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Japanese Maple Adds Interest as Understory Tree

With all of the blooms this spring of my azaleas, gerbera daisies, and knockout roses, there’s something else in the garden that quickly adds color and contrast. It’s my Japanese maple tree, Acer palmatum (meaning it has palm-shaped leaves) nestled near my front door. I do not know the variety of this one, as the tag vanished long ago. The leaves are more of a burgundy color in spring, and then they turn green.

Japanese Maple Sunlight Filtering

A nice understory tree that enjoys the filtered light that cascades down from the water oak and live oak. While it struggles a bit in our hot summers, the canopy of the trees helps to shade it. It seems to have found a perfect home among in the dark rich soil near the azaleas.

Red leaves on a tree in a park.

Japanese Maple Understory Tree

Japanese maples are small trees and this one is happy in the front bed. It will not overwhelm the space, yet it does add a nice splash of color in spring.

5 thoughts on “Japanese Maple Adds Interest as Understory Tree”

  1. It is charming! You are lucky they do well in your area. Our alkaline water turns the leaf tips brown before summer is half over.

  2. Rothschild Orchid

    I do love Acer’s. Fabulous trees. Lovely photo’s -great light.

    Happy Easter,

    RO xx

  3. My fav’s…. I love the Maples!!! Alas! We don’t get to see them along the road side here in N. India. Nice Photos!

  4. Hi Jackie.

    Your Acer palmatum is in the ground? Now that takes gardening nerve. Every Japanese maple I have ever dared to take out of it’s container and put into the ground has died…an expensive failure. I also have the burgundy variety housed in a container that has done really well for quite a few years and is looking great right now, I have ghost plants planted at the base of it that also like the potted environment. This year I have moved the container under a neighbors Post Oak, perhaps it will retain it’s foliage a little longer in this shade before the summer inferno hits? We will see. I do love these trees.


    1. Jacqueline D'Elia

      Yes it is in the ground and doing fine for about 2 years now. I recently visited Mercer Arboretum in NE Houston, and they had about 50 Japanese Maples in the ground and they looked spectacular. I was surprised to see that.

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