Best of the bunch
●● JAPANESE maple (acer) THE fantastic foliage of these trees and shrubs comes into its own in autumn in a blaze of oranges, reds and burgundies.
Grow them in full sun or dappled shade in leafy, moist but well-drained soil.
Some, such as A. palmatum ‘Garnet’, prefer ericaceous compost.
Mulch annually in autumn and shelter from cold winds and spring frosts which may damage new growth.
Badly-placed shoots should be cut off in winter to develop an even network of branches.
On established plants keep pruning to a minimum.