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How to Care for Chinese Maple Trees

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017
Chinese maple leaves in the fall.
Japanese maple image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com

Wherever you choose to grow your Chinese maple tree, know that it will steal all the attention in the fall. Many trees turn vibrant shades in autumn, but the Chinese maple puts them all to shame with a red that is, if possible, redder than red. The Chinese maple, a rare find, can grow 30 to 40 feet tall and thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7a to 9b. To care for Chinese maple trees, provide them ample space to spread out and a regular, deep watering.

Choose a spot in your garden where the Chinese maple will have lots of room to grow. Check for power lines overhead prior to choosing your planting site. Full sun will help your tree provide the full color of which it is capable.

Water the Chinese maple tree when the top inch of soil becomes dry. Water it deeply and allow the surface of the soil to dry out again prior to watering.

Fertilize the maple tree only if a soil test results require it. Soil tests are inexpensive and can be purchased at most large garden centers. Or, take a soil sample to your county cooperative extension office for analysis.

Prune the Chinese maple while it is dormant, in late fall or winter. Remove any dead or dying branches and any shoots pointing straight up.


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.