Sharps Pygmy Japanese MapleAcer palmatum ‘Sharp’s Pygmy’
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Acer palmatum ‘Sharp’s Pygmy’
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Sharp’s Pygmy Japanese Maple is widely recognized as the best and smallest dwarf Japanese maple available. It has established a reputation as the tree to have if you are looking for a dwarf that will stay around two feet tall and two feet across. It is ideal for container growing and makes a perfect bonsai tree without all the training normally required. It also grows well in a raised bed or in a very small garden, where its miniature qualities can be fully appreciated.
Despite its dwarf form, this is not a difficult tree to grow. It will grow in any garden soil that is well-drained and which does not dry completely during summer. Each spring the emerging miniature leaves will be charmingly tipped in red, and each fall the tree will explode into a riot of orange and red. The best colors develop with some sun, so a location that is sunny in the morning, especially in spring and fall, is ideal. Protect your tree from the hot afternoon sun.
Sharp’s Pygmy Japanese Maple is not subject to significant pest and diseases and simply needs a little fertilizer each spring to reward you with its unique miniature beauty. Even if you have no garden at all you can have this tree growing in a beautiful pot and bringing a breath of nature into your life every time you look at it.
Sometimes you just have to have the best – and that is what connoisseurs of Japanese Maples consider Sharp’s Pygmy Japanese Maple to be. It is viewed as one of the very best dwarf Japanese Maples there is – period. Dwarf Japanese Maples are special plants for growing in smaller gardens and especially for growing in containers.
In time, with no special work needed, this tree will form a natural bonsai. No need for special pruning, wiring or trimming. The natural dwarf habit of this unique tree will develop its own special form, depending on the details of light and shade it receives, until you have a perfect one-off miniature tree that can grace an Asian-themed garden or sit in splendor on your terrace or patio.
Although this tree can be grown in the garden, it needs careful siting to make sure it does not become lost in the general planting of larger shrubs. If you have a raised bed for special plants, then it will certainly fit well into such a location. We highly recommend the Sharp’s Beauty Japanese Maple for container growing, especially for a large bonsai pot, where with no special work it will become your very own bonsai maple.
Whatever container you choose, make sure it has drainage holes and use compost suitable for outdoor trees. Some growers add 20% clean, sterilized garden soil to the mix, to retain water and to give more nutrients to the plant, but make sure the resulting compost drains well. Add some coarse sand to improve the drainage if necessary. Water your tree thoroughly every time the upper layer of the soil becomes dry, but never water a pot that is already wet.
The ideal location for this tree is a place where it receives some morning sun but is shaded in the afternoon. Growing it in a pot makes it easy to move it around as the seasons change and the light and shade in your garden changes with them. That early sunshine each day will develop the best spring and fall colors and in hotter areas shade all day may be best during summer.
Despite its remarkable beauty and delicacy this tree is not affected by pests and diseases and needs no special treatment. Young trees in pots should be fertilized with diluted liquid tree food during the spring and early summer. Established trees can be fed with a few slow-release granules scattered in late winter on the surface of the soil.
This tree is hardy to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you are growing it in a pot it is best to shelter it during the winter by wrapping some straw around the pot and placing it directly on the ground, to keep the root ball a little warmer. It could even be put in an unheated shed or porch for the winter, but do not try to grow it indoors, as exposure to colder temperatures is essential for your tree’s proper development.
This tree was found growing among a batch of seedlings at Sharp’s Nursery in Oregon about 30 years ago and has gone on to become the absolute pick if you want a miniature Japanese Maple. It will grow steadily to a height of 2 feet and eventually to 4 feet, and be about as wide as it is tall. It develops into a compact, rounded and densely-branched form that never needs pruning and always looks like a perfect gem.
The foliage is small too, in keeping with the overall scale of the plant, and it is deeply dissected, like the fingers of a tiny hand. In spring each new leaf has every ‘finger’ tipped in red and in fall the leaves turn glowing shades of deep red with streaks of orange. Even in winter the delicate branches are beautiful, full of sleeping promise of another year to develop even more beauty for you to enjoy.
When you are dealing with the number one pick of all dwarf Japanese Maples, there really is no comparison with cheaper seedling trees you may see available. Our specialist growers take selected pieces from the mother plants and attached them to suitable roots of seedling plants, which will support the growth of your tree. We know there will be enormous demand for this rare and special tree, and our stocks are limited, so don’t hesitate, order now to enjoy your own Spark’s Pygmy Japanese Maple – a giant among dwarves.