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An Introduction to Bonsai Maple Trees

Aug 17, 2007
Bonsai trees have long been a favorite hobby of many due to their interesting shapes and decorative appeal. Bonsai trees can be grown indoors to decorate a living room, den or office or left in the garden for an exotic look. This is a unique hobby that lets one combine their love for growing plants with their creative skill in shaping the bonsai.

The maple is one of the most popular trees used for bonsai. Of the maple family, two are particularly popular: The Trident Maple and the Japanese Maple. This article will provide you with a brief introduction to these two bonsai maple trees.

The Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum) is an oriental deciduous tree. It is very tolerant to pollution, which is why it can be grown in cities and towns. The trident maple is quite hardy as far as bonsai trees go, but it will still need special care, particularly with regards to protecting it from frost. The trident maple's roots have high moisture content; and during winter this can become a disadvantage. In order to protect this maple from frost, you can try keeping it in a greenhouse or covering it with straw during winter. The trident maple should be placed in a sunny spot that has shade in the afternoons.

The Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) is also known as the Japanese Mountain Maple. There are many varieties of Japanese maple to choose from; it is a very popular bonsai maple tree. Just to give you an idea, there is the Nishiki Issai, Ara Kawa, Nishiki Sho, Nishiki Gawa - these are varieties with rough barks that age quickly. There are also varieties with unusual barks - this includes the Sanku and the Aoyji. The Kiyo-hime Tama-hime are examples of the dwarf varieties. These grow more like bushes rather than trees.

The Japanese maple has a diverse variety of hybrids, by some counts more than three hundred. The leaves of Japanese maples range from light green to deep burgundy. Like the trident maple, Japanese maples are quite durable trees. Air pollutants and insects are usually not a problem for them. The Japanese maple grows best in moist, fertile soil, and do not perform as well in places when exposed to too much sun.

Caring for your bonsai tree is not that difficult. It needs the appropriate amount of sun and water. The maples prefer a bit of shade with not excessive direct sunlight. If you have yours in a pot, you can place it where you want but be sure to move it out of the direct sun during the hottest part of the day. You should not let your bonsai dry out but also, do not drown it in too much water. Careful pruning and shaping of the bonsai will give you a lovely tree that will last for years.

Bonsai maple trees are quite beautiful and are ideal for bonsai beginners. Their innate durability makes them easy to take care of. And let's not forget that they are also some of the most incredible-looking bonsai around!
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.bonsai.garden-corner.com where you can learn more about bonsai trees and starting your bonsai hobby .
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