Aces and Japanese Maples for Sale in Colchester, Essex

Have your pick of a wide selection of acers for sale in Colchester, Essex at Poplar Nurseries, with over 30 varieties to choose from and in a range of sizes to suit all. Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) have been cultivated for over 300 years. They are small, deciduous trees grown for their graceful habit and offer gardens continuous interest with their varied leaf colours, textures and amazing autumn foliage colours. Japanese Maples do not attain great mature heights, averaging 5-6 metres for the upright cultivars and 1-2 metres for most of the dissectum group. They are relatively slow growing, and the bare branches in winter provide a contrast in form and shape with interesting bark colours.As many acers grow extremely slowly, they are perfect for a smaller garden or for growing in a large container.

They prefer slightly acidic, sandy, well-drained loamy soils with a good amount of organic matter. Don’t worry if you have not got perfect soil conditions though, as most can be grown in other soils. However, they will not tolerate wet, dry or very alkaline conditions.Acers will grow best in a sheltered position, however red- and purple-leaved types do need some sun to fully develop their dark hues. Variegated types need partial shade to prevent the afternoon sun from scorching their foliage. Green-leaved forms will tolerate full sun but are still best in a partial shade position as very bright conditions can sometimes cause scorching. Most acers have shallow fibrous root systems that resent competition from other plants, so ensure that they are not too crowded. Mulch every couple of years with well-rotted garden compost or well-rotted manure.

Growing in Containers

Japanese maples are ideal plants for growing in containers. Plant in a loam-based compost, which allows good drainage, such as John Innes Ericaceous or John Innes No 2. Keep the compost evenly moist (but not soaking wet) and feed in spring and early summer with a slow-release fertiliser or liquid feed. Acers will need re-potting into a slightly bigger container every couple of years; April or September being ideal months to do this. The roots of maples in pots are vulnerable to frost over winter, so wrap containers with hessian or a double layer of fleece during the winter months.

Pruning and Training

Acers are best pruned when fully dormant (November to early February), as maples bleed sap from pruning cuts at other times, weakening the tree. Pruning is best kept to a minimum, so try to only remove badly placed or crossing shoots to encourage a good framework of branches to form. Due to the slow growth rate of acers, over time they can be pruned and trained to form fantastic bonsai plants.

Find a selection of our acer/Japanese maple range online now but contact our team to check availability before heading to the nursery to buy.