7 Methods To Root A Japanese Maple

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Keeping the root system of a Japanese maple healthy is an essential aspect of its overall health and stability. Therefore you should understand ‘how to root Japanese maple properly’ no matter what method you use.

I will give nine different ways to root a Japanese maple tree in this article. Japanese maple generally needs well-drained soil that is stable in nutrients. Since it is sturdy and durable, it develops fibrous roots.

This means you will notice hair-like roots which absorb water and nutrients from the soil efficiently. With such a hair-like delicate root system, rooting a Japanese maple should be followed systematically.

You must plant it as deep as possible and avoid compacting the soil around the root. Before I tell you nine methods to root a Japanese maple, let’s first get the answer to a question: can you embed Japanese maples?

Can you root a Japanese maple? 

Yes, you can root a Japanese maple which involves creating a new plant from either a branch cut or a stem from the parent plant. You need to provide the right conditions, like moist soil, proper care, and bright indirect life for new roots to grow from the stem/branch and develop into a new plant.

Several Japanese rooting methods include roots in the soil, rooting with hormone powder, layering, grafting, air layering, and embedding in water. All these methods have a high success rate, but root formation time will vary depending upon the form and specific variety of Japanese maps propagated.

How to Root A Japanese Maple?

There are several methods to root Japanese maples. And here, we will discuss the nine most common and easiest ones.

With this list, you will have a lot of options to choose from according to the environmental condition and your preferences. Let’s look at how each method propagates a new Japanese maple.

Rooting In Water

This easiest method makes the root appear to form within 2-6 weeks. Here it would be best if you placed the stem cutting in a water container and bright indirect sunlight. Make sure to use fresh water.

Think of giving the stem cutting a little spa day. Within 2 to 6 weeks, the roots should start to form and grow into the water, taking in all the nutrients they require to survive. This method is very easy and quick propagation of Japanese maple plants and practical. 

Rooting In Soil. 

You will have to get more involved in this method, but these steps are relatively simple. All you need is a stem cutting from its parent plant and plant it in a pot filled with moist, well-draining soil.

Also, make sure to keep the soil stay wet all the time while allowing it to get plenty of bright indirect light. With the proper precaution and method, the roots should start to form in about 4-8 weeks. This method is also effective in propagating woody and herbaceous plants.

Rooting With Hormone Powder. 

This method is very effective as it gives quick results and a high success rate. This method is similar to rooting in soil but with some extra effort.

Before you plant that stem cutting directly in the ground, you must dip it into the rooting hormone powder to boost it. You can find many types of rooting hormone powder available in the market.

But I recommend you choose an organic one. With rooting in the soil, you should prefer keeping the ground moist while providing bright but indirect sunlight. With proper care and lighting, the Japanese maple tree roots should start to form in about 4 to 6 weeks.


In this method, you will have to get more involved with your hands. Firstly, you must make a small cut in a Japanese maple hanging branch. It should be of the parent plant.

After making a small cut in a low-hanging addition, bend it down and cover the cut area with soil. In about 6-12 months, the unit will start to put down its roots taking all the nutrients and water it needs. This method is simple, but it takes longer for roots to form.


This method helps you produce a healthy plant from the desired scion variety with a robust root system known as rootstock. Rootstock is not only ideal for fruit trees but also for propagating and rooting Japanese maple.

This is a more advanced method but produces highly great results. You need to attach a stem from the desired maple to the root system of another Japanese maple tree. The branch you take from the parent Japanese maple tree is said to be a scion, whereas the aten attached to the other Japanese is also referred to as rootstock.

Connecting the scion to the rootstock gives all the necessary nutrients to grow and develop rules. This method usually takes time for a new plant to produce. However, you will likely see the result within 1 to 2 years.

Air Layering. 

Air layering methods also involve cutting while keeping the branch attached to its parent. Afterward, you must wrap the cut area using moist sphagnum moss and wait for roots to form.

Once the seeds have started, you can cut that branch from its parent and replant it in your landscape or garden. This method will take a long time, with roots forming in about 6-12 months.


It is also a professional method that involves a T-shaped cut made into the rootstock and then inserting the scion into it. It is a form of grafting that provides all the necessary nutrients and water for the scion to grow while being part of the plant you want to grow into a new plant.

This method is not only for rooting Japanese maple trees but also for other types of plants. You can propagate wide varieties of fruit. To maximize your chances, you should choose a healthy and disease-free root. It should also be compatible with this scion.

Make sure not to damage the bark after inserting the scion into the wrap, the graft with grafting tape, or grafting wax to keep it protected. It will also increase the scion to grow into the rootstock rapidly.

Make sure you water the graft daily and keep it in bright indirect sunlight. It is going to take time. You should have a new plant in just about a year or two.

Can You Root A Japanese Maple Branch? 

You can always root a Japanese maple branch to grow a new tree. It would be best if you improved the chances of successful rooting by providing rooting hormones.

Once the root has formed, you can plant the cutting in the soil and care for it as a new plant. Rooting a Japanese maple branch is a simple and inexpensive way to propagate.

How To Root A Japanese Maple Tree Branch? 

You need to cut a stem from the parent plant and remove its leaf from the bottom half. After that, plant it in a pot filled with moist soil. Ensure to keep the soil moist and regularly provide the proper indirect sunlight.

You can also improve the chances of successful rooting by applying the rooting hormone. The method involves the same steps mentioned above. Before you plant the cutting in part, you need to dip the cut scion/branch into rooting hormone powder.

Another excellent method to root a component is by keeping it attached to the plant parent. This method is best for people who can’t care for new trees while it is growing.

Even though this method can take about a year to form new roots and plants, it also has a high chance of success. You need to find a low-hanging branch and make a small cut in its bar.

Then bend the unit down and cover the cut area with the soil. The root should form in several months, and once it is, cut the branch from its parent and plant it as a new tree in your landscape.

Can You Root Japanese Maple Cuttings?

You can always root Japanese maple cutting by taking a stem cutting from a healthy plant and planting it in the soil to let it grow into a separate plant. Do keep the condition right and the ground moist while providing indirect sunlight.

It would help if you considered using one of the methods I have discussed above to propagate a new Japanese maple plant from its cutting.

Since the success rate will vary depending upon many factors, including time of year, the health of the parent plant, and growing condition and the method you choose, be patient with it. Thus, here is the best method to root Japanese maple cutting in the easiest way possible.

How to Root Japanese Maple Cutting?

  • As said earlier, choose a stem about 4 to 6 inches long with lots of leaves but no flowers. Make sure to cut below a node using Sharp pruning shears.
  • After that, remove the lower leaves to expose the stem leaving a few leaves at the top. You can consider dipping the cut into rooting hormone to stimulate root growth.
  • Now, fill a small pot with well-draining soil and make a hole in the center. Place the cutting into the hole and press the ground around the stem to hold it.
  • Lastly, you need to water the soil thoroughly and cover the cutting with the pot with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. Consider maintaining a humidity-level atmosphere to stimulate root growth.
  • Keep the pot in bright indirect sunlight while the soil is moist but not soggy.
  • Once the roots have formed, remove the plastic cover and water the cutting.
  • Finally, you can transplant it to a larger pot if it has been to put out new growth. Make sure you care for it until your plant grows enough to be transplanted outside in a garden or landscape.

Can I Root A Japanese Maple In Water? 

Yes, you can root Japanese maple tree cuttings in water. To embed a Japanese maple tree:

  1. Cut in water, stem, and snip off leaves from the bottom half & place it in the container filled with fresh water.
  2. Keep the container in bright but indirect light.
  3. Make sure you are changing the water regularly to avoid bacteria build-up. Once the roots are well established, I recommend you plant them in the soil for further growth.

The success rate is considered less when you try rooting Japanese maples in water than in soil. It will also take a long time. 


How To Root Japanese Red Maple Cuttings? 

To root Japanese Red maple cutting, you must place the cutting invoice in soil or water. Cut it at least one knot and keep the ground or water moist. It is essential to provide bright but indirect sunlight. Or you can also use other methods discussed above. 

Are Japanese maple roots invasive?

If you don’t manage the Japanese maple root, it can grow and spread beyond the boundary of the planted area. Therefore, to answer your question, yes, they may become invasive if you don’t pay attention.

What is the Japanese Maple Root Ball Size? 

A Japanese maple root ball size depends upon its variety. But you will find it in the 12-24 inches in diameter range. It is essential to keep it intact and moist during transplanting to prevent stress and increase the chances of successful growth.

What do You need To Know About Japanese Maple Root Rot? 

Japanese maple root rot is one of the most common problems due to poorly drained soil or overwatering. Therefore, if you notice any signs of yellowing leaves or brown sorts on the leaves, make sure to check the ground and water frequency. 

What Is The Right Technique For Japanese Maple Root Pruning?

There is no hard rule for the proper method to prune a Japanese maple. However, you should permanently remove diseased and damaged roots only. Also, consider removing any growing source in a circular pattern around the Japanese maple trunk, which can lead to cutting off nutrients or water supply. Make sure you are only pruning the roots when the tree is dormant. Avoid removing too much of its origin, as it will stress out the tree.


Today, you got to learn five different methods of rooting Japanese maple. If you find this post helpful, then consider sharing it. Make sure to choose a stem cutting from a healthy parent and cut below just a node.

Make sure to use a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears to avoid infection and damage to the parent plant or the stem cutting. It is also essential to fill a small pot with well-draining soil.

Ensure to provide fertilizer, water, humidity, and the right temperature to promote and stimulate root growth. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. If you find this article helpful, then do check our other articles as well. See you in the next post. Till then, take care and goodbye.