Favorite Plants # 8 – Japanese Maples

This is a favorite time of year, when one of my favorite groups of plants stand out like shining beacons even in broad daylight. I’m talking about Japanese maples (Acer palmatum). The northeast Texas area has ideal conditions for growing Japanese maples, and Tyler is a great place to see these spectacular plants in action.

Every year it seems like they are never going to turn their vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, waiting until early December to finally make the turn. But, turn they do, and even if it is only for a few days, it is worth the wait. Fortunately, the show lasts well over a week. It almost doesn’t matter what cultivar it is, even seedling Japanese maples will put on a good display.

A great place to see several Japanese maple cultivars in one place is the Tyler Rose Garden. About 7 years ago, Smith County Master Gardeners and Tyler Men’s Garden Club pitched together to obtain several cultivars. The late John Kline was instrumental in this endeavor, and over the next several years, over 20 different varieties were planted, A few were mere whips, so they are still getting established and don’t strut their stuff much yet.

All of the Japanese maple varieties in the Rose Garden are labeled. Click here for a photo gallery of images of some of the maples in the Rose Garden

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