Maples have to be the most diverse trees and shrubs on the planet, with hundreds of species and thousands of named cultivars, and forms such as miniature, dwarf, weeping, columnar, vase shaped...you are sure to find a use for a maple in any landscape or potted culture. Japanese Maples and varieties for the smaller landscape have become our focus.
Maples in general are understory trees. Meaning that they prefer to grow in filtered sunlight shaded by larger forest trees. For the home landscape an East or North exposure usually works best. Remember this is a general rule and some Maples love full sun. The Southern US States and high mountain exposure states such as Utah, Colorado, Montana.... should follow this rule, here in the Northwest at 200' sea level most trees need the full sun to thrive. Soil should be well drained! If your location is not well drained you should create a mounded island of organic mixes to plant the tree in. Garden compost and fir/pine bark make a great soil amendment. Fertilizing should be kept to a minimum. We use slow release organic blends in early spring, do not fertilize until the second or third year of planting. Instead focus on a nice compost and bark blend for top dressing. Freshen up the top mulch layer every three years. Maple expert J.D. Vertrees once said "When grown under normal conditions and with good culture, they are remarkably free of disease and insect problems." Regular water is key in the early years, just make sure it can drain off! Good prep work will make for a beautiful, low maintenance specimen for any garden!