Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’ (Japanese Maple )

Katsura’s leaves emerge in spring very pale green, are yellowy green with red margins all summer and a brilliant display of red in autumn. One of the most toothsome of all the Japanese Maples.

It’s one of the classic slow growing Japanese Maples – 15ft after 20-25 years. Any reasonably well drained soil (but not chalk) but they need light or partial shade out of strong winds.

Because they’re so slow growing, they’re surprisingly happy in a pot but don’t allow them to dry out. This can lead to the tips browning and full recovery probably won’t happen until the following year.

The most enjoyable bit about growing these (apart from looking at them) is practising your gentle Creative Maintenance skills upon them. Creating a beautifully domed and balanced head, raising the crown (removing lower branches) to display the branch structure at the base and just snipping off dead bits. Great fun.

These plants are grafted so if you see an alien sprig appearing at the base, cut it off.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.

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