How to choose your maple bonsai?

  Mistral Bonsai       07/04/2022
How to choose your maple bonsai?

Are you looking to buy a maple bonsai and don’t know how to choose? Acers, also known as maples, are one of the most prized trees in the bonsai world for the beauty of their leaves. There are more than 120 species that are grown as bonsai. Below, we’ll look at the most common ones to help you choose your tree. Let’s learn how to choose your maple bonsai.

Maples show us how the seasons change like no other tree. With the bare appearance of its branches in the winter, its spectacular and colourful budding in the spring, the luxuriance of its foliage in summer and the delicate colouring of its leaves before they fall in the autumn.

We’ll start with the Acer palmatum and its numerous varieties.

Bonsai Acer palmatum Deshojo

Known as the Japanese Maple, it’s famous for its spectacular spring sprouts, with an intense carmine red colour.

Its leaves are palm-like, with slightly serrated edges. In summer, they take on an intense green colour, but when autumn arrives, the colour fades to intense orange and maroon tones.

These Acer trees have a very fine branching and are very showy. They require humid and cool climates, so in summer, it is usually necessary to protect them from the direct sun and strong winds to prevent the tips of the leaves from burning.

The first weeks of growth after sprouting, it is necessary to pinch the outermost shoots to maintain their shape, thus improving the compaction of the crown and the fineness of its ramification.

How to choose your red Japanese maple bonsai? Acer Palmatum Deshojo

Bonsai Acer palmatum ShainaAcer Palmatum Shaina

This species sprouts with an intense maroon colour that lasts the entire season. In summertime, the colour of the leaves darkens even further. In autumn, the maroon-carmine colour returns, which decorates the leaves before they fall.

Like all Acer palmatum trees, its leaves are palm-shaped with a very fine blade, but this species is more resistant to dry environments than the Deshojo variety.

They are very vigorous and very strong trees, which makes them perfect for beginners.


Bonsai Acer palmatum AntropurpureumHow to choose your red Japanese maple bonsai?

Its leaves are palm-shaped, but longer than in other varieties. They sprout red-maroon, and this colour will last until summer.

They are known for their resistance and can withstand dry climates well. Like all Acers, they love cool and humid environments in the summertime, so we should protect them from direct sunlight.

Bonsai Acer palmatum

This is the wild species from which all of the others are cultivated. The Acer palmatum are native to Japan and the Korean peninsula.

In spring, they sprout with a beautiful pink colour. They are not as spectacular as the Deshojo variety, but are very soft, developing into a delicate green colour. In autumn, the leaves change colour, taking on a beautiful reddish orange.Acer Palmatum

Its branches are very thin, and its shoots are vigorous and resistant. This species is very resistant and can handle dry climates well. For these reasons, it’s a favourite of aficionados.

From this tree have come the varieties of fine ramification that are cultivated as bonsai in Japan, seeking both the beauty of its leaves and the fineness of its ramification. Apart from the Deshojo, Atropurpureum and Shaina varieties first seen, some examples of these varieties are the following:

Acer palmatum Katsura: with leaves of orange tones.

Acer palmatum Arakawa: stands out for the roughness of its rough bark.

Acer palmatum Seigen: stands out for the fineness of its branches.

Acer palmatum Yamamomiji: variety with great vigor and strong growth.

Acer palmatum Shishigashira: stands out for its highly compacted crown and the green colour of its branches.

Acer palmatum Kiyohime: ideal variety to form broom styles.

Acer palmatum Kashima: green-reddish spring budding.

Bonsai Acer buergerianumHow to choose your red Japanese maple bonsai?

Although most of the Acers cultivated are varieties of the palmatum genus, there is another very special species cultivated in bonsai: the Acer buergerianum.

With a clover-shaped leaf, these trees are known for their strength and vigour. The leaves are very bright green and the shoots don’t stop growing throughout the vegetation season.

Thanks to their vigour, they are the Acers that are best adapted to dry climates.

The leaves are always green, but before falling, they take on a beautiful yellow colouration.

What now? Which maple bonsai are you going to choose?


Other readings about bonsai maples:

Why do maple leaves change colour?

My Acer’s leaves have scorched, what do I do?

How to care for your maple bonsai and not die trying


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About the Author

Mistral Bonsai

In Mistral Bonsai we are a communication team, technicians and masters committed from the first day to disseminating the wonderful art of bonsai. A world that offers many things to share. We believe that a bonsai is a tree with a soul, unique and unrepeatable. Another of our most essential pillars is, how could it be otherwise, our close commitment to the preservation of the environment and nature.