Top 5 bonsai – Japanese maple

In this small series about my favourite bonsai specimens, it is about the classic Japanese maple. It is so obvious a tree for Shohin bonsai that I can’t neglect it at the list. The shifting kind of leaves, is the Acer palmatum and A. buergerianum have lovely leafs and good trunks if grown properly.

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Acer buergerianum, Trident maple, Mame-bonsai.

Tolerant for pruning, and also showing beauty during the dormant period, makes it very suitable for especially Shohin-bonsai displays, showing the change of the seasons. So what is not to like. Especially the A. buergerianum, Trident maple (named by the form of the leaves), shows a great winter image, where the dormant buds waiting for spring looks refreshing and neat.

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Acer palmatum spring leafs.

The trick is to keep the foliage healthy, especially during the heat of the summer where leaf burns at the fragile A. palmatum can be a small problem. Although it is rarely a real problem, because most exhibitions are from autumn until late spring, and in the meantime it is more of a personal approach if you care much about these small failures happening during the season.

Leaf pruning is a way of controlling the balance of energy in the tree, as well as defoliating full or partially, is a technique usable to keep a dense branch construction and smaller leafs. All of which the Japanese maples are very tolerant and reacting positive at.

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Trident maple autumn/fall colors.

Partial shade is necessary during the warm summer months, and controlling the tree for aphids is also a good idea. I have rarely had any problems with pests, but it can happen on weak and stressed trees. The shifting seasons are clearly reflected in the Japanese maple, with fresh red-green new foliage in spring, darker green variations in summer, and beautiful yellow or red in autumn/fall.

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