Bihou Japanese Maple Tree

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According to many people, a Bihou Japanese Maple Tree is a real winner of a plant to have in your garden. Bijouz means Beautiful Mountain Range, and I agree with that, as seeing this Tree – even without its beautiful foliage, is to see something rare and stunning that you would want in your garden. Bihou is pronounced Bi-ho – you probably got it the right the first time!

Someone said that if this Tree never ‘leafed out,’ they would still find a special place for it in their garden due to its beautiful bark.

A New, Hardy, Fast Growing, Disease Free Cultivar

It’s a relatively new cultivar that is fast-growing and hardy – can you ask for anything more? Yes! It’s also virtually disease-free.

You should be able to see the fantastic bright yellow bark turn into a  coral-orange colored bark throughout the Winter. Then imagine a cluster of these leaves near a gathering of red -barked maples. Wow!

Bark Colors

Alas, redbuds give way to green leaves that hide this (so like Joseph’s Amazing Coat of Many Colours), incredible bark throughout the entire growing season. Fall leaves are yellow with specks of orange and, I think it’s these spectacular colors through the seasons that make this Tree a must-have!

Leaf Colors

Leaf colors begin with pale yellow-green and a pink blush swirling through it, as Summer changes and, moving towards Fall, takes on a very bright yellow in the Fall.

This is such a treasure of a landscape tree to put into your garden. One could sit and look at it for hours, just admiring its color palette and planning on painting it!

Height and Width

It reaches a height of eight feet over ten years, and its width or branch spread is about four feet wide, making it perfect for a smaller garden with the right conditions.

Different Every Season

Hearing that it is a very hardy tree interested me; I heard that it’s disease-free, and then it had all my attention. The sales blurb tells me there is something extraordinary about this Tree every Season, and sales chatter or not, I do believe this and want to own one to witness it for myself.

To Thrive, Japanese Maples Need:

  • Dappled or afternoon shade, mostly when young
  • Protection from strong wind
  • Well-drained, consistently moist soil, neither excessively wet nor dry
  • Protection from late spring frosts, mostly when young

Dappled or Afternoon Shade

If you look above the ideal conditions in which a Bihou Japanese Maple would grow well and happily and then have a mental walk around your garden, you will know almost immediately where to plant this treasure of a tree.

Needs Replanting?

After a few years, you’ll see that if it does need some extra shade in addition to the amount of sun it’s getting, which is required for the best foliage. If you notice the leaves scorching during the Summer, then it’s probably getting too much sun (or overwatering) and needs replanting.

Transplanting

If done right, Japanese Maples respond well to transplanting – and they are often transplanted more than once as conditions for them must be as near right as you can get them.

Never be afraid to dig up one of these Maples as the location is essential. The very best time to move your Tree is in late Summer or early Fall – one month before the ground freezes. Be very careful with your transplanting, and the Tree will forgive you – on condition that you cut a very wide and very deep hole around it and leave as much soil as you possibly can, still clinging to its roots when you dig it up.

Protection From Strong Winds

Japanese Maple Trees have delicate foliage that will quickly and easily dry out in high winds. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you have to grow the Tree in an enclosed or protected area. However, if you make sure it isn’t wind-whipped regularly, it should be OK.

Well Drained, Consistently Moist Soil

These Trees do well and even flourish in any well-drained soil except highly alkaline soil. In acidic conditions, these Trees do well together with Rhododendrons, Camellias, and Kalmias. They are delighted and content in the ground that is neutral and even mildly alkaline pH. That’s some good company to keep!

There is one other soil that the Japanese Maple will not tolerate, and that is salt.

It will tolerate heavy clay, loose sands (and everything in between!), but never will they like salt soils.

Salt Spray

Salt spray is an entirely different matter. These Trees have quite an acceptable tolerance level for that; however, if your soil is high in salt, then instead give your attention to growing your Maple in a container. Yes! It will do well in a container – Bihou Japanese Maples are very versatile in that way.

Feeding, Mulching & Compost

You will need to feed your Japanese plant – mostly when it’s young, as these trees are called greedy feeders. Before planting, please work the mulch into the soil around the Tree. Use as much compost as possible and keep adding the compost during the Spring and early Summer. The compost adds valuable nutrients to the soil and tends to retain moisture – which the Japanese Maples love.

Drought Tolerant

When they are mature, these trees are drought tolerant, but, like most young trees, they need regular deep watering during the first few years. It would help if you planned to water heavily twice per week during average weather and three or four times weekly during drought periods.

Shredded Bark

Your Bihou Japanese Maple Tree – young or old – will grow best in soil that is consistently moist by regular watering and mulching. A three-inch layer of shredded bark around the Tree’s entire root zone would be of considerable help. The mulch should not touch the Tree’s bark but should leave a respectable distance from there before mulching. This method works well in all seasons.

Spectacular in the Fall

If you want to encourage the most spectacular show of color in the Fall, then reduce quite a lot of the amount of water you give your Maple during the late Summer and Early Fall/ Autumn. Don’t let it dry out completely. Also, cut back on the watering so that your Tree stops producing more green leaves and begins its fascinating color changes, which will amaze you to see the difference this makes. You’ll be stunned and thrilled to see it. Suddenly something magical is happening in your garden!

Protection From Late Spring Frosts

It’s important to know that Spring is the Season when your Japanese Maple is at risk and most prone to damage. It leafs-out early – at the first hint of warm weather, it will break its dormancy. This can sometimes be dangerous as in many climates, and several bad touches of frost arrive after this warm break putting the young trees at risk. Therefore keep the Tree covered when you hear the forecast calls announcing frost.

Many Varieties – Some Dwarf

There are many varieties of Japanese Maple, and some are dwarf enough to be grown in containers and even as bonsai. These dwarfed strains provide you with a moveable display of color on a miniature scale.

They display exquisitely divided foliage for close inspection. Inherently an elegant tree, in the modern garden, the Bkihou Japanese Maple Acer Trees may find themselves among shade-loving perennials or even happy annuals — and what’s wrong with that?

They are fantastic season-extenders for all summer-interest plantings and offer much-needed dappled shade to understory plantings three seasons of the year.

After all of the preceding information, maybe I should explain how to plant this Japanese Maple to start.

How To Plant a Bihou Japanese Maple Acer Tree

The very best time to plant a Bihou Japanese Maple Tree is in Autumn/Fall. Ideally, just as in transplanting, you should plant your Tree at least one month before the ground freezing. Once the frosts set in, the ground hardens, and it’s almost impossible for the roots.

When planting more than one of these trees, please keep a spacing distance of between 15 and 20 feet from each other and any buildings.

To Plant

  • Make sure the roots or rootball is/are wet.
  • Then dig a deep and wide hole – at least twice as wide as the root ball.
  • Gently put your hands into the root ball and space out the roots a little.
  • Thoroughly we the root ball
  • To plant one month before all this gives the roots a chance to get somewhat established before the Winter.
  • When placed into the hole dug for it, begin refilling that hole with the soil dug out and some gardening soil. Complete with the dug-out soil and mix with the garden soil for extra nutrients.
  • Then your Tree will wait patiently until the Spring to begin settling into its new home!
  • After planting, make sure you lay down three inches of mulch around the Tree (not touching the bark), and keep it very well watered until Winter, without drowning it.

Pruning

Alas, late Summer and early Fall/ Autumn are the very best times to prune your Japanese Maple. At that time, it’s in all its glory, and there’s no way you want to cut it back, but this Tree is often used, when it’s small, in bonsai, and spreads. We know it responds well to pruning both in bonsai and in full size, although it does not need an annual trim!

You should inspect the Tree annually and remove any dead or crossed branches, any lopsided growth, and any other unattractive features that might have developed.

What Shape Will You Choose?

If your Japanese Maple is a bit too dense/a thick habit, then it might be a good idea to open it up from the center to let in more light and air.

If you don’t want the Tree to be symmetrical, you can shape it into almost any shape that takes your fancy. Here, we like the Tree’s symmetry and like it to grow the way it was intended – but everyone has a different idea that should be respected.

Autumn / Fall

Reduce the amount of water you give your Japanese Maple in the Autumn/ Fall – unless your weather turns unusually dry. This will stimulate better color changes – as discussed above. Just don’t let it dry out.
Remember that at the end of Autumn / Fall, your Japanese Maple needs a nice thick layer of mulch and pluck off any dead leaves still hanging from the branches.

Winter

This is a relaxed and untroubled season for the Japanese Maple, grown within their hardiness range and mulched in late Fall. The only concern will be loads of heavy snow, which could cause some branches to snap. After a weighty snowfall, please brush away any considerable quantity of snow and be careful not to be too rough with the branches. Try to brush all the snow off the stems and branches as gently as possible but leave the ice.

Spring

This is a difficult time for your Japanese Maple. As already discussed, the Tree will leaf-out suddenly and early (in a most spectacular fashion!), and then comes the late, late, frosts.

So please keep your Tree covered whenever you hear a frost report. Once the weather settles down, you should begin a regular watering and feeding schedule.

Don’t let it suffer from late frosts.

Summer

I doubt you’ll ever notice pests on this hardy Tree except in Summer. Most of them are harmless, thank goodness!

Aphids can become a problem, so treat them with the same pesticide one uses for roses – they will immediately disappear!

In scorching weather, you may notice that the leaves’ ends are drying out and curling up a bit.

This could indicate that your Tree needs more shade, but it should be fatal. If it continues for an extended period, your stressed-out Tree could still recover and eventually re-leaf itself.

Reduce Its Water Supply

Towards the end of Summer, you should reduce the amount of water you give your Japanese Maple Tree. This will stimulate those brilliant color changes with more speed and intensity.

Planting a Dwarf Species in a Container

The above instructions of how to plant the tall version of this Tree are precisely the same for the dwarf variety in a container – just scaled down a little because of the difference in size of plant and container.

Other Species

Names of all the other species of this plant are:

  • Red Dragon Japanese Maple Tree
  • Coral Bark Japanese Maple Tree
  • Emperor Japanese Maple Tree
  • Autumn Blaze Japanese Maple Tree
  • Tamukeyama Japanese Maple Tree

Final Thoughts

Wow! As expressed earlier, look at this Bihou Japanese Maple Acer Tree with its showy trunk and gorgeous foliage and its Japanese bamboo kind of feel about it couple with incredible elegance and always the element of surprise in the colors it produces throughout its leaves.

Wow – who wouldn’t want one of these little oriental numbers in their garden??? I would regard it as an absolute pleasure and an eye fest!

Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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