Japanese maples thrive best when grown in USDA planting zones 5 to 8. In Canada, this includes the coast of British Columbia, southern Ontario and the eastern-most provinces, along the coastline. Typically, a Japanese maple will grow six to 25 feet in height, with the average height being 10 feet. Japanese maples are best known for their wide-spread canopy, which turns a deep, red color during the late summer and fall.
Choose a planting area. Japanese maples grow best in areas that receive partial to full sun.
Test the pH of your soil. Soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH of 3.7 to 6.5, is ideal for this tree. To lower the pH of your soil, add a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer compost or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and incorporate it into the soil.
Amend clay soil. The roots of the Japanese Maple prefer loamy, but organically rich, soil. If you have clay soil, pour a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer of organic matter, such as compost, over your soil. Incorporate the organic matter into the clay soil. Pour a 3- to 4-inch-thick layer of coarse sand over the soil and mix in well.
Dig the hole. The hole for your Japanese Maple should be the depth of four times the width of your sapling. Place the sapling into the middle of the hole.
Fill the hole with soil. Return 50 to 70 percent of the soil you dug out back into the hole. Fill the remainder of the hole with a loose potting soil or mulch.
Water the sapling. Immediately after planting, water the Japanese Maple thoroughly to compact the soil and help the roots adjust to their new surroundings.