Japanese maples are small, ornamental trees that resemble large bushes when untrimmed. These attractive trees grow slowly to reach 20 feet in height by 20 feet in width. These maples exhibit a range of forms, from upright specimens to gently, weeping varieties. The pendulous, weeping Japanese maple adds an attractive shape to many landscape designs. Placed correctly, this type of Japanese maple creates a graceful, drooping addition to backgrounds, planters, and focal points in yards and parks.
Select a suitable site in your landscape that provides a blend of partial shade and partial sunlight. These trees survive in areas of full shade or full sun, but prefer moderate amounts of sun and shade. Choose an area in your yard that allows easy access for pruning and maintenance. Place your weeping Japanese maple far in front of large trees or in an area separate from other trees and shrubs, such as a center planter or foundation planter. Avoid placing a weeping Japanese maple near larger trees that compete for soil nutrients.
Allow adequate space for the size of your mature maple by removing nearby shrubs and plants. Incorporate soil additives into dry, poor soils by adding compost or peat moss. Weeping Japanese maples prefer well-drained, moist soils. Loosen the soil with a shovel. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the entire root ball. Place the weeping Japanese maple in the hole and backfill with soil to the level even with the surrounding soil.
Add flowers, ground covers and small shrubs to the area at the base of your maple trees. Use smaller, surrounding plants to encourage the graceful shape of your weeping maple to stand out from other selections. Keep in mind that the foliage of weeping Japanese maples turns shades of red and purple in the fall. Choose surrounding flowers in colors that contrast with your maple tree. Use small, evergreen shrubs, such as creeping junipers, to compliment the rich hues of the colorful leaves on your weeping Japanese maple.
Add small rocks and stones around the base of your maple and nearby plants to increase the amount of color contrast and hold in moisture. Choose white or light-colored rocks and gravel. Add a small bench or birdbath to complement the setting and increase the peaceful aura created by the drooping branches of your weeping Japanese maple tree. Enhance the appearance of this Japanese tree with other Asian-influenced decorations, such as wind chimes or hanging lanterns.