The description of Japanese Maple Tree Beauty
Bloodgood Japanese maple trees are ideal for smaller yards. Most people use them as specimen trees, although they are also used in bonsai. They bloom in spring, and this is when the red in their foliage is sometimes at its brightest. The color darkens in summer to burgundy, or even darker. Although their leaves can become even showier in autumn than in summer, their foliage is attractive for a full three seasons of the year.
The leaves of Bloodgood Japanese maples form a rounded canopy in an attractive branching pattern: Rather than having a single leader, the plant will often have multiple sub-trunks. Many liken the leaf shape to that on a marijuana plant. The palmatum in the Latin name is also descriptive of the leaf. As on the human hand, where fingers radiate out from the palm, "palmate" foliage bears lobes that fan out from a central point. In late spring, they develop double-winged samaras which redden as they mature and add some ornamental value to the plant. This common tree may reach a height of 20 feet (with a similar spread) at maturity but is a slow grower.
Botanical name: Acer palmatum atropurpureum
Common name: Bloodgood Japanese maple
Plant type: Deciduous tree
Mature size: 20 feet tall
Sun exposure: Full sun, part shade
Soil type: Chalk, clay, loam, sand
Soil pH: Slightly acidic
Bloom time: Summer
Flower color: n/a
Hardiness zones: 5-8, USDA
Native area: Japan, Asia
How to Grow Bloodgood Japanese Maple Trees
A full-sun to part-shade loving plant, the Bloodgood Japanese maple grows easily in moist, organically rich, slightly acidic and well-draining soil. If you plant in the fall, your tree will benefit from new root growth that occurs during the dormant season: Roots of maples continue to grow throughout the fall and early winter months if temperatures are not below freezing. Also, planting in the fall allows the carbohydrates that are produced during the summer to be directed to root growth since there is little demand from the top of the tree (which stops growing in late fall and winter). You can also plant your Bloodgood Japanese maple in spring; just be careful not to disturb any parts of the plant that have broken bud and are producing new, soft growth.
Mulch is key to growing your maple. Mulch shields the roots from summer heat and winter cold and ensures that the roots retain moisture. You also might want to stake the tree to prevent wind from rocking it back and forth as the new roots are becoming established. Just be sure to remove the stake after the first year, or at least change the tie if it's cutting into the bark of the tree.
Dappled shade is considered the ideal exposure in most regions for this tree, but a bit more shade won't harm it. In fact, in hot climates, a somewhat shady location could help prevent leaf scorch. The leaves tend to develop some green in them in summer if exposed to full sun.