Japanese Maple Bonsai tree

Japanese Maple Bonsai tree

The Japanese maple, also  known as the Acer palmatum, is a very popular tree species used for Bonsai. It is famous for the beautiful  colors of its leaves in fall. The tree originally grew  in Japan, China and Korea. There are countless cultivars of the Japanese  Maple, each with unique leave colors. The bark of younger trees is normally green  and turns light grey or brown with age. So how do you care for your Maple bonsai? The Maple is a deciduous tree species, which  means it needs to be placed outdoors, year round. It prefers a sunny position, with perhaps  a little shade during midday in summer. The maple is frost hardy but should be  protected from strong frosts of around 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or -10 degrees celsius. Water the Maple generously whenever  the soil gets slightly dry. Best is to water your bonsai, then  wait a minute and water it again, to make sure the entire root mass is watered. Observe the tree closely and  make sure it never dries out, the Maple really dislikes  short periods of drought. Daily misting will help raise  the humidity around your Bonsai, though for most outdoor trees  this is not really important. Fertilize your Maple during the entire  growth season, from early spring till fall, using an organic and solid fertilizer. Regular pruning is required to  maintain the shape of your Maple. Simply prune shoots that extend to 5-6 leaves,  back to 2-3 leaves, using a sharp scissors. Pruning thick branches should be done in fall. Bonsai are kept in small pots, and therefore we  repot the trees every two years, in early spring. If you see the roots circling around the root  system, your Bonsai needs to be repotted. If the roots are still contained within soil,  leave it and check again the following spring. You can propagate the Maple using cuttings, seeds, or buy them online as these are  widely available at bonsai retailers. If your Japanese Maple is losing a  lot of leaves, and it is not fall, then it is often the result of  improper watering or not enough light. Again, make sure you place your  Bonsai outside with enough sunlight. And water it generously as soon  as the soil gets slightly dry. Learn how to create your own Bonsai trees, by  enrolling in one of our online Bonsai courses. We explain techniques like  pruning wiring and repotting, and you can ask questions to the teachers. For the curriculums and free lessons, go to: bonsaiempire.com/courses

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