I planted this Japanese Maple last summer, it has grown well… But it did come with these clumps of moss or like it whatever it is around the trunk.
Should I remove this which will involve scratching a bit at the base? Or just leave?
On the sofa, Southerly aspect.
I would remove it with fingers so not to damage the trunk, as it looks like you have some little grass tufts and liverworts there too, I usually clear a top layer carefully as it may contain unwanted weed seeds as well.
And add a little top dressing.
I am not sure how important or not it is but I can see a bit of thick roots to the lower left side exposed. Depending on how you look at the picture turned 90 degrees right, that would be to the left of the main trunk base.
I am sure someone will be able to say if you should cover that bit or if it is okay to leave.
edited 9 February
I wouldn't even attempt to weed/clear moss.
Add a good thick layer of mulch.
Well rotted leaves or composted bark.
1. it will suppress all weeds...kill the moss.
2. It will keep the moisture at the roots of your Acer...very necessary in dry weather.
Do not let it touch the trunk of your tree as this can lead to rotting.
Do not mound it like a volcano.
Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
In an oriental style garden you would have moss as ground cover everywhere! No need to remove the moss unless you really don't like it it will help keep the surface roots cool & moist and still let some air in- ideal
AB Still learning