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How to Care for a Inaba Shidare Japanese Maple Tree

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Acer palmatum 'Inabe Shidare' is a weeping variety of the popular Japanese maple, a deciduous shrub. The Inabe Shidare variety bears purple foliage in the spring that turns bright red in the fall, making it a lovely accent plant in the home landscape. Hardy to USDA zones 5 through 9, Inaba Shidare Japanese maple plants can tolerate full sun in the northern regions, otherwise, provide it with afternoon shade. The Inabe Shidare Japanese maple tree only looks fragile, as it is easy to care for.

Pull weeds within a 3-foot radius of the Japanese maple tree as they appear. Weeds compete with the roots of the plant for moisture and nutrients.

Pour a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch on the soil around the base of the Inaba Shidare tree. Keep it 2 inches away from the bark and spread it out to the dripline (the tips of the widest branches).

Water the soil around the Japanese maple tree enough to keep the soil consistently moist.

Fertilize in the early spring with a water soluble, 4-12-8 fertilizer at the rate recommended on the package.

Cut dead branches from the Inaba Shidare Japanese maple tree any time from fall to the middle of winter. This tree does not require pruning, but you can remove any limbs that don’t fit with the shape you desire while you're removing dead branches from the tree.

Protect immature Inaba Shidares in the winter by wrapping them in burlap. Do this every winter for its first three years in the ground.


Things You Will Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Burlap tree wrap

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.