Japanese mountain maple or Acer palmatum a classic bonsai subject
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.
This bonsai is a mature and well developed chuhin size example of the species. It features a dense canopy of branching with complex ramification which together with the substantial trunk all lead and impression of age. The tree is 39cm. high and the branch canopy 53cm. across. At the base the trunk is 7cm. in diam. There is a real risk that with changes in the pipeline to imports from abroad and particularly from Japan and the far east, then these sorts of bonsai will be increasingly difficult [ if not impossible ] to obtain.