The Bonsai Maple Care Guide….

Mapke 3

Welcome to our Bonsai Maple care guide.

Before reading this guide information, have you looked at our general information on Maples? Or our guide to Japanese Maples?

As you would already know, Maples are incredibly hardy. Their colours are stunning and they are fantastic to display. Whats more is they are easy to grow.

Lets have a look at Maple care tips…..

General Bonsai Maple Care

• Water in the morning and evening. Avoid watering the leaves if sunlight can touch them

• Feed with low-nitrogen feed regularly (once a week should suffice) when new shoots appear

• Pot your Maple in a deep pot to promote better growth

• Ensure your pot has good drainage

• Be vigilant around pests and disease. Repot and kill any disease immediately!


So you're Maple is ready to be pruned? You know this when Spring approaches, new buds will start to show. Hopefully you've read our Part 1 and Part 2 guides and understand the theory behind pruning!

Quick recap! - Pruning will stop your tree from growing out of control and will allow the tree to take the shape you desire. The foliage will remain symmetrical and the tree will retain it's dwarf state.

Good Bonsai Maple care will result in a beautiful, colourful tree!

• When new shoots reach around 3-6cm, prune all of them, leaving around 2-4 leaves or buds on the tree. Maples can have very fast growth and removing most of the growth encourages a second round of shorter growth within weeks!

• Remove occasional buds as you go along to introduce variances in branch direction. Maples have opposing buds and keeping to the natural growth will look plain and boring. allow a few random buds to remain to promote growth in interesting areas.

• Acers can benefit from a little pre-season prune at the end of winter. Trim back the larger of last year's growth to improve ramification before Spring.

• Some Maples, such as Trident and Japanese Maples often send new shoots from the base of their branches. Ensure you remove these, before they kill the tree.

• If any 'suckers' are sent from the trunk, leave these. They can help thicken your trunk, much like working muscles at a gym. The scar tissue heals over and improves girth.

• Amur and Trident Maples respond well to heavy branch and trunk pruning at the start of spring.

• Leaf reduction works well on Maples. Try total leaf removal (leaving the stems of the leaf) only on healthy trees and once every 2-3 years. Total leaf removal will stimulate buds at the stem to spring forth and will be smaller and more colourful. Do not wait longer than the first month of Summer. Your leaves won't be able to withstand the winter and you won't be able to appreciate their beauty during Autumn!

TIP - Try planting your Maple in a garden bed with hearty soil to promote rapid trunk thickening. Place grit under any root wounds when transplanting to avoid root rot.


• Do not wire a Maple before bud burst. The shoots will be too fragile

• Wire your new shoots during early-mid Spring with light wire

• Remove wire on fine twigs before the Winter cold hits!

• Wire your Maple how you like. Maples often look proud when wired in a Formal Upright style. For more information on styles Click Here!

Winter Bonsai Maple Care

• 'Wintering' your Maples will trap leaf sugars and promote strong leaf growth during the growing season. Allow your Maples to sit outdoors in the heart of Winter. Ensure though, that your Maples are in good health and vigour before exposing them to the cold

• At the end of Winter 'wean' them onto sunlight and windy conditions. These conditions in large amounts will kill the leaves and your Bonsai Maple care will have been in vain!

• Amur Maples perform the best in Winter. They are hardy and produces amazing leaf colour

Growing From Scratch

• Japanese Maples are probably the easiest Maple to grow from scratch. They grow quickly from cuttings and seed and are very responsive to light. They are not great in winter exposure unfortunately. In open ground Japanese Maples can survive temperatures around -20ºC, but in pots -10ºC will kill them

• Try and plant Japanese Maples in pots in a greenhouse or area unsusceptible to frost and ice

Own this Japanese Green Maple (acer palmatum) below exactly as pictured! Just click on the photo!

Japanese Green Maple (acer palmatum)

Leave The Bonsai Maple Care Guide and head back to Bonsai Maples!