Bonsai Training Information

Acer palmatum
Japanese Maple

A small hardy deciduous tree slow growing trees ideal for containers or smaller gardens and naturally a long loved choice of Bonsai artists. Their vibrant spring and autumn colours, their feathery leafs, striking stem and bark colours and shallow fibrous root systems make this species especially attractive bonsai.


Formal upright, Informal Upright, Slanting, Cascade, Semi-cascade, Broom, Rock-over-root, Clasped-to-rock, Twin-trunk, Clump, Group planting, Saikei




Place the tree where it will receive morning or evening sun but will not be in direct sunlight, especially at the height of summer. It is a very hardy species, but is best protected when temperatures are likely to fall below -10C for prolonged periods. Keep in cool greenhouse for these periods.


Water regularly keep soil moist not wet as root tend to suffer easily from root rot. Ensure soil is well drained. Water well in early morning or late afternoon to prevent the soil from drying out. Do not water plant during the hottest part of the day best in the early hours of the morning, when leafs.


Feed bi-monthly during the growing season. Use a high nitrogen fertiliser. during spring and a low nitrogen fertilser the rest of the year. Do not feed during peak summer.

Leaf and Branch Pruning:

Pinch back to 2 leafs once 4 to 5 leaf nodes have grown. To develop fine branches and avoid long internodes, pinch back new growth during the growing season. Pinch back new shoots through out the grwoing season.

Re-potting & Growing Medium:

Repot younger trees every 2-3 year, trees older than 10 years only when pot bound. Repot in spring, shortening root by no more than a third of their length. Remove dead and damaged roots to avoid root rot. Repot in 30% loam, 30% peat, and 30% coarse sand, or use Akadama and Sieved Bark Chips.


Maples are usually shaped by pinching and pruning. Wire sparingly and with care, in spring. Check wire frequelty and remove after a few months.


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