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Field Maple Bonsai Tree Care

Native British tree. Common in hedgerows. Often overlooked in comparison to the more well-known native trees. Grows to about 20 feet. Deciduous tree. Produces short trunk and spreading crown.

As Bonsai

Growth is quite course. Doesn’t lend itself too well to the classic Japanese styles, other that broom or informal upright style. Make good groups. Can be made to look very naturalistic if less attention is paid to the formal styles.

Not found frequently in bonsai nurseries; other Acers such as Japanese and Trident maple are more commonly seen. Readily available from commercial tree nurseries are whips, young transplants and mature landscaping trees.

Location

Can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Smaller bonsai need more protection from summer sun. They are very hardy trees in terms of winter weather. Many bonsai growers do not move them at all in the winter. Smaller bonsai may benefit from winter protection.

Watering

Can tolerate hard tap water. Prefers rainwater. Can survive dry conditions. Avoid keeping the tree overly wet or dry.

Pruning

Will grow quickly in open soil, allowing for rapid thickening.

Growth habit is thick and course. Internodes (the gaps between buds on the shoots) can get very long. This will hamper tight growth. Constant pruning can reduce this and allow for tighter growth. This growth is also very straight.

Can be defoliated in mid-summer to reduce leaf size and encourage finer growth.

Repotting

One of the key strengths of the Field Maple is its ability to tolerate hard root pruning. Carry this out in the spring. The ideal time is as the buds begin to swell on the tree but before the leaves have actually opened.

Feeding

Feed throughout the growing season. I apply three applications of Naruko per year; in April, June and August.