The term “Japanese maple” describes cultivated varieties Acer palmatum, Acer japonicum and Acer shirasawanum and a couple of other less known such as Acer Pictum and Acer Sieboldianum. These maples have been developed and selected for superior traits since the 1600’s. Over the years the Japanese have shared their wealth of knowledge with plant enthusiasts worldwide who also appreciate the beauty, diversity and functionality of these remarkable group of plants. 
 The ideal exposure for Japanese maples is morning sun and afternoon shade, although filtered sun or part sun locations also work. The stunning seasonal leaf colors Japanese maples are so well-known for are best achieved in full sun, but leaves may burn or discolor when exposed to hot afternoon sun. Heavy shade tends to diminish the leaf colors. To help minimize winter injury areas sheltered from winter winds are best. Japanese maples are adaptable to different soils as long as they are not compacted or waterlogged. Amend compacted soil with coarse organic matter and maintain a 2-3” layer of mulch over the root zone. Keep roots evenly moist with a uniform supply of moisture.