If you are want to know how to bonsai a maple tree, then read on. Remember, maple can be styled in a formal or informal manner, depending on your taste. However, it is more common for bonsai gardeners to style the maple tree in an informal style. While it is hard work to bonsai a maple tree, the end result is satisfying and appealing. (See Reference 1)
Usually, 2 kinds of maple are used for bonsai gardening, and they are Japanese maple and trident maple. (See Reference 1) The former is more preferred by bonsai gardeners because of its full bodied growth and unique colored leaves that turn yellow through orange during the months of autumn. (See Reference 1) On the other hand, the trident maple has a sturdier root system and therefore, needs to be shielded from frost during winter months. Additionally, the tree is not as hardy as the Japanese maple and requires care when watering or kept outdoors. Some bonsai lovers grow the trident maple because of the unique red color the bark has. (See Reference 1)
When growing a bonsai Japanese maple, make sure that you protect it from frost and wind right round the year. The roots need adequate moisture and hence, the soil should be constantly moist. (See Reference 1) This can cause a little bit of problem in winter when frost sets in.
The maple has brittle branches and the trunk is prone to splitting. Hence, it is advisable to use a thick rope or cord to train the tree instead of wire. (See Reference 1) This can make the training a little challenging, but it will be well worth the effort and time spent. The fact that the tree has a thick foliage, it makes it easy to prune and shape it. And, the thick foliage also allows you to experiment a little bit with the shape. However, do plan the growth carefully in the initial stages as it will determine how the pruning and shaping must be done. (See Reference 1)
In the initial 10 years of growth, the tree should be repotted every 2 years. During the peak growing season, make sure that you pinch the new growth buds off and prune the tree in winter. When the weather is hot, make sure that you water the maple tree twice a day and mist it in the evenings. (See Reference 1)
Following these tips on how to bonsai a maple tree, you can never go wrong. Once you get the desired shape, you will be thrilled with the time and effort spent on training your maple tree.
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