Cold Hardy Japanese Maple (CJM) – Selecting Japanese Maples For Zone 4 Gardens

Japanese maples are one of the most popular trees for zones 3 through 5 gardens. They have a very long history in Japan and were used extensively during the Edo period.

These days they still provide shade and excellent drought tolerance. However, their popularity has waned somewhat due to environmental changes. There are now many other species available that offer similar qualities at lower cost.

The Japanese maple is a deciduous tree with small white flowers that open in late summer or early fall. The leaves grow from the trunk and branches and are dark green above, light green beneath and hairy on top.

They turn yellowish brown when mature. The wood is straight and strong. The needles are short, needlelike and white. They are usually notched at both ends but sometimes only one notch is present.

Japanese maples produce large numbers of young trees each year so it’s best to plant them in the spring after the last frost date. If planting in winter, make sure to wait until after the first freeze before starting your work.

Avoid planting in areas where the roots may come in contact with sewer or septic lines, water, gas or electricity.

The best time to plant is in fall after all threat of frost has passed. Take the tree out of its container and remove any wire or rope that may still be attached.

Do not cut through the roots as this could slow down healing and, in some cases, kill the tree. Loosen the roots somewhat but do not try to spread them as this may damage the rootball.

If you’re planting several trees, space them four to six feet apart. If you’re planting a single tree, a space three to four times the width of the tree’s canopy (the spread of its branches) should be enough.

Dig a hole two or three times as wide and just as deep as the rootball. Cut through any thick roots that are crossing. Place the tree in the hole and backfill, making sure not to crush the trunk as you fill. After backfilling, mix a gallon of water with three cups of bone meal and sprinkle this around the base of the tree. If you use liquid fertilizer, add that now. This will help the roots spread out and look for a source of water, which it will use quickly.

Cold Hardy Japanese Maples: Selecting Japanese Maples For Zone 4 Gardens from our website

Water your new tree weekly for the first month, less frequently the second and then only during prolonged droughts. Do not fertilize the tree for the first year as this may cause an abundance of foliage and not enough roots.

If you have a personalized message that will be produced in the name of the tree, then type it in the text box where you see the wonderful image on top of the page.

This image is provided courtesy of

How To Buy A Bonsai Tree From Us

We ship all of our Bonsai Trees fully grown and ready to display. Our selection of Bonsai Trees are available for worldwide shipping, we ship them within two business days of payment from the Netherlands or New York.

When you buy a Bonsai from us we also provide you with a care sheet specific to that tree so your baby will be able to stay healthy and beautiful for many years to come.

The Different Types Of Bonsai Trees & How To Take Care Of Them

Bonsai Trees are great and all, but if you don’t know how to properly care for them they’ll die faster than you can say “pass me the Bonsai fertilizer”. By learning about the different types of Bonsai trees, their needs and what they require in terms of both care and upkeep, your experience with Bonsai’s will be greatly increased.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of Bonsai trees.

Shohin Bonsai

These are regular sized trees that have simply been planted in small containers to make them appear to be small trees. The beauty of these trees is that you can find them in almost all varieties, from flowering trees to mixed species forests.

Simply keep these trees in a small ceramic pot, and over time the tree will grow out of the pot and its true beauty will be revealed. These are great for people with little space.

Cold Hardy Japanese Maples: Selecting Japanese Maples For Zone 4 Gardens from our website

However, these trees do have special needs. They need to be watered more often than a full sized tree, and must be repotted more frequently as well.

Dwarf Potted Tree

These are simply small trees in small containers. Unlike Shohin Bonsai’s, Dwarf Potted Trees are actually smaller than they would normally be.

Because of this, they require even less care and watering than Shohin Bonsai’s do.

However, because they’re small, they don’t last as long as a Shohin Bonsai would. Even with less care and watering, these trees usually only live for one to two years.

But if you want to try your hand at Bonsai without having to do any work whatsoever, Dwarf Potted trees are the perfect choice. Just make sure you don’t overwater them!

Here’s a short list of different types of bonsai trees and what type of care they require:

Junipers – One of the hardiest types of trees available, these are great for people with less than ideal conditions for growing anything. They can even handle cold temperatures.

Need very little water.

Maples – One of the best trees for Fall, the beautiful coloring of these trees make them a favorite in the Fall season. Need lots of water.

Old Mans Beard – Great temporary name, and even better tree. The Old Man’s Beard has beautiful gray colored leaves that look like a beard hanging from the branch.

Cold Hardy Japanese Maples: Selecting Japanese Maples For Zone 4 Gardens at

Needs lots of sun.

Pines – These trees can handle cold temperatures and also require little water. They make great trees for people that have colder weather.

Need very little sun.

Elms – These are one of the most popular types of trees, and for good reason. Beautiful green colors and a nice open canopy make this tree a favorite for many people.

Cedars – Cedars have beautiful blue coloring and scaly looking bark. They’re especially great if you have dry soil as they’re very resistant to draught.

Firs – Another popular tree, firs have great looking colorings as well and also have great open canopies. They also work well in dry conditions.

Columns – Very tall trees that usually grow very straight. Great for people that have lots of space but want a bigger tree, the Columnar tree’s only downside is that they don’t have very good canopies due to their height.

They’re very resistant to most weather conditions.

There are many other types of Bonsai trees, but these are some of the more common ones. When you’re ready to buy your first tree, pick one that you like the look of and make sure you know how much care it requires so that you’re ready once you get it home.

Also, don’t buy more than you can handle. Keep in mind how much time you’re going to have to take care of it, because trees must be cared for daily. If you know you’re going to be really busy in a few weeks, don’t buy a tree that requires lots of daily attention. Get a care taker for it instead.

Well there you have it, everything you need to know about having a bonsai tree of your own. Bonsai trees are a very enjoyable hobby and are great if you like plants but don’t have very much space.

Cold Hardy Japanese Maples: Selecting Japanese Maples For Zone 4 Gardens -

Thanks for reading!

Article written by Ian J. Buckner

Please feel free to visit my personal website to read more of my work:

Ian J. Buckner at Wikipedia

Also, if you have any questions or would like to leave feedback, please visit my blog entry at:

Ian J. Buckner’s Blog

I hope you enjoyed the article and maybe even learned something!



Comments are closed