Everything bonsai    



Japanese Maple

Overview : The Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is the most widely grown maple in gardens and is a perfect subject for bonsai. It is valued for its compact size, delicate ferny foliage and brilliant fall (autumn) colouring - from rich gold to deepest blood-red. The more than 300 cultivars range from rock garden miniatures to vigorous small trees, with a variety of leaf shape, size and colour.

General Care : Requires semi-shade in summer, full sun the rest of the year, and protection from wind.

Pinch out 'ambitious' or unwanted shoots in spring - with main pruning to be conducted at this type of year. When new shoots have developed to around three to five nodes - prune them - but make sure to leave at least 1cm (1/2in) extra to allow for die back. This is something important to do when pruning all types of Japanese maples. Trim leaves in late spring.

Repot and fertilise in late winter to early spring.

Water as frequently as needed - do not allow bonsai to dry out as this can also cause leaf burn.

Other Comments : Although more tolerant of winter climates than most maples, it needs shade and shelter or leaves may shrivel.

Available in nurseries with more unusual and rare forms found in bonsai nurseries or through mail-order services in seedling or seed form.

Be careful of drying winds which can be quite detrimental if the plant is fully exposed - causing leaf burn and dieback - especially for new formed shoots.

Japanese Maples do not breed true from seeds. This is one reason maples are grafted. Seeds can be started indoors before the last frost in flats. Outside after last frost. You need to protect seed & seedlings from birds and insects. Keep the flats well watered and in bright shade.

The prime directive of any young tree is to grow as tall as possible. Nursery stock usually is raised to be ground trees, not bonsai. You need to manipulate the growth of a maple to achieve the desired bonsai look. Bonsai nurseries let stock trees grow for a season and then cut them back drastically. They do this for several years before the tree is ready for styling. Maples have rings that go around the trunk. These rings are called internodes. Leaves will sprout from the internodes. Be brave next spring take a nursery stock maple and cut it back to only 1 or 2 internodes while dormant. Train 1 shoot as the new leader and the other as a side branch. Before the internodes get too far apart for the scale of the tree you desire, pinch back both branches, and then let the side branches go. Keep doing this until you have a trunk of the dimension you desire. The repeated pruning should give you a trunk with nice taper. Then the next spring, be brave again and cut all of the branches off of your ideal trunk and wait for new branches. Be careful to leave the ring at the base of the branches intact, these will be the buds for your final branches. Good luck.

Valid HTML 4.01!
Valid CSS!
 |  Designed by  |