The Bloodgood Japanese maple tree (Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood') is the most recognizable cultivated variety of red-leaf Japanese maples. This maple tree grows up to 30 feet tall and wide, with horizontal branches and red leaves that turn an even brighter crimson in fall. The Bloodgood Japanese maple's leaves are shaped like hands, with serrated leaf edges and deep, pointed, V-shaped lobes. This Japanese maple tree grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 or 6 through 9, where winters are mild and temperatures rarely dip down to -5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Planting the Bloodgood Japanese Maples
Select a planting site for your Bloodgood Japanese maple tree that receives direct sunlight during the morning and has partial shade in the afternoon. This type of location will enable the Japanese maple to have some protection from hot summer sunlight, while still providing enough sun to develop the deep-red leaf colors.
Dig a planting hole that is 1 ½ times wider and deeper than the Japanese maple tree's root ball. Mix into the displaced soil some organic compost.
Set the Bloodgood Japanese maple's root ball into the planting hole, ensuring that the root collar is level with the ground surface. Backfill the planting hole with the amended, displaced soil, and then water the soil deeply to settle the soil around the roots.
Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of coarse bark mulch on the ground around your Bloodgood Japanese maple tree to cover the entire root area. The mulch will control weed growth, help to retain soil moisture and protect the roots from winter freezes or frosts.
Caring for Your Bloodgood Japanese Maple Trees
Water your Bloodgood Japanese maple deeply once per week during the active growing season to provide at least 1 inch of water each week.
Feed your Japanese maple tree once each year in early spring, preferably just before the leaves emerge, with a slow-release 10-10-10 NPK complete tree fertilizer. Follow the dosage instructions on the fertilizer label.
Prune your Bloodgood Japanese maple once each year in late winter to remove any diseased, damaged, broken or crowded branches. Begin pruning your Japanese maple two to three years after planting it and no sooner, to allow the tree to become well-established.
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Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.