Japanese acers have a reputation for being a little tricky to grow, but providing you can meet them halfway they are worth all the effort - remarkably tolerant and extremely beautiful small trees, with colour all year from bark and leaf. Leaves obligingly turn green in summer when everything else is showing off, then put on a dramatic autumn display followed by that red bark.
Acer palmatum 'Sango-kaku' - Japanese maple, coral bark maple DESCRIPTION: Small elegant deciduous tree with coral-red bark and distinctive hand-shaped maple leaves which turn from spring's pinky-yellow, becoming green in summer, through to golden-yellow in autumn. Sango-kaku translates to coral-tower. USE IN: Plant as a feature tree in the garden or a large pot. Site carefully to avoid having to prune to fit a too-small space. LOCATION: Needs moist, rich, slightly acid soil in dappled or part shade. Acers will grow in full sun but leaves tend to scorch; avoid an exposed or windy site for the same reason. CARE: Mulch when planting and provide regular water until the plant is established, usually around 12 weeks. Plants need more water in sunnier locations, especally if container-grown. Add slow-release fertiliser in spring, and mulch to keep roots cool. If you must prune, do this in winter, but plants have an elegant natural shape and shouldn't need it. HEIGHT & WIDTH 4 - 8m H slowly x 2.5 - 4m W YOUR PLANTS: These are tubestock plants, healthy young plants with new roots that will establish quickly in your garden. The pot size is 80 mm x 42 mm wide.