Small and dwarf Japanese maple trees
Japanese Maples are distinctive, slow-growing, deciduous trees with wonderful pointed leaf shapes and a graceful, dome-shaped growth habit. In this section, we've picked out the best small and dwarf Japanese maple trees, all growing to no more than 3 metres tall with many significantly smaller varieties (including some that rarely grow much more than a metre high). These are well-suited to smaller gardens or containers, bringing the same oriental appearance to your outdoor space, just in smaller packages. They can be grown singly as a focal point, or combined together in groups as a dramatic backdrop, either in the border or patio containers in both cases.
There are a mix of 'palmatum' and dissected Japanese maples here. Acer palmatum trees have deeply-lobed leaves in the shape of a hand, while 'dissectum' / dissected varieties have fine, deeply-cut foliage with an almost feathery appearance. Red and purple-leaved Japanese maples need some sun to fully bring out their beautiful deep hues, whilst variegated Japanese maples need partial shade to prevent their foliage being scorched by the afternoon sun. They're best grown where they will have plenty of space and not have to complete with other plants around them. For container growing, use John Innes No. 2 potting compost mixed with 25% sharp sand or grit to aid drainage.