Care for a Japanese maple tree by placing it in a good location, preparing the soil, mulching the soil, watering and fertilizing the tree, and pruning the branches. You need mulch, fertilizer and pruning shears.
- Choose a good planting site
Choose a location for the tree that is shaded part of the day with a windbreak. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. It needs at least 5 feet of buffer space in all directions. The soil needs to be well-drained and loamy with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0.
- Plant at the right time
Plant a Japanese maple in spring after there is no longer any danger of frost.
- Amend the soil
Add sphagnum peat or limestone to the soil to lower or raise the pH to the necessary level. Work a layer of compost into the top 12 inches of soil to improve soil drainage.
- Plant the tree
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball. Place the tree in the hole, and fill in the hole with soil until only the top 1 inch of the roots is uncovered. Water the tree.
- Mulch the tree
Add a 3-inch layer of mulch to the soil above the roots.
- Water the tree
Water the tree once a week.
- Fertilize the tree
Twice a year, fertilize the tree with a 10-10-10 fertilizer.
- Prune the tree
In the late fall, prune crossing or rubbing limbs. Clear out small limbs and twigs from the center of the tree.