A Bloodgood Japanese maple is a Japanese maple cultivar which has deep red, almost purple leaves which turn bright red in the fall. This maple cultivar can electrify the fall landscape with its almost neon red foliage before the leaves die off and drop from the tree. A number of Japanese maples produce red leaves, but the Bloodgood is one of the most striking red Japanese maple cultivars, and as a result, one of the most popular. Some other red maple cultivars include the Crimson Queen, Ever Red, Atropurpureum, Nomura Nishiki, Tamukeyama, and Red Filigree Lace.
Formally, the Bloodgood Japanese maple is known as Acer palmatum “Bloodgood”. The tree grows in USDA zones five through eight, with some zone nine gardeners having success with it, and it likes relatively neutral soil. Bloodgood Japanese maples do not grow well in clay soils or heavily alkaline soils, and they prefer sun to partial shade.
These trees put out shallow roots which deepen with time. When a Bloodgood Japanese maple is planted, gardeners should remember that the tree will grow up to 20 feet (six meters) in height, and that these trees can be slow growers. The soil should be prepared with mulch and fertilizer before planting and the tree should be regularly fertilized in the spring, before leaves appear. After around three years of growth, gardeners can start to prune a Bloodgood Japanese maple to shape it, or they can allow the tree to have a natural growth habit.
Japanese maples are prone to burning during the summer. By watering in the morning or evening, gardeners can reduce the risk of leaf damage due to burns, and they will also increase water efficiency in the garden, as less water will be lost to evaporation. The Bloodgood Japanese maple usually has an upright growth habit, and it will tend to branch out over time to create a rounded appearance.
The striking foliage of these stunning trees can make them excellent highlights or focal points in a landscape. A single Bloodgood Japanese maple can look quite distinctive against a background of neutral green tones, or the tree can be paired with other colorful foliage and flowers, depending on the aesthetics of the individual gardener. These trees are relatively easy keepers once they are established in an area of the garden they like, and they can be grown from seed and cuttings, for gardeners who are interested in propagating Bloodgood Japanese maples.