Best Japanese Maple For Bonsai

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Japanese maple bonsai (Acer palmatum) is highly prized. No bonsai collection is complete without a Japanese maple. Interesting growth forms with variegated colored leaves (especially in autumn) and an excellent branch are worth emphasizing.

Best Japanese Maple For Bonsai

Best Japanese Maple For Bonsai

Caring for a Japanese maple bonsai is not difficult. For bonsai care it is important to note that this species prefers a place protected from heat in partial shade in mid-summer. In winter, a bonsai tree must be protected against drying out the good branches by a windbreak (for example an unheated greenhouse, a foil tent or a corner protected from the outside wind).

Bonsai Tree Seeds, Japanese Red Maple

At the planting stage we will fertilize the Japanese maple prebonsai with a lot of nitrogen with mineral fertilizers (nutrient salt N-K-P ratio 4:1:2 + MgO). This way they grow 0.5-1m per year in a 5l plant pot and develop quickly. Due to the abundant nitrogen fertilization, the trunk and branches quickly thicken, which is desirable during planting. At this stage, all organic bonsai fertilizers (such as Biogold, Hanagokoro) as well as other garden fertilizers such as horn meal can be given in abundance from March to September.

Although we use mineral fertilizers ourselves (with an automatic fertilizer dozer for watering) we advise the general public against it. The salt tolerance of Japanese maple is not very high and counting errors can easily occur during thawing.

Organic fertilizers (such as liquid bonsai fertilizers) have a major advantage in that they are released very slowly and delivered slowly to the plants. If you give the plant too much, nothing will happen except that it will grow too fast and tall. In addition, all the essential trace nutrients required by plants are available.

We must pay more attention to good styling of Japanese maple bonsai so that the nitrogen load is not too high. If too much nitrogen is supplied, the internode (the distance between 2 nodes on a shoot) becomes too long.

North American Collection — National Bonsai Foundation

If too much nitrogen is given during the year, Japanese maple bonsai will not recover properly before hibernation. Improper repair young shoots then freeze back sometimes a little in winter. This is not a problem in the growing stage, it is very sad with a finished bonsai. This fine branch alone distinguishes this type of tree.

Finished bonsai can also be well fed with a commercial bonsai liquid fertilizer. It is recommended to follow the dosage instructions on the bottles for finished maple bonsai. Liquid bonsai fertilizers usually contain no more than 3% nitrogen. Suitable for Japanese maples only.

Do not fertilize after 4 weeks of winter and repotting a bonsai. Japanese maples can’t use either fertilizer.

Best Japanese Maple For Bonsai

Acer palmatum bonsai likes it evenly moist. The weight is the same, this means it does not dry out and on the other hand – does not sink. It is a good idea to let the soil dry out for a while before watering the bonsai tree (don’t let the vine dry out). Even in winter you should not let Japanese maples dry out completely (use frost-free periods to water in winter).

Bonsai Gardens Guide

It is important that the bonsai soil is well permeable to water and air to avoid waterlogging. If the soil is well drained, it can be watered a few times on hot summer days. Drains excess water well.

With plenty of water in mid-summer, the delicate leaves dry up. Usually the bonsai can provide more than the pot and you can pour normally. It should come to the dry tip of the leaf. Therefore, it is recommended to keep the Japanese maple bonsai in partial shade and shelter in summer.

In summer, a sunny to partially shaded outdoor location is ideal. Fine leaf varieties should not be exposed to midday sun in mid-summer (otherwise Japanese maple bonsai will get brown leaf tips). Partial shade is perfect for Japanese maple bonsai. But the leaf color of many reddish varieties turns green in the shade because the plant produces more chlorophyll here, making it greener.

The Japanese maple is a hardy outdoor bonsai, which means it tolerates temperatures well below 0 degrees Celsius. Good branches should have a windbreak to prevent drying out (for example, a non-heated greenhouse, a foil tent or a shelter in an outer corner). When there is no frost, check the soil for moisture and water as needed.

Japanese Maple Bonsai Plant Care

Repot commercial bonsai in soil (eg Akdama). A young Japanese maple bonsai every 2-3 years, older specimens every 4-5 years (this is often possible if growth slows down or in case of root disease). A layer of drainage at the bottom of the pot is useful.

Regardless, the bonsai soil must be well drained to avoid waterlogging during frequent mid-summer watering. Japanese bonsai soil akadama is very useful for this. Experienced bonsai buddies even filter dust to increase permeability. Dust can be used to cover the face. Permeability can also be greatly increased by adding a substrate such as expanded slate. Since Japanese maple prefers slightly acidic soil, bonsai soil should not be too calcareous.

Bonsai repotting takes place in early spring (end of February). Root cuttings are more or less severe depending on the root. If repotted late, maple may “bleed” for a long time after repotting. It’s not good. So – don’t delay. And if you want, cut the roots moderately.

Best Japanese Maple For Bonsai

Japanese maples are sometimes visited by aphids. In case of heavy infestation, simply spray with an insect repellent agent. Aphids are not a big problem.

Got This Maple As A Gift. Any Advice For A Beginner? 🍁

Susceptibility of Japanese maple to fungus (Verticillium) is important. This does not happen often, but it is dangerous for Japanese maple bonsai. Look for the sudden appearance of dead leaves or the sudden death of entire branches.

Since treatment with fungicides is almost impossible, it must be prevented. For this it is important to prune only Japanese maple bonsai using clean bonsai tools. Also in vein cutting. When potting (for root cutting) you should use an old bonsai shear as it rots easily and is no longer suitable for top pruning. Sealing the wound with wound sealant reduces the chance of infection.

Acer palmatum can be propagated by seed or cuttings. But Japanese maples are genetically very different and seed propagation leads to poor results. Better to buy a suitable young plant.

Sometimes a Japanese maple (or a branch of it) can be propagated from the garden by air-layering. This is a good way to get raw materials quickly and works well with Japanese maple.

Maple Bonsai Tree Care Guide

Japanese maple is very popular for bonsai styling. By regularly cutting and pinching the bonsai you can create a finely branched crown. Strong root growth can be used to create beautiful root systems. And the very small, often colorful leaves are very decorative. Especially in autumn.

Easy to wire woody, thin branches. Thick branches are tough (the branch should be protected from the bark by bark or rubber). If you want to wire a bonsai – work hard. The skin is very thin and easily damaged by mechanical action. This type of lesion is more common on smooth skin.

Aluminum bonsai is better. The required diameter is larger than copper and therefore the wire adheres less to the skin. It is possible that the wire may still be wrapped in paper for protection.

Best Japanese Maple For Bonsai

Maple can be pruned very well into a bonsai shape. Bonsai tree maintenance comes into play with pruning, structural pruning and pinching.

Japanese Maple Photos

Pruning consistency: In spring, when the maple has developed about 5 pairs of leaves, it is cut to one or two pairs of leaves. Do not cut before fruiting (severe bleeding and plant damage will result).

Pinching: The branch that comes after pruning should be pinched. That is, the tips of newly formed branches are removed after the first pair of leaves. Good branching is the reward for this hard work.

Structural Cutting: Once a year, dead branches as well as branches that are not required for the design are removed. Cut such branches directly against the bark with a sharp bonsai concave cutter. Structure cutting can be done in early fall or late winter.

To control the growth rate inside the plant, a partial decomposition can also be done in summer. For this purpose many or all leaves are removed from the strongest part of the plant and weak branches. It reduces the strength of thick branches, spreads better (shorter internodes) and reduces leaf size. After all, weak branches gain strength. In case of red leaf variety,

First Bonsai Tree; Japanese Maple

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