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Acers; ornamental trees with stunning autumn foliage

If you’re looking to plant a specimen tree in 2017, Ladybrook Nursery would definitely recommend the Acer. Acers or Japanese maples are generally small, deciduous trees grown for their graceful habit, autumn colour, beautiful foliage which may be coloured or deeply dissected and sometimes for their peeling decorative bark. Many acers grow extremely slowly and are perfect in a smaller garden when grown in large containers. Others are more suitable for a larger garden plot. The Acers are native to Asia, predominantly Japan, North Korea, South Korea and China. It was mainly the Japanese horticulturalists who developed Acers and Acer cultivars over the centuries. Japanese Acers were first introduced to the UK in the 1800’s and have been a feature ever si`nce – prized for the colour of the foliage and their delicate forms.

Here are just a few of Ladybrook Nursery’s top recommendations:

Acer Griseum

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Acer Griseum, or the paper bark maple, is a beautiful tree that boasts bold green foliage which turns flaming red in autumn and cinnamon-coloured peeling bark. Translucent sections of peeling bark stay attached throughout the year, giving the Acer Griseum added winter interest. Grow in moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered, sunny or partially shaded site. Provide shelter from cold winds and late frosts.

Tree: deciduous with attractive peeling bark

Height: 8 – 12m

Foliage: green turning bright orange red in autumn

Aspect: full sun to partial shade

Acer Palmatum ‘Asahi- zuru’

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‘Asahi-zuru’ is an upright, spreading, round headed deciduous small tree or shrub with deeply divided deeply variegated green, white and pink leaves in the summer turning red in the autumn. ‘Asahi-zuru’ grows best in moist but well-drained or well-drained, neutral or acid soil. Leaf colour is best in dappled shade, although full sun is tolerated. Shelter from cold, drying winds and late frost.

Large shrub, small spreading tree

Height: 7m

Foliage: variegated green, pink and white; red in autumn

Flower colour: red

Flowering: spring

Aspect: full sun, partial shade

Acer Platanoides ‘Crimson King’

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‘Crimson King’, or the Norway Maple is a vigorous, spreading, medium-sized deciduous tree with large, lobed, deep purple-red leaves and clusters of reddish-orange flowers on leafless branches in spring. Grow in rich, moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered, sunny or partially shaded site.

Height: 20m

Foliage: dark, shiny purple

Flower colour: yellow

Flowering: spring

Aspect: sun or partial shade

Acer Palmatum ‘Beni-komachi’

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‘Beni-komachi’ is a dwarf, densely branched, deciduous small tree or shrub with deeply divided, curled leaves that are red in spring, bluish red in summer and turn crimson red in the autumn. Grows best in moist but well-drained or well-drained, neutral or acid soil. Leaf colour is best in dappled shade, although full sun is tolerated. Shelter from cold, drying winds and late frost.

Large shrub, small tree

Height: 4m

Foliage: red turning green, becoming orange in autumn

Aspect: full sun, partial shade

Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’

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Acer Shirasawanum ‘Autumn Moon’ is a slow-growing, deciduous tree with bright green leaves in spring, which develop into a pink halo in summer, and in autumn turn variegated peach, pink and orange-red. Plant in moist /well-drained soil. Provide shelter from cold winds and late frosts. Foliage colour is better in dappled shade rather than full sun.

Height: 3m

Foliage: green turning pink, peach and flame in autumn

Flower colour: red

Flowering: spring

Aspect: sun or partial shade

Acer Palmatum Osakazuki

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Osakazuki is a large deciduous shrub of rounded habit. It produces large 7-lobed green leaves which turn a brilliant orange/scarlet colour in autumn and small red flowers and fruits in spring.

Height: 4m

Foliage: large green leaves, turning bright red in autumn

Flower colour: red

Flowering: spring

Aspect: sun or partial shade

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