Japanese Maple

The Japanese Maple or Acer is one of my favourite trees, there are so many different varieties, with different colours from reds and purples to greens and yellows, that you could have a complete collection of Acer bonsai.

Acer Palmatum, Japanese Maple, in autumn
Japanese Maple (acer Palmatum) in autumn

© Walter Pall | Dreamstime.com


If you keep your Acer outside it does like full light but will benefit from being shaded during hot summer sun. The Japanese Maple should be kept out of direct sunshine during the hottest part of the day.

Also during the colder months it should be protected from severe frost and be sheltered, their leaves will curl back and die very quickly if exposed to cold heavy draughts (same as a normal size Acer)

Japanese Maple is suitable for most styles and can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, layering and air -layering.

If you have one in your garden why not have a go at air-layering! you get a bonsai for free and an older looking tree in a shorter space of time.


Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum) in summer

© Walter Pall | Dreamstime.com


Younger specimens can be repotted every other year and older ones can be done every 2 or 3 years. Spring is the time to repot and pruning the roots by up to half can be carried out at the same time.

Pests and Diseases

Mildew, Aphids or greenfly and root rot can affect yourJapanese Maple.