Japanese maple is a woody plant that originated in the Orient. The plant is known for its bright red coloring in the autumn months and therefore is a commonly used decorative plant in many homes and gardens. The tree is usually very hardy and can grow under various conditions but, like most plants, can be damaged by extremely cold temperatures. The Japanese maple should be protected during cold winter months and winterizing the plant takes a bit of preparation.
Move any potted Japanese maples indoors to protect them from the cold. Keep them near a window so they can still receive adequate sunlight.
Water the roots of the tree thoroughly prior to the first frost. This helps prevent the tree from drying out since the outdoor maples should not be watered after the first frost occurs.
Cover the root system of any outdoor Japanese maples with several inches of mulch, which will act as insulation and help prevent the roots from freezing.
Cover the Japanese maple with a burlap tarp prior to any severe storms. The tarp will help protect against harsh winds and freezing moisture.
Dust the Japanese maple with a broom after snowfall to knock off any snow from it before it freezes. Ice can add so much weight to a tree that the branches or trunk could snap from the weight. Regular snow removal helps prevent this.