General Japanese Maple care
Created by Matsu Bonsai in Zone 6 on 11/22/2008. Matsu Bonsai has been doing bonsai since 2001, and this regimen has 5 users currently using it.
Applicable Species: Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ),

Development Stage: Growth/Ramification/Maintenance

Styling/Aftercare: Keep newly styled trees protected from extreme heat or cold. Keep in partial shade and allow the tree to recover.

Notes: Japanese Maples grow extremely well. With proper bonsai techniques applied a stunning tree with great nebari, fine branches, and great canopy can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time.

Spring/Summer Care: Fertilize lightly in spring. Pinch new growth early to improve fine branching and ramification. Increase fertilizer once new growth has hardened.

Fall/Winter Care: Apply more fertilizer in fall to set buds for spring growth. Keep protected in winter. Do not allow the tree to freeze.

Propagation Notes: Some Japanese Maples do not grow well or take cuttings on their own roots. Grafted seedlings are the only way to produce certain unique cultivars. Air layering can be done with great success.

Maximum Top Pruning:

Graph_3 Up to 1/2
Maximum Root Pruning:

Graph_4 1/2
Soil pH:

Organic Soil Preference:

Graph_inactive Not Specified
Cold Protection:

Graph_3 Protect all from Freeze
Sun Protection:

Graph_3 Partial Shade OK
Water Preference:

Graph_4 Constantly Moist
Back Budding Ease:

Graph_4 Easy
  Jan Mar May Jul Sep Nov
Ph Cold Sun Water
Japanese Maple( Acer palmatum )
by Matsu Bonsai in Zone 6
Graph_2 Graph_3 Graph_3 Graph_4
feed 2 2 2 2 4 6 8
Fertilize with balanced solid (Organic) from beginning of growth thru when leaves change color
Feed lightly in spring. Increase feeding after new growth hardens.
feed 2 4
Fertilize with low nitrogen liquid (Liquid) from after shoots harden thru when leaves change color
Feed with low nitrogen in fall until leaves change color. Remove fertilizer and clean the top soil in later fall or early winter.
prune   prune                    
major pruning, from beginning of growth, thru when buds swell
Major cuts should be done in late winter or early spring. This will give the tree plenty of time during the growing season to heal any major cuts.
prune     prune prune prune prune            
pinch new shoots, from beginning of growth, thru end of growth
Pinch new growth during spring to promote fine branching and ramification. Check every day in spring.
prune   prune prune             prune prune  
pruning to shape, from after shoots harden, thru when buds swell
Prune to shape in Oct/Nov or Feb/Mar. Keep 2-3 sets of buds per shoot. Thin to two branches at each intersection.
wiring   prune prune               prune  
Wire from after shoots harden thru when buds open. Check after 3 months.
Wiring should be done early to set curves in young branches. Use aluminum wire. Wire two branches with one wire. Wire every brach to the tip. Begin wiring in early spring. Check the wire often as new growth will thicken the branches quickly. Another
repot   prune prune                  
Repot starting beginning of growth thru when buds swell. Repot every 2 to 3 years.
Repotting is best done in later winter or early spring. Remove the tree from the pot. Rake bottom of soil. Comb out top roots. Add a drainage layer of pumice to the new pot and a small mound of soil. Place the tree and set the position. Wire tightly
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Bonsai Society of Greater Springfield Massachusetts
Learn the art of bonsai through instruction and hands-on activities. Meets at Springfield Technical Community College on the 3rd Tuesday of the month (excluding July & August) at 7:30pm.