Liven up your landscape with a Japanese maple. Spring is the ideal time to plant trees and garden centers nationwide should be getting their new stock in any day. Most Japanese maples prefer dappled shade or at least afternoon shade to avoid sun scorch on their leaves, but read the plant's information tag because some tolerate sun better than others.
The latest is the new Bihou Japanese maple with tiny yellow-green leaves in summer and yellow-orange fall leaf color.
A small, upright deciduous tree, the real show is the bark during winter, according to the garden center. Its bark on the twigs and branches turns a vivid coral yellow when exposed to sunlight and cooler temperatures.
The Japanese name for this tree means “beautiful mountain range.”
Here are some more easy-grow Japanese maples that are cold hardy in zones 5-8.
Red, upright growth habit: Acer palmatum, with deeply incised leaves, Bloodgood, Burgundy Lace and Fireglow.
Red weeping: Acer palmatum Crimson Queen, Red Dragon and Filigree Lace.
Green, upright growth habit: Acer palmatum Sango kaku, Osakasuki and Shishigashira.
Green weeping: Acer palmatum Waterfall, Viridis and Green Mist.