Japanese mountain maple or Acer palmatum This very beautiful small tree is a native of Japan, China and Korea.
. It is a naturally very variable species and that together with the fact that it has been cultivated by man for centuries has resulted in the existence of several hundred varieties. For bonsai the straight species is very often chosen although many different varieties are also to be seen coming from the far east as bonsai.
The species is very happy growing in UK conditions. It was introduced here in 1820. Like many fairly early flushing species spring frosts will always be something to watch out for. Otherwise it is quite easy to grow and keep as bonsai. It does have phenomenally good growth characteristics for bonsai. It responds great to pruning which helps the rapid development of branching. Like any number of deciduous species the branches are quite brittle requiring great care if wire is used. Happy in a pot with the correct care and treatment of roots. A must for any bonsai collection.
It is fairly uncommon to find group or forest plantings of maples and rarer still to find them with an even number of trees [ supposed not to be lucky or work well ] however, I reckon this group works okay. It will have been put together in the UK using garden centre or tree nursery material but some time ago I would guess. We don’t know the variety but it has a very beautiful leaf. The trunks vary in diam. 4, 3.5, 3, and 2.5 cm The tallest tree is 43 cm. and the whole group branch spread is 76 cm. It is planted in a plastic bonsai training pot 40x29x6 cm. Way forward would seem to be more branches and twigs for each tree which is a straightforward grow and prune exercise.