How to Grow a Japanese Maple Tree in Canada


The Japanese maple tree is a type of maple tree that has long, slender maple leaves that are green during the spring and summer but turn a brilliant red in the fall. The Japanese maple is a type of maple tree that is not native to Canada. The tree is used to milder temperatures, but can grow in Canada under certain conditions. Planting Japanese maples in Canada is easier than some people may believe and the tree is low maintenance after the first growing year.

Things You'll Need

  • Japanese maple tree
  • Hose
  • Peat moss
  • Shovel
  • 15-30-15 fertilizer
  • Pesticide spray
  • Mold spray
  • Pruning shears
  • Tree saw
  • Work gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Select a growing site that is sheltered from the harsh north winds. Plan to plant the tree in late April to early May.

  • Make sure your growing site has moist, well draining, fertile soil. The growing site should receive full sunlight in the morning and partial sunlight in the afternoon.

  • Mix one part peat moss to three parts soil around a 6 foot by 6 foot area. Dig about 24 inches into the ground.

  • Dig a hole 2 to 3 times larger than the tree root ball and about twice as deep. Untie the tree from the burlap sack around the roots and place in the hole.

  • Replace the soil around the tree and fertilize immediately. Use a slow-release fertilizer and do not allow the fertilizer to touch the base of the tree. Water the tree after fertilization for about 1 hour.

  • Cover the tree with burlap in winter. This protects the tree from harsh freezing temperatures.

  • Water the tree right before the first frost is expected by soaking the area with a garden hose for about two hours. Do this a week or two before the first frost is expected.

  • Prune for shaping and any structural pruning (such as the main branches) before the first buds emerge. In Canada, this can be anywhere from early March to early April.

  • Prune away dead branches, diseased branches or any non-structural branches in June once the leaves are fully grown in. This allows you to see which branches should be pruned.

  • Mix a pesticide spray at half strength and spray over the tree's leaves after fertilization. If humidity is a problem, spray the tree with a mold-resistant spray to reduce the amount of mold on the tree trunk and leaves.

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  • Photo Credit japanese maple image by Jana Lumley from
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