Thursday, October 9, 2014

Featured Plant of The Day: 'Pixie' Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum 'Pixie' 
Japanese Maple

Type    Shrub, woody plant
Hardy range    5B to 8A
Height    8' to 12' / 2.40m to 3.60m
Spread    10' to 15' / 3.00m to 4.60m
Growth rate    Slow
Form    Rounded and spreading or horizontal
Exposure    Partial shade or partial sun to full sun
Persistence    Deciduous

Bloom Color    Red
Bloom Time    Spring

This plant tolerates some drought.
This plant will grow in dry soil.
Suitable soil is well-drained/loamy, sandy or clay.
The pH preference is an acidic (less than 6.8) soil.

Leaf Color    Purple
Fall Color    Red

This plant has attractive foliage and attractive fall colors.

 Fruit Color    Red

The fruit is dry and elongated.

 Landscape Uses
-    Rock garden
-    Cascade
-    Specimen

 Attributes and Features
-    Inconspicuous blooms
-    Inconspicuous fruit

 Culture Notes
This large shrub or small tree tends to leaf out early, so it may be injured by spring frosts.  Protect them from drying winds and direct sun by providing exposure to partial or filtered shade and well-drained, acid soil with plenty of organic matter, particularly in the southern part of its range.  Leaves often scorch in hot summer weather in USDA hardiness zones 7b and 8, unless they are in some shade or irrigated during dry weather.  More direct sun can be tolerated in the northern part of the range.

Be sure drainage is maintained and never allow water to stand around the roots.  Grows fine on clay soils as long as the ground is sloped so water does not accumulate in the soil.  Responds well to several inches of mulch placed beneath the canopy.  Not for western Texas or western Oklahoma but grows well in the shade in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Maintain adequate mulch area

Clear all turf away from beneath the branches and mulch to the drip line, especially on young trees, to reduce competition with turf and weeds. This will allow roots to become well established and keep plants healthier. Prune the tree so trunks and branches will not rub each other.  Remove some secondary branches on main branches with included bark.  This reduces the likelihood of the main branch splitting from the tree later when it has grown to become an important part of the landscape.  Locate the tree properly, taking into account the ultimate size, since the tree looks best if it is not pruned to control size. The tree can enhance any landscape with its delightful spring flush of foliage. It can be the centerpiece of your landscape if properly located.