Trident Maple Bonsai Trees
The Trident Maple is a deciduous tree native of the far east. It is a great tree for bonsai as it is tolerant of pruning above and below the soil. The leave size reduces down well and the branches are fine. It is also a very vigorous and strongly growing tree.
A deciduous tree. Green spring and summer foliage, turning yellow in autumn.
Not commonly found in the UK. Many fine Trident Maple bonsai trees are created in Japan, where it is a native tree.
Trident Maples are an outdoor bonsai tree which cannot be grown indoors. Outdoors, larger trees can be sited in full sun, while smaller bonsai require a little shade in hot summer sunshine.
As with all bonsai trees, a site out of strong wind is recommended.
Trident Maples are not fully frost hardy and need winter protection. A light frost will not harm them but exposure to a full British winter is not recommended.
Water daily throughout the growing season. Keep damp in winter but do not overwater.
Trim new shoots back to one of two sets of leaves whenever the tree is growing unless you wish to thicken branches. Trident maples benefit from leaf cutting (defoliation) in summer. I have done this as late as mid July with good results. Some people practice this defoliation several times in one season on very healthy Trident Maples.
A healthy Trident Maple grows quickly. We start pruning a couple of weeks after the first growth of the year has hardened off. After this, we prune continually throughout the year until autumn. Constant pruning results in tighter growth and smaller leaves. It is often neccessary to thin out the growth in order to allow light into the inner parts of the tree.
Winter is a good time to refine the branches. During the winter, we remove crossing branches and downward / upward-pointing branches.
A number of growers, most noticeably, the late Peter Adams, suggest partial defoliation. He covers this well in his Book, Bonsai With Japanese Maples. Essentially, the process involves the removals of large leaves on the maple all through the growing season. This is a more gentle approach and also gives excellent results.
So, a number of pruning methods. I think the most import message here is to keep them well pruned. When well pruned, they will put out lots of small new shoots and become lovely and dense. Once this happens, remember to thin this new growth to prevent die-back.
Trident Maple bonsai tree roots grow quickly. We repot these trees frequently. Sometime once a year or every other year. Large mature trees perhaps less than this.
Trident Maples do not mind being totally barerooted when repotting.
No special requirements. A general all round feed applied most of the year when the tree is actively growing (so not in winter) should be fine. We tend to use Naruko and apply this tree times a year – In April, June and August.