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Trident Maple Root on Rock

Field Maple Bonsai Trees

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.


Can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Leaves make need protection from full summer sun, specially if the bonsai is small in size. Frost hardy, though some protection is beneficial. Protect from temperatures below minus ten degrees.


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


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.

Growth can be pruned back throughout the growing season to one or two paid of leaves. Let the shoot grow to a few inches, perhaps eight inches, long before cutting back.

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


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.


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