of the tree branch structure will be routine as well.

Another consideration, how much sun/shade does your location have and at what periods in the day is it sunny or shady there? Most trees will do well with sun in the first part of the day and filtered light or shade in the hottest parts of the day. A few trees will do better with sun all day, or the opposite, mostly shaded all day. Many red-leafed varieties need sun to maintain that red colour whereas, the variegated leaf types often require a bit more shading to maintain their colours. And reticulated (ghost types) definitely want afternoon shade! There are many exceptions to these generalities though.

Choosing the right tree for you will pay off year after year. The joy of watching your tree grow, and watching the seasonal changes change your tree will reward you again and again.