Pine Garden Bonsai Co.

20331 S. R. 530 NE
Arlington, WA 98223
phone (800) 746-3281, (360) 435-5995; fax (360) 435-4865

CARE GUIDE: Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple), Acer burgeranum (Trident Maple)

Copyright ©1996 Pine Garden Bonsai
The Japanese Maple is touted by Kyuzo Murata1, curator for many years before he died in 1994, of The Japanese Emperor's bonsai collection, as the best suited of the many deciduous trees for growing as bonsai.

Japanese Maples can be transplanted any time between mid-March and mid-June, although mid-March is cited by Lynn Perry2 as the proper time to root prune this attractive bonsai. If you choose to transplant at other times, minimize the root pruning and mist, after repotting for at least two weeks, during which time the tree should rest in the shade with minimal disturbance.

The Maple stock you have received from Pine Garden Bonsai is at least four or five years old, has been grown in the RootMaker in which it arrives for one or two years. It can stay in that container for another year if it is inconvenient for you to transplant it this year, and should remain there another year rather than transplanting after mid-June.

Between April 1 and mid-July, fertilize this young and vigorous specimen about four times a month. with a mild liquid fertilizer. For example Peters 20-20-20 diluted to one-fourth the recommended strength, and fertilize every week, after it has become acclimated to its new pot or new environment.

During the spring and fall, water your Maple once a day; during summer months water two to three times daily. Protect Maple bonsai, in summer, by placing them under the shade of larger trees. Place your Maple where it will receive morning but not afternoon sun, or where it gets dappled shade throughout the day.

Pruning: Your Japanese Maple will begin its annual growth with an early spurt. Prune the actively growing branches back to one or two nodes in late April.

Maples are easily cut by wire, so some bonsai practitioners recommend using paper-wrapped wire, being sure the bark is damp; in any case, wire is best applied after the initial spring growth spurt, and watched carefully. Remove the wire before it begins to cut into the bark.

Maples can be grown in a mixture of 70 per cent potting soil and 30 per cent 1/4-3/8 inch volcanic gravel -- or whatever is used in your locality to insure good drainage. Too much, or too coarse gravel, however can be counter productive inasmuch as it becomes difficult to test the wetness of the soil.

Go to our best in tools, containers, and stock.

1) BONSAI, Miniature Potted Trees, Kyuzo Murata, Shufunotomo Co., LTD, Tokyo, 1964

2) BONSAI: Trees and Shrubs, Lynn R. Perry, The Ronald Press Co. New York, 1964

Copyright ©1996 Pine Garden Bonsai. Last updated 10 Dec 96 drd

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