Japanese Maple Bonsai Trees

Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree

What is Japanese Maple Bonsai & Care Guide

Learn all about Japanese Maple Bonsai Trees and how to take care of them.
Scientific/Botanical NameAcer palmatum
DescriptionThe deciduous Japanese maple tree is indigenous to Japan. As the tree matures, the leaves undergo color changes. They start out with a green color, then they change to orange, and then end with a deep red color. The branches of the tree are flexible, making the tree well suited to bonsai training.
PositionJapanese maple trees grow best in USDA planting zones 5 and 6. The trees cannot tolerate direct sunlight in the summertime. Mature trees can tolerate short periods of freezing conditions, but they should be protected from severe frost.
WateringThe soil of the Japanese maple tree should be kept evenly-moist. More frequent watering is needed whilst the tree is actively growing. Water the tree daily from mid-spring to late-summer. Water as needed during the winter season to keep the soil from becoming dry.
FeedingFeed the tree every two weeks during spring and summer. During the fall, feed the tree with a fertilizer that is nitrogen-free. Do not feed during wintertime.
Leaf and Branch PruningTo reduce the size of leaves, prune the leaves during periods of active growth. This will also serve to intensify the colors of the leaves in the fall. Pinch- out new tree shoots on a regular basis to maintain the desired style, and to encourage optimal branching. The main branches are best pruned in the winter.
Re-potting & Growing MediumRe-pot young trees once a year. Trees that are over 10 years old should be re-potted on a three-yearly schedule. Re-potting must be carried out in the springtime prior to the opening of the buds. Japanese akadama clay is the best soil in which to grow the tree.
WiringIf it is necessary to wire the tree, this should be carried out in the summertime when the tree has all of its leaves. Wiring should not be left on for longer than six months, and raffia can be used to shield the bark.
NotesProvide excellent air circulation to the plant so as to prevent powdery mildew.

For a majority of men and women who are bonsai enthusiasts, the Japanese Maple bonsai tree is extremely popular. It is a beautiful bonsai tree and what a lot of people think of when they picture bonsai trees in their head. It is a highly recommended type of bonsai tree for those individuals who are just starting the bonsai tree hobby. The Japanese Maple bonsai tree does not require a lot of maintenance and care. As well, the Japanese Maple bonsai tree, when indoors, can really liven up a room in a house or an office. It is especially beautiful during the autumn months because the leaves turn magnificent shades of red, gold, and orange. It offers a little bit of extra color to a room.

Selecting the Perfect Japanese Maple Bonsai

The Japanese Maple bonsai tree is one of the most diverse bonsai trees available. There are over 300 different types of Japanese Maple trees available that are made into amazing bonsai trees. There are five primary factors to think about when it comes to selecting the right Japanese Maple bonsai tree.

First Factor

The first factor is to select a variety of Japanese Maple bonsai tree that can acclimate to the geographic climate. Individuals want to select a type that is a minimum of two cold zones hardier than the zone a person lives in.

Second Factor

The second factor is how big the Japanese Maple bonsai tree is going to grow. Japanese Maple bonsai trees come in different shapes and sizes. Some grow a lot bigger than others. If individuals want to prune their Japanese Maple once or twice a year, it is easy for them to maintain a certain size. However, if individuals do not want to prune their bonsai tree, then it is best to select a Japanese Maple bonsai tree that will grow to a certain size that will fit in the space allotted for the bonsai tree.

Third Factor

The third factor is where it is going to be planted. It is going to be getting direct sunlight all the time or will it stay in the shade mostly? A majority of Japanese Maple bonsai trees need sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Japanese Maple bonsai trees cannot be in a full day of sunshine.

Fourth Factor

The fourth factor is related to the third factor and it is in response to sun exposure. Dissectum Japanese Maple bonsai trees are not able to tolerate a lot of direct sunlight and wind. Palmatum Japanese Maple bonsai trees can handle a bit more sunlight and wind.

Fifth Factor

The last factor to consider is the color of the leaves. Some people prefer green leaves, some like red leaves, and others like variegated. The green leafed Japanese Maple bonsai trees can stand hotter temperatures and more sunlight exposure than those Japanese Maple bonsai trees that have red leaves or are variegated.

Related Japanese Maple Bonsai Trees For Sale


Just like all other bonsai trees available, Japanese Maple bonsai trees require constant moisture. However, it is important that the bonsai tree is not oversaturated as this can cause damage to the roots, including rot and decay. Too much water can also cause the onset of mildew, which is a common occurrence with Japanese Maple bonsai trees that have been oversaturated. They also do not require a lot of sunlight, as compared to other variations of bonsai trees. It should be in an area so it can still get shade. Lastly, it is important to fertilize the Japanese Maple bonsai tree. Apply the fertilizer from the end of the winter season until early into the spring season. It is not recommended to add fertilizer after the tree has been re-potted or at some point throughout the summer months.

How to Create a Japanese Maple Bonsai Tree

When creating a Japanese Maple bonsai tree, the first thing to do is choose a branch that has a structure and shape that is pleasing. Then individuals need to collect all the necessary materials, including a sharp pair of scissors or a knife, a small sheet of very heavy plastic, sphagnum moss that was soaked in some water for a minimum of 15 minutes, some string, rooting hormone, and any types of additional decorations to add. Next, individuals must completely cut around the selected branch where the roots are going to sprout and then make another cut a bit below the first cut. Then, make a cut to connect these cuts. Next, peel the bark located between the cuts. This should be an easy task. It is important to ensure that no cambium layer is leftover. Then, dust the cut with some of the rooting hormone and then wrap that whole area using the sphagnum moss, then the plastic, and then use the string to tie it all in place. The moss needs to be kept wet and in a few weeks there should be some roots popping through the plastic covering. Once the roots start to get thicker, separate this new tree by cutting just below the roots. Take the container for the new tree and partially fill it with top soil. Carefully unwrap the plastic from the new tree. Make sure not to disturb the roots. Then add additional soil.

The Japanese Maple bonsai tree, found primarily in outdoor gardens, is one of the best species of bonsai trees. It is an extremely compact bonsai tree and is known for its delicate foliage and beautiful hues of reds and gold throughout the leaves. Many fall in love instantly with the Japanese Maple bonsai tree. With more than 300 different species of this type of bonsai tree, all with their own unique leaf shape, size and color, any type of Japanese Maple bonsai tree someone selects will provide magnificent results!