Acer Ginnala is a Bonsai tree species, commonly known as Amur maple. The Genus of trees and shrubs are generally known as maples. The genus Acer belongs to the family Sapindaceae. Ginnala is the species name of genus Acer, therefore constituting the binomial name Acer Ginnala. The genus “Acer” is a Latin derived word for maple, and the species “ginnala” is from the language of trees native areas.
This plant species is particularly small in size, has woody stems and deciduous leaves. Acer Ginnala is a shrub that has a height ranging from 3-9 m while the bonsai size ranges from just 2-3 feet. Therefore it can be called a small tree. It has a short trunk of 20-40 cm in diameter, bearing slender branches. The bark is narrow and dull grey-brown in appearance. Smooth at first it slowly turns shallowly chasmed in old plants. Leaves have simple and opposite phyllotaxy and palmately compound structures. They are 2-3 inches long and lobed with two small basal lobes and three large apical lobes. The edges of lobes have some irregular teeth- double serrate. These leaves can turn striking orange to red in the autumn season. In addition, the slender petiole holding them has a slight pinkish coloration around this time, making it hard to don’t look at them.
The flowers give faded yellowish-green color and petals are generally inconspicuous. The fertile flowers produce paired samaras hanging from a common stalk making a particular angle. The fruits change their color over time from green to brown or dark brown.
Acer Ginnala is a native of northeastern Asia, eastern parts of Korea and Japan, and Russia. It is introduced in North America and Europe as an ornamental plant that becomes, somehow, invasive in these areas. It is planted along borders often as shrubs. In the UK it was presented by the Royal Horticultural Society’s award. It can be planted under the power lines and in many other small landscapes like in gardens or as a boulevard tree.
Amur maple has vibrant coloration in autumn and is susceptible to adverse environmental conditions and is considered one of the best species for bonsai. In this guide, we’ll attempt to give you a detailed description of Acer Ginnala tree care.
How long does it take to grow Acer Ginnala ( Amur Maple) Bonsai?
These large shrubs or we can say small trees generally grow 12-24 inches a year until they reach their mature phase where their growth is halted. They can easily grow up to a height of 15-20 feet. So, this illustrates that to attain this maximum height they continue to grow for 15-20 years generally. If the external conditions are favourable they can effortlessly live for 50 years. This species can easily thrive in cold environments that eventually affect its lifespan.
Several external factors can adversely affect the growth of Acer Ginnala. Let’s take a look at these conditions before moving towards the growth and development procedures.
External Factors affecting the growth of Acer Ginnala species
Position and lighting
When it comes to light requirements Acer Ginnala shows a wide range of adaptations. It can be grown in full sun, partial sun, and partial shade. Therefore, it can be positioned anywhere between extreme to dull light conditions.
Acer Ginnala tolerates temperature, USDA hardy zone 3 ( -40°C to -34°C ) to zone 9 (-6°C to 0°C).
However, can withstand a little high temperature too if we keep proper care of its hydration and leaf burn caused by it.
Acer Ginnala can easily be grown in heavy clay soil, although loamy and sandy soil is also suitable for it. The pH tolerance ranges from 6.1 to 7.5 and is resistant to high levels of salinity. The moist, well-drained soil is highly preferable.
Bonsai needs to be watered 2 to 3 times a day in summers to prevent dehydration and leaf burn and very less in winters due to water retained in it during cold weather. You need to deep water every 10-14 days only.
Acer ginnala species can be fed using bonsai fertilizer or half-strength plant food. They need to be fed weekly the first month and after the leafing. When this month passes you can then feed them once in a couple of weeks. This pattern of feeding is the most beneficial to this bonsai species.
In which styles Bonsai can be planted?
There are five styles in which bonsai can be planted. These given basic form names are basically derived from the angle of growth of that particular bonsai. Chokan, Shakan, Moyogi, etc. are the names of such styles. Acer Ginnala can also be grown in any such style according to you.
How to Plant and Grow Acer Ginnala (Amur Maple) Bonsai?
Now, let’s begin with the most fascinating phase of this care guide. Here, you’ll learn all you need to know to plant and grow Acer Ginnala ( Amur maple) on your own.
As you’ve already seen the influence of all the external factors like temperature, soil, water, sunlight and learned about the feeding pattern of this amazing and vibrant species. The styling pattern of bonsai and its positioning too. Therefore, now it’s the time to learn about planting it in your yard and carefully contributing towards its growth.
First, you need to know that if you want to harvest the seeds, they need to be fully matured before harvesting. Once they are dry they are no longer suitable for harvesting.
Seed should be fresh and well hydrated. Stratify them in the airtight back for approx. 4 months at 1-10°C. Once they start sprouting during the time interval it predicts that they are ready for harvesting.
In the species of Acer Ginnala, it can be done by the means of seeds. Layering is one of the most successful methods for propagating this species and it takes up to 12 months or by cutting which is most commonly practised. Cutting can be done in June or July. Cuttings should have 2-3 pairs of leaves and at least one pair of buds at the base. Rooting can be improved by using rooting hormones. The chances for it to propagate are high during summers.
Pruning and wiring
Bonsai techniques hold good in Acer Ginnala. This technique is quite common when it comes to growing a Bonsai species. Acer Ginnala buds back quickly on old wood, and thus can be cut back pretty tough. New shoots might be pruned through the growing season and wired, but like any other maples, it will require extra protection for the bark.
Repotting of Acer Ginnala bonsai tree species might be done in spring or early autumn. The plant repotted in autumn should be well taken care of in winters. Younger trees grow faster, therefore need to be repotted every year or two. While mature bonsai trees need to be repotted every 4- 5 years. Furthermore, the soil to choose is the point we need to emphasise here. You need to use free-draining soil with 2:1 Akadama and pumice.
How to care for your Acer Ginnala (Amur Maple) Bonsai?
The environment affecting Acer Ginnala (Amur maples) has already been considered. Cold and moist environments are ideally suited for their proper growth. The soil pH may vary from acidic to alkaline but in a short-range, that is 6.2- 7.5 generally. A neutral pH is also ideal for its growth. The temperature should not exceed a specific limit that can lead to dehydration of your Acer Ginnala species and leaf dryness and burn. The watering should be done in a controlled manner in order to prevent overhydration or dehydration. Acer Ginnala needs to be watered every 10-14 days in winters. While in summers this count can jump up to 2-3 times in a single day which is quite large as compared to the winters.
The photoperiod may slightly vary depending on the positioning you’ve done. From partially shady areas to full sunlight, it can be grown accordingly. It can not withstand sunlight throughout the day in summer because of the dehydration it can cause and it will not sync to its temperature requirements as well. The feeding pattern is so crucial to be taken care of. For most of the bonsai species, the feeding pattern revolves around the same procedure and timings. Talking about Acer Ginnala, the suitable one is after the leafing every week and then once in a couple of weeks after one month. Any deficiency among any of these listed above can cause diseases in Acer Ginnala (Amur Maple) Bonsai.
Pests and diseases
There are no such pest threats in Acer Ginnala that they are prone to but sometimes Yellow-bellied sap-sucker, aphids, borers can harm these bonsai species. The diseases caused by bacteria and fungi such as Crown gall, Maple anthracnose, phytophthora canker, etc. are white common but totally curable. Other diseases caused by some other factors such as tart spots and leaf spots are quite rare in Bonsai.