Japanese Maple, One of my favorite plants.These beautiful hardy plants with enhance any garden be it large, small or on a balcony or in the ground or a pot. They come in a large varity of colours and leaf shapes. On the whole they don’t do well in searing sun i try to shade mine with umbrella’s if it’s really hot in the summer months thankfully for the acer we don’t have many of those day’s here in the northwest and some suffer from strong wind,the leaves will curl and burn at the tips but they will recover. I plant mine in peat as my garden is mostly peat i do add sand and plenty of gravel for drainage but they have grown well in compost in pots depending on species most dont need pruning but if you want to you can trim you plant to your desired shape just above a leaf node in the spring is an ideal time. The autumn colours are stunning just before they loose their leaves and of course they make wonderful Bonsai , The Acer Palmatum are very popular with Bonsai enthusiasts due to the beauty of their leaves, lovely spring, summer and autumn colors and they respond very well to Bonsai training. Japanese Maples are a hardy species and are classed as an outdoor Bonsai tree and should be kept outdoors all year round. They will withstand temperatures as low as – 10c (14f) but only for brief periods, if prolonged frosts and snow are expected then it is recommended that you protect your Bonsai tree by placing it in an unheated greenhouse or place some winter fleece over it, i leave my out but i do wrap the pots in bubble wrap and fleece as over the years i have lost many pots due to cracking in the cold weather, and this does work and possibly keeps the plant a few degrees warmer.