Wow! That’s what I say every time I see one of these spectacular trees.
Waterfall Japanese maple, also known as Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Waterfall’ is a spectacular specimen plant for any yard.
Being a weeping Japanese maple ‘Waterfall’ does not grow tall, most that I see are less than 48″ tall but quite wide.
The one in this photo is in my sister and brother-in-law’s front yard. When they built the house I helped them design the sidewalk layout just so we’d have the ideal place for a beauty like this.
Rooting Cuttings of Japanese Maples
I get asked about propagating Japanese maples from cuttings a lot and the short answer is; it doesn’t work well at all. Sometimes they root but often fail later.
They simply don’t do well on their own roots. The accepted method of propagating named variety Japanese maples is to graft them onto seedling Japanese maples.
Yes, Japanese maples can be grown from seed, but when grown from seed you usually get a basic Japanese maple seedling that is not true to the parent plant. You can learn all about Growing Japanese Maples from Seed here.
Once you have a seedling or seedlings that you can graft onto, you can tackle the process of grafting. Grafting is not difficult and it’s a great deal of fun. There are a lot of variables that you have to get right in order for your grafting efforts to be successful and I share those with you here.
This ‘Water Fall Japanese maple used to be in front of our porch. It was getting too big for the area so we had it moved. At the time I did a post about “Transplanting a Large Japanese Maple”.
‘Water Fall Japanese maples have bright green leaves during the growing season that turn beautiful orange in the fall. See this photo.
And they are as tough as nails, mine often looks like this during the winter.
There are over 1,000 different varieties of Japanese maples so if you can’t find ‘Water Fall’ but can find ‘Virdis’ by all means get the ‘Virdis’ they are almost identical. I certainly cannot tell them apart.
Where to Buy Beautiful Japanese Maples Like this.
Make no mistake about it, Japanese maples are expensive and often difficult to find the varieties that you want. Earlier this year I posted a photo of a ‘Purple Ghost’ Japanese maple that I have Growing at My Nursery and everybody wanted one.
At the time mine were in the ground and couldn’t be dug. I’ll dig them in the spring of 2018, but I only have a few and I probably will only sell one or two of those.
But . . . I know where you can find rare and unusual Japanese maples like this, and get this, they often sell for $10 to $15 each.
You read that correctly, $10.00 to $15.00 each!
Where is this place? Our Members Area!
Our Members Area is Private and we only invite new members a few times a year. How much does it cost? It’s a bit pricey, but you can do a 30-day test drive for only $7.00.
That way you can decide whether or not you want to stay. (Of course, that price is subject to change, you might be reading this 20 years from the day that I posted this!)
It’s not for everybody, but those who love it, really love it!
But here’s the deal, on a daily basis the members buy and sell plants to and from one another 365 days a year. They buy plants, cuttings, you name it.
Many times throughout the year we have several members that offer rare and unique Japanese maples, and when they do, they are priced so low that they fly out the door!
Seriously. You can get them, but you have to there the day they are posted.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I like taking and sharing them.
Questions, comments, mean things to say? Post them below and I’ll respond.
Mike, we lost one of our Upright Japanese Maple trees over this past winter. We now have a beautiful and full suckling growing on the side near the base of the main trunk. We haven’t removed the dead tree at this time. What can we do to save and propagate the suckling????? And how do we propagate it??
Are you sure you want to? It’s probably coming from the rootstock and will be very generic in nature. But even if you did, they very difficult to grow from cuttings. Almost all are grafted onto seedlings.
Marilyn Dennis says
Our acreage is surrounded by farmland which is sprayed once or twice a summer. The recent derecho this summer moving through Iowa took down many of the fence line protective trees and shrubs for our yard. I’m now more concerned about the drifting chemicals. 1) Any suggestions for type of plants to now plant there, and 2) would starting a system such as yours thrive in this setting? Love love love all the knowledge you provide us!!
You need to talk to those farmers about chemical trespass. Their chemicals should never end up on your property but I know it happens. But they have to be made aware that they will be responsible if damage is done. Let them know what you plan to do so they are aware and then take it from there. You can easily do this in your climate and you can grow anything that is currently selling in your local garden centers. For a more detailed answer test drive our members area; http://backyardgrowers.com/join
Julie Birkhimer says
I would be more concerned about what those chemicals are doing to YOUR HEALTH. I had to move away from a situation like this because I was getting sick after chemicals were drifting onto my property and into the air.
Marilyn J Dennis says
Thanks so much for this encouragement Steve. I’ll be giving my enjoyable farm neighbor a call to see what he has to say and act accordingly. Continue to love your enjoyable and informative posts–every single one of them!! Thank you so much!!
Donald Hull says
We have a 5 year old white Lilac tree, it has very few blooms really don’t like it,,but it was a gift. was wondering if I trimmed it into a more slender tree would that help, & can I fertilize it,& what with & when. We live in Southern Ohio close to Zanesville. Enjoy reading your E Mails, thank you
After it blooms trim it up the way you like and just use some tree food spikes.
Linda Bianco says
Mike, so what your saying is you can’t actually purchase a waterfall Japanese tree from you for 15.00, am I correct ?
Not from me, I don’t even have any right now but we do have at least one member, http://backyardgrowers.com/join, that sells them around that price at different times of the year.
Will this tree do good in SC.?
James, I’m sure it would.
Leslie Wagner says
I just bought a red Japanese Maple at Walmart for $19.94 and it is about 3 foot tall with a nice spread of branches, it has been grafted. It is doing great and I hope to grow cuttings from it for root stock for some of the fancier types
Beautiful, but with my raised bed garden do not know if I have the time energy or funds to set up a back yard growers garden. I know there are other expenses like misters beds etc.. so would kind of like to know aside from membership fees to back yard growers what is a honest estimate of setting up all that I would need for a back yard growers area . I have a large concrete patio in back,yard. But half of my 3/4 of an acre yard and not that big in back yard just total average. So what I am asking if half of my semi large fenced in back yard is dedicated to my raised bed gardening how large of an area would I need for growing small plants along with honest cost estimate?
You can start with as little money as you want. It’s a simple matter of selling a few plants and putting that money back into your business. There are lots of ways to start on a shoe string budget and grow the business with your profits. You can start rooting without mist, see this; https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/01/easy-summertime-plant-propagation-techniques-can-home/
Sue Avery says
I have a Waterfall Japanese Maple, that I have had since 2006. It is a beautiful tree and was sure how it should be trimmed, as I was letting it weep and now see that was not the correct way for it to grow. So this early Spring I gave it a hair cut and it now starting to look so much better. Knowing how to trim, anything you grown is always a plus!
I have two mature Japanese Maple (weeping) trees that I thought I planted far enough away from the footpath….. I did not. Now we squeeze through about a foot gap every time we go in and out of the house.
Could you show the link on how to move 7 year old trees, or should I pay someone who knows how to do it, so I don’t lose them?
Yes, you should hire a professional, moving an established tree is real work. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2015/11/moving-a-large-laceleaf-weeping-japanese-maple-tree/
Love your ideas, Mike, but why are all your Japanese maples shaped like giant mushrooms?
Those are all weeping trees and that’s what they do. We do trim them to keep them tight so they are not scraggly.
HOW MUCH SUN can “Waterfall” Japanese Maple tolerate? I’d like to put one in a south-facing location. It’s in full sun but moisture/watering is not a problem.
Small trees need some shade, but once they have some bulk to them they take sun pretty well.
How long are Waterfall Maples roots?
Leslie R Charles says
Thank you MIKE for sharing your knowledge. .Hope fully I will meet you @Ms MIRALNI pixie Plants in Georgia
Leslie, looking forward to it!
Robert MacAllister says
Our Japanese Maple is about 30 years old. For a week or two in late fall here in coastal Massachusetts, the leaves turn a brilliant bright red. Our favorite time of year for the tree. The tree had a very healthy spring and summer and we have been waiting for the leaves to turn. All trees have been late this year in turning colors and leaves falling. Almost overnight all the leaves on the Maple have turned a grayish/silver color. Thought it was just my tree, but as I drive around town I see other Japanese Maples doing the same thing. Have never seen this happen before. Any thoughts?
Robert, no thoughts really. I thought leaves around here were late to turn as well. Not sure why.
I see all these great trees in bright colors. & I want one for my front yard.
But I know nothing about grafting one onto another.
If I did…….. I’d still have to buy another already grafted so I could take a graft from it.
Also if I may make a comment : I wish you would add some advice on how to water
and feed these trees. It sure would help.
Thanks, even if can’t add to these little articles, because I think I’ve been on here long
enough to know that this is a repeat article. And that’s ok. It’ great to see these pix again.
Thanks & hang in there amongst all of our inquiries. PHIL
The article is older but some of the photos I took recently. I don’t fertilize the plants in my landscape and never have. Trees that have just been planted water twice a week then start to taper off and water once every two weeks. But it’s always best to check the soil around the roots. Plants in my landscape seldom get additional water unless we’re in a drought.
My Japenese maple was planted by the birds visiting my backyard. It is now two feet tall…but spindle. How long before it can support itself without a pole.
Trees typically know how to grow tall without staking. They do it naturally. We stake to get them nice and straight. Remove the pole in the spring and see if it stands okay on it’s own.
My Japenese maple tree was planted from the birds visiting my backyard. It is now two feet tall, but spindle trunk. How long will it take to support it self, with a pole.
Ed. Ford says
I have a Japanese maple for five yeard it has never produced any seeds how come.
I don’t honestly know, but some don’t produce seeds for years, then all of sudden one year they are covered and then not so much the next year. ????
Robert Davis says
I love this tree and this fall, I paid a little more than I should have because no one in the member’s area did not have any left. I have also been through the wreckage of rooting my own Japanese Maples but yes, you guessed it, they lived for a short while but eventually stopped growing and died… Speaking of your Backyard Grower’s Forum, there is a wealth of knowledge and super great prices on Japanese Maples as well as other things that you would at the very least, pay triple for. If you are on the fence about joining Mike’s Backyard Grower’s Membership, you really should join and get started in a business of your own! Think you don’t have a green thumb? Wait until you have learned from Mike and all of the other Professional’s in the forum and you will have that green thumb almost overnight!!
Thank Robert, you are right, the deals on Japanese maples inside the members area, http://backyardgrowers.com/join, are absolutely amazing.