Japanese Dwarf Pixie Maple Planting Instructions


Pixie is a cultivar of dwarf Japanese maple that grows in a mounding and slightly sprawling shrub form. It has red leaves in the summer that darken slightly in fall before dropping. It should be transplanted in the fall at least six weeks before the ground freezes or in the spring after the last hard frost has passed and the soil can be easily worked.

Step 1

Dig a hole in well-drained and nutrient-rich soil with full sun exposure. Dig the hole twice the diameter of the root ball and just as deep.

Step 2

Amend the hole and the excavated soil with a few pounds each of compost and well-aged manure. Do not add chemical fertilizers to the hole because this can easily burn the tree roots. The compost and manure will help to gently feed the roots.

Step 3

Slide the tree from its pot and set it into the hole. Add or remove soil from beneath the root ball to bring the surface of the root ball level with the surrounding soil. Turn the shrub until its most pleasing aspect is facing front.

Step 4

Backfill the excavated soil halfway up the sides of the hole and water well. Fill in the remaining soil and create a doughnut-shaped raised watering moat with the excess soil. Start the inside ring of the soil moat 6 inches from the trunk and the outside ring of the moat just beyond the tips of the longest, outward growing branches, known as the drip line.

Step 5

Fill the interior of the berm with water, allowing it to drain before refilling it. Keep the soil around the newly planted Japanese maple evenly moist and do not allow the soil to dry out, nor become waterlogged.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Aged manure
  • Water


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Keywords: dwarf Japanese maple, pixie Japanese maple, planting Japanese maples

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.