Japanese Maple

(Question)

Good day.
I would like to plant a Japanese maple but live up in Haliburton. I think that is zone 3 and wonder if they are hardy to the temperatures we might get. The soil is rocky and I was going to plant it in full sun. We get the sun from the east where it would be planted.
Thanks for your help.

(Answer)

Japanese maples grow in hardiness zones 5 -9.  You are pushing the envelope in a zone 3.  The chances of survival are not good.  You may be better off  planting a smaller Japanese Maple in a pot and placing it in a sheltered location like an unheated garage for the winter ensuring that the temperature does not go below -10 degrees celsius. Be sure to let your tree go dormant before moving it to the garage for the winter (Never bring them inside your house). If your garage gets very cold, you will need to insulate your container or keep a heating pad set to low under it to keep your root temperature from dropping below -10 degrees. Keeping a proper temperature is key. You do not want to warm your roots too much, causing the plant to “wake up”. Return your tree to a sheltered location in the early spring.

If you really like the look of a Japanese Maple, another alternative is Sambuccus ‘Black Lace’, hardy to zone 4.  You could also consider a native species which may be another good alternative for the wildlife of the area.

Good luck!