Planting Japanese maple close to the house
I am considering planting a red dragon Japanese maple that can grow to 10 feet tall 3 feet from my house in a new flower bed. Is this safe to do for the foundation of the house? Walking around the neighbourhood I have seen quite a few larger japanese maples close to houses, but I still wanted to check.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Red Dragon Japanese Maple – Acer palmatum var. disectum ‘Red Dragon’ is a stunning variety of weeping cutleaf Japanese maple, emerging in spring a bright cherry-red color, slowly turn crimson red during summer and then bright scarlet in fall. To maintain these beautiful colours your tree should be placed in a sunny, protected location.
Red Dragon generally grow 4-5’ high with a slightly wider spread. It has a shallow root system within the top 24 inches of soil. The roots are not aggressive and should not interfere with the foundation of your house although the fibrous roots will spread slightly beyond the tree’s drip line. You will, however want to provide enough space for the branches to spread out and not be restricted by the wall of your house.
Japanese maples like slightly acidic, well drained soil which has been amended with plenty of compost at planting time. To ensure the soil remains moist (not water logged) and to regulate the soil temperature, cover the soil with 2-3 inches of mulch every year or two, making sure the mulch does not touch the tree trunk.
I am sure your tree will be a stunning addition to the neighbourhood and admired by others.
The links below will provide further information about Japanese Maples.