The smaller they get

One of my favourite trees for bonsai is Trident maples. Acer buergerianum leaves have a special delicate and sharp form that I appreciate. Add to this the summer green freshness and  golden fall colours.

At the moment the Trident maple stands 11 cm in height. This will not last forever though, because it will outgrow the small pot eventually. The trick is to keep it healthy growing, which demands careful feeding and dappled shade during the hot summer months. Either by placing it so garden trees provides the needed shade, or by placing it under bigger bonsai e.g. This to avoid it drying out too fast.

Normally I defoliate larger (also shohin) late spring or early summer. But I do not dare to do it with a tree this small. Instead I make a partly defoliation, by cutting large leaves in half size to balance growth, and only remove strong growth. The small room for roots do not leave energy enough to make the more stressing total defoliation. Better safe than sorry.


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