Thuja and Japanese Maple: A Perfect Pairing for Year-Round Color

Thuja and Japanese Maple: A Perfect Pairing for Year-Round Color

A Symphony of Seasons: The Allure of Thuja and Japanese Maple

Imagine a garden that offers beauty year-round. Towering evergreens, with their vibrant green foliage, stand tall throughout the changing seasons. Adding a touch of magic are bursts of color, a testament to nature's ever-evolving canvas. This delightful combination can be achieved by planting two exceptional trees together: the stately Thuja Green Giant, an evergreen sentinel, and the flamboyant Japanese Maple, a living tapestry of color. 

The Enduring Charm of Thuja:

Thuja, also known as Arborvitae, is a genus of evergreen trees that offer a touch of permanence to any landscape. With their emerald green foliage that stays lush year-round, these versatile trees provide a dependable backdrop for seasonal displays. Evergreen trees make up over 25% of all trees in the United States, a testament to their enduring popularity, potentially including Thuja trees and Japanese Maple.

Thuja comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, catering to diverse garden needs. The majestic Thuja green giant trees can tower over 50 feet, while the American pillar arborvitae offers a more compact, columnar form. The Thuja 'Can Can,' with its whimsical, spiraled growth, adds a touch of whimsy to the scene.

Red Japanese Maple leaf, symbolizing the vibrant fall foliage of the Japanese Maple tree.

The Dazzling Dance of the Japanese Maple:

Set against the Thuja's unwavering presence, the Japanese Maple brings a vibrant burst of color. These deciduous trees are renowned for their fiery autumn displays, transforming landscapes into a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and yellows. But their beauty extends far beyond fall. In spring, delicate green leaves emerge, unfurling like origami masterpieces.

Summer brings another transformation, with some Japanese Maple varieties boasting stunning shades of green, burgundy, or even a combination of both. Cultivars like the Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira' showcase green leaves splashed with creamy white markings, adding a touch of variegation to the scene. This extended display of color ensures the Japanese Maple plays a starring role throughout the growing season, captivating the eye with its ever-changing palette.

Thuja evergreen trees planted next to a Japanese Maple tree, showcasing the complementary textures and colors of these trees.

A Match Made in Landscape Heaven:

The contrasting aesthetics of Thuja and Japanese Maple create a captivating visual dialogue. The evergreen foliage of Thuja provides a sense of stability and structure, while the Japanese Maple injects bursts of color throughout the seasons. This interplay of permanence and change keeps the garden visually interesting year-round.

Here's how these two trees complement each other:

Seasonal Synergy: As the Japanese Maple sheds its leaves in winter, the Thuja takes center stage, maintaining its verdant beauty. Come spring, the emerging foliage of the Japanese Maple creates a stunning contrast against the Thuja's evergreen backdrop.

Textural Harmony: The feathery foliage of the Thuja stands in delightful contrast to the delicate, palmate leaves of the Japanese Maple. This interplay of textures adds depth and dimension to the landscape.

Size Matters: Planting a larger Thuja behind a Japanese Maple creates a sense of layering and focal point. Conversely, a smaller Thuja variety can flank the Japanese Maple, framing its vibrant display.

House with a Japanese Maple tree in the front yard, showcasing the contrasting beauty of colorful deciduous trees with evergreen trees.

Beyond the Visual: Practical Advantages

This dynamic duo isn't just aesthetically pleasing; it offers a practical advantage for gardeners as well. Thuja's dense foliage provides wind protection, acting as a natural barrier that shields your property and plantings from harsh winds. This can be especially beneficial in areas prone to strong winter winds or coastal environments. Thuja's root system is also relatively shallow and non-invasive, making it a good choice for planting near walkways, driveways, or other structures. 

The Japanese Maple, on the other hand, complements the Thuja's wind protection with its shallow root system. Unlike some trees with deep, aggressive roots that can damage foundations or underground utilities, Japanese Maples can thrive planted closer to buildings or other plantings without causing disruption. Additionally, the dappled shade provided by the Thuja's canopy creates a favorable growing environment for the Japanese Maple, which prefers some protection from the hot afternoon sun. This symbiotic relationship allows both trees to flourish in close proximity.

Creating Your Own Symphony of Seasons

With a little planning, you can recreate this captivating harmony in your garden. Here are some tips for success:

Know Your Zone: Research the specific Thuja and Japanese Maple varieties that thrive in your climate zone.

Consider Sun Exposure: While Thuja can tolerate some shade, Japanese Maples prefer dappled sunlight.

Planting and Care: Ensure proper planting techniques and provide adequate care for both trees.

Japanese Maple tree in vibrant fall colors with a scenic background

Thuja Gardens: Your Dream Place for Arborvitae Magic

If you're looking to add the timeless elegance of Thuja and the captivating beauty of the Japanese Maple to your garden, look no further than Thuja Gardens. As trusted plant growers and shippers nationwide, we offer a wide selection of healthy, high-quality Thuja varieties, including the Thuja green giant and the American pillar arborvitae. Our knowledgeable staff can help you choose the perfect trees for your landscape and provide expert advice on planting and care.

Visit Thuja Gardens today and start creating your own captivating symphony of seasons!


Back to blog