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How to Care for the Shishigashira Japanese Maple

The Shishigashira Japanese Maple goes by a variety of names such as Acer palmatum Shishigashira and Lion's Mane Japanese Maple. The tree is similar to other Japanese maples except that it grows in the shape of a vase instead of in a flat, horizontal pattern. The tree reaches 10 to 15 feet tall and has vibrant yellow foliage. The Acer palmatum Shishigashira is a hardy tree that will thrive for many years with proper care.

Water the soil under the Shishigashira Japanese Maple well until the ground is damp to an 8- to 10-inch depth. Repeat watering once per week for the first two years after planting. In year three and beyond, water only during drought or at the height of summer.

Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch, such as chopped leaves or pine straw, around the base of the tree to help retain moisture near the roots. Extend the mulch circle to a width of 2 feet.

Wait until the tree is one year old and spread an all-purpose, granular fertilizer to the soil under the tree extending out to 1 foot beyond the branches. Use the amount specified by the fertilizer manufacture.

Prune off any dead or diseased limbs in the early spring months. Use a pruning saw and make the cuts as close to the trunk as possible. The Shishigashira Japanese Maple does not require pruning to shape or encourage budding.

Examine the tree limbs and foliage regularly during the spring and summer months for signs of insects such as borers, mites, scale and aphids. If insect activity is detected, spray the tree thoroughly with an insecticide until it drips off the leaves.

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