Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree Guide: How to Care for “Acer palmatum”

Guide to Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting and caring for "Acer palmatum"

With its stunning foliage that looks amazing regardless of the time of the year, it is no wonder that ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are a popular choice for landscaping. They look beautiful in smaller yards. Native to Japan and other parts of Asia, there are over 1000 varieties of this decorative tree. But only three of them are the original Japanese maple trees.

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees or Acer palmatum became a staple in many Asian gardens in the 1700s. The tree was introduced to the western world sometime in the 1820s when the first seed was brought back to England. Even though these trees can adapt to various climates, they like moderate temperatures. So the weather shouldn’t be too hot or too cold.

You might have heard a rumor that ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees have poisonous bark, but that is not true. No part of the tree is toxic to humans or animals. The fungus that makes the bark poisonous grows on red maples. ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees do not belong to that family.

About ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple Trees

  • What makes ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees fascinating is the fact they can thrive in any soil as long as it is well-draining. Just make sure you cover the soil with wood chips or mulch before summer to add more moisture to the ground.
  • Plant ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees in fall to help the root system develop faster. The foliage and branches stop growing when the weather turns cold, so all the nutrients are directed to the roots.
  • Once you have an established ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree, it becomes a low maintenance plant that requires just the occasional grooming and a watering schedule in summer.
  • The tree grows at a slow rate, so there will be no need for frequent pruning. Pruning is generally recommended for younger trees because it adds more shape and improves air circulation. If you decide to prune your maple tree, do it in winter or early spring.
  • ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are excellent ornamental plants that can become a focal point in your landscape. However, you can also plant them as bonsai trees.
  • The tree got its Latin name because of the shape of its leaves. The word Palmatum means that the leaves resemble a palm and grow in different directions, like fingers.
  • ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees generally have red leaves, but other species belonging to the same family develop differently colored foliage. For example, ‘Harriet Waldman’ Acer palmatum has pink leaves that turn white and green with the change of seasons.
Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree
Bloodgood Japanese Maple Tree

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple Trees Features: An Overview

  • Planting the tree in partial shade is highly recommended, especially if you live in an area with high summer temperatures. Sun exposure might damage the leaves and cause leaf scorch. You can easily see the damage because the foliage could turn green.
  • ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are not fast growers, but they can reach a height of 15 to 20 feet, depending on the species.
  • This tree has a very curious shape. Instead of developing a single trunk, it often produces several smaller ones, making ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree grow in width too.
  • The eye-catching foliage will become bright red in spring and then slowly turn darker during summer. Fall will bring yet another change to the leaves, making them crimson red right before the temperature drops.
  • The double-winged samaras that appear on the tree in spring are absolutely charming. These are also red and will make your maple tree look even more decorative.
  • Even though the leaves are considered to be the most beautiful part of this tree, it can be interesting in winter as well. ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree has a dark bark that looks magical when the ground is covered with snow.
  • ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree can survive winter easily as long as you take good care of it in fall. The roots will not have access to water once the ground freezes, so make sure you feed the tree properly and prepare it for the cold season. If you don’t have a mature tree just yet, think about creating a small shelter for it.
Acer palmatum
Acer palmatum

Growing ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple Trees

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees thrive in partial shade, especially if you live in a warmer climate. Too much sun exposure can affect the color of the foliage and make the leaves green. If you reside in a cold climate, your ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree can handle more sunlight, and it might even help you get the crimson red leaves in fall.

This maple tree is an excellent addition to the woodland, zen, and urban gardens. The best planting spot would be in a north or east corner of your yard. This placement ensures that the tree is not in direct sunlight in the afternoon. Protecting the trees from wind should also be one of the priorities. While ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are highly adaptable, getting used to colder climate is way easier than surviving the humid tropical summers.

Caring for a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree is not complicated at all. Besides watering the tree regularly during summer, you should also add a layer of mulch to keep the ground moist. The use of a fertilizer is recommended, but don’t overdo it. You will not make the tree grow faster if you do. Fertilize your ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree once a year, preferably in spring or summer.

This tree likes well-draining soil that is not too compact. ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are healthy overall, but too much moisture can cause root rot. The best way to prevent this is to let the ground dry well after every watering. Additionally, ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are not super attractive to insects and pests but watch out for mites, scale, and root weevils.

Weeping Acer palmatum
Weeping Acer palmatum

Watering ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple Trees

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees don’t need a lot of watering in general. Spray the leaves and branches every week, but the soil can remain unwatered most of the time. Keep in mind that hot and dry summers could be challenging for this tree, so make sure the roots are getting enough moisture in these weather conditions.

Finding a secluded spot in your garden that is not super windy is the key to growing a healthy ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree. Wind can dry out the soil quickly, and you might not even notice it. Remember to cut back on the water at the beginning of fall if you want to have bright red foliage. Of course, watering ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees too frequently could lead to root rot, so be mindful of that.

Propagating ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple Trees

The quickest way to propagate a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree is from cuttings. Summer is the perfect time for this because cuttings grow roots super fast. But the success rate is on the lower side, so be prepared to use at least a couple of cuttings. It is not hard to find the right cutting if you already have a healthy ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree in your garden.

Pick a straight and young branch that already has some foliage at the top. The cutting should be between 6 and 8 inches long. Using shears or a very sharp knife is highly recommended. Get the pot ready in advance by filling it up with well-draining sand at the bottom. Water the soil well, then place the cutting in the middle, making sure it is upright.

A cutting requires a lot of care, so place it in partial shade and keep the ground moist. Spray a new plant lightly once or twice a day. Roots usually grow six weeks after planting. You can check for them by gently pulling the cutting up. As soon as the root system develops, you can move your cutting to a larger container.

Crimson Queen Weeping LACE Leaf Japanese Maple, From Amazon

Final Thoughts

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are suitable for both beginners and experienced gardening enthusiasts. The tree itself is gorgeous all year round because of the red leaves that change color depending on the season. This slow-growing maple is an excellent choice if you have a small yard but still want to make it unusual and unique.

The maintenance is super simple as it requires frequent watering only when the temperatures are high and fertilizing every spring. Even though it is native to East Asia, this tree can adapt to every climate, unless they are extreme. Your ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree will be happy and healthy in any soil. Just make sure it is well-draining and not full of clay. Pruning is completely optional.

Don’t worry if your garden doesn’t get too much sunlight because these maple trees love the shade. Even though ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple trees are usually planted in small yards, this tree can also be grown indoors as a bonsai. If you are looking for a low maintenance plant to become a central piece in your landscape, the ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple tree might be a perfect choice.

Ana is an experienced writer and an urban gardener, making use of limited space on her balcony to grow vegetables every season. She got into gardening thanks to her grandmother, who introduced her to the wonderful world of succulents. Two of them still collect succulents as well as cacti together, and Ana is always on the lookout for rare (and colorful) varieties. She is currently occupied with growing avocado trees indoors.

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