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Green trees for Japanese garden

In Japanese gardens, green is more important than flower. Some of them are evergreen, soume of them are deciduous. In autmn, deciduous trees change their leave colour. That is absolutely beautiful.

This page is green trees comonly planted in  Japanese gardens.


momijiVarious kind of maples are planted in Japanese garden. Although typical maples are about 10 kinds, there are 1000 or more cultivars maple in Japan.
They are usually deciduous and autumn foliage is magnificent.
The below are popular maple in Japanese garden.

Acer palmatum (Iroha-momiji)

iroha-momijiIroha-momiji is the most common planted Japanese native maple.

The leaves are 5-7 cm long and wide, palmately lobed with 5-9 acutely pointed lobes.

Acer palmatum var. sanguineum (Nakai) (Nomura-momiji)

As well as many other maples, this maple is deciduous.
But leaves are red even in spring.

They make a striking contrast with the other green.

Acer amoenum var. matsumurae (Inaba-shidare) (Tamuke-momiji)

tamuke-mapleTamuke-tutuji is a weeping maple, This is a shrub and usually 1-2 m high . The leaves are lobed deeply.
I think this tree lives short because my garden's one dead around 40 years. My neighborhood one's case are same.


Pine tree

matsuPine trees are striking characteristic in Japanese garden.

Gardener prefer to hold some branches horizontally to make the tree picturesque silhouette.
To take car of pine neatly is very difficult. Japanese gardener pick up needles by their HAND to make it neatly.

Black pine (Kuromatsu)

kuromatsuThe most common pine tree in Japanese garden. The leaves are like needles. They are light green when it is young. The colour gradually change into dark green. A length is about 10 cm long.

Pinus parviflora (Japanese white pine Goyoumatsu)

goyoumatsuIn Japan, this pine doesn't grow taller than black pine.

The leaves are shorter than black pine and needles look like silver. Not only as a garden trees, it is popular as a bonsai tree.

Japanese zelkova(Keyaki)

keyakiThis is a deciduous tree. Usually it grows to 20 m or higher tall. The tree has many branches and most of them most spread uplight.

Japanese Zelkova is beautiful in spring and autumn. Young leaves are light green in spring. In autumn, colour changes into yellow. They gradually change into charcoal.

In Japanese home garden, it used to be popular as an ornamental tree. But it grows rapidly and it makes small Japanese gardens shade, so, it is not popular tree any more in the home garden.
5m tall tree is enough or sometimes too tall in Japanese home garden.



Ring-cupped Oak (Shirakashi and Arakashi)


Both are evergreen and grew ing to  approx 15 m.  Shirakashi's leaves are smaller than Arakashi's leaves. In japanese language, Ara means rough and shira means white.

In spring, on new growth, leaves are purple green. After several days, the colour changes to glaucous blue-green.



This oak is also evergreen tree. This is good hedge plants. But occasionally Ubaegashi is planted as an ornamental tree like my home garden.

Leaves are oval and 5 cm big and thick. Colours are green or dark green.

Ubamegashi is very strong tree and it grows in the briny or dirty air.

Holly genus

Ilex integra

This tree has many leaves and make shadow. In some denomination of Shintoizum, this tree is treated as ornamental tree.

Ilex pedunculosa

5-7 m tall.Berries doesn't grow thickly.
In Japanese language, Soyogo means, a tree which leaves sighing in the fresh wind.

Ilex serrata

Unlike the left of two holly genus, this tree is deciduous. It grows at most 3 m high. Berries  stay even after leaves are fallen.

Podocarpus macrophyllus (Inumaki or Kusamaki)

makiInumaki is an evergreen conifer. The leaves are soft and strap-shaped. The colour is dark green.
In Japanese garden, it should be approx 5 m tall.

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