Plant Spotlight: Japanese Maple Bloodgood

Japanese Maples have always been the darlings of the “understory” landscape. Understory trees are trees that love dappled light and shady conditions, yet perform non-stop with color and form. Bloodgood has become an international favorite Japanese Maple due to its tolerance of city conditions and absolutely over-the-top gorgeous red leaves.

Japanese Maple Bloodgood

Japanese Maple Bloodgood
Taken from iScape’s Image Database

Plant Description: Bloodgood is a smaller Japanese maple tree named for its magnificent red display; red flowers in spring, deep red foliage early summer, red samaras late summer, and crimson-red in fall. Japanese maples stay between 10 to 25 feet, although can rarely grow a bit taller. Bloodgood works well as an under-story planting as it comfortably takes part-shade.

Japanese Maple Bloodgood

Plant Type: Tree

Sun/Shade: Full sun to part shade

Cultivation: Easily grown in organically rich or loamy soil which is acidic. Needs moist, but well-drained soils. Watch for sun scorch in areas with very hot summers. Fertilize early spring, before leaf emergence. Mulch well to protect roots and hold in moisture. Do not plant in a hot, dry, or windy site. Does tolerate moderate urban pollution. Use caution when pruning; keeping the trees natural shape and prune late fall or mid-winter. Spring and summer pruning can result in damage and sap bleeding.

Height: 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6.09 meters)

Width: 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6.09 meters)

Bloom: Red, but very small

Bloom Time: Spring

Origin: Asia

Zones: Zone 5, zone 6, zone 7, zone 8

Wildlife: Birds

Landscape Uses: Specimen or accent tree, understory planting, woodland tree, shade tree, screen, bonsai garden, shade perennial border

Special Features: The samaras or “spinners” or “helicopters” are rather spectacular as they fall due to their interesting red coloring. Resistant to black walnut toxins and generally rabbit resistant.

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