The Japanese Red Maple Tree grows well in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9. They prefer well-drained soil that retains moisture. Slow to moderate growth; between 1 and 2 feet of growth a year. The best way to ensure successful growth of the Japanese Maple Tree is to plant the tree properly. Find a location in either the full sun or partial shade; however, they prefer partial shade. This will also translate to richer red leaves. The Japanese Maple Tree does not require fertilizer; however, if your soil is lacking in nutrient matter, a slow-release well-balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) can be applied once in the spring to help prompt tree growth. Mulch is a great tool to use when planting Japanese Maples. Simply apply a 3-inch layer of natural mulch, such as those made of wood chips or bark, in a 3-foot radius around the tree’s base. Water the mulch, which will help conserve water and, when decomposed, add nutrient matter to the soil.