Ornamental Acers provide architectural interest and are grown for their graceful habit, autumn colour and beautiful foliage.
Acers are a diverse group of deciduous trees that can provide interest all year round. Many types grow extremely slowly and are perfect in a smaller garden or grown in large containers.
Growth is best in dappled shade with the exception of the red-leaved varieties which can handle more sun. They all prefer a slightly acid soil, which can be achieved through mixing equal amounts of ericaceous compost with John Innes No. 3. Small or delicate leaved types will need to be sheltered from strong winds to prevent leaf scorch.
Acers look good when contrasted with other architectural plants with bold foliage such as Fatsia japonica or Hydrangea, which also happen to like the same growing conditions.
Our favourite for any garden is the Japanese Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’, with its rich coral-red young branches, pinkish-yellow leaves that become green in summer and yellow in autumn.
• Shelter the smaller and finely-cut leaved varieties from prevailing winds
• Red leaved varieties prefer a little more sun