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M for Maple

You might know the Acer genus name more, but many of us prefer to go by Maple. Of course, one of the most popular species to grow as a bonsai is the Japanese Maple. With 132 species in the genus, there are plenty more to turn into a small tree for your enjoyment. Even with the J. Maple, there are plenty of variants based on leaf color and shape.

One of the qualities that make this genus loved above others is the shape of the leaf, which you can find on so many iconic symbols. You may recognize it on the Canadian flag, for example. As a bonsai, you need to keep the leaves small for an outstanding effect and to impress your visitors.

I’ve killed a Japanese Maple once, and I’m not proud of it. I bought a small one because I wanted to raise a young one. It hibernated in my bonsai area during winter, and then I took it outside when spring arrived and it became warmer. I’m not sure if that’s the reason, but it died shortly after that. I have a new one now, slightly bigger, but still very young. New leaves appeared recently, but I’m not taking this one outside.

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