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Trident maple (Acer Buergerianum) are one of the most popular deciduous species used for bonsai. Highly prized in Japan for their tapered trunks, small leaves and beautiful spring and fall colours. A personal favourite of ours here Premier Bonsai. This Maple was one of the best trees we managed to acquire this year. It is planted over a lovely rock and is very well established. The ramification on this little tree is outstanding. Lovely tapered trunk and branches to match. It is planted into a nice quality Japanese pot.
The tree stands about high and is about wide. The pot measures
Species Guide Courtesy Of Harry Harrington
POSITION Full sun. Provide light shade for weak-rooted specimens during hot summer periods to avoid leafburn. Thick trunked Trident specimens are often planted in relatively shallow bonsai pots that may dry quickly during the Summer; these should also be provided with some shade from the afternoon sun.
Roots have a high moisture content and are susceptible to frost damage. Frost protection should be afforded when temperatures drop below -5°C. Avoid organic/peat based soils as the cycle of waterlogging and frost can damage the roots.
FEEDING Feed once a week for the first month after leaves appear in the Spring to help strengthen new growth. Thereafter feed every two weeks.
REPOTTING Annually as buds extend. Use a very free-draining soil mix. Tridents have very strong and vigorous rootgrowth that is very suitable for the creation of good trunkflare and nebari. Tolerant of aggressive root pruning.
PRUNING Allow new growth to extend to 2-5 leaf pairs/nodes and then prunen back to one or two pairs of leaves (depending on a position on tree) throughout the growing season.
Keep on top of the most vigorous shoots in the apex and upper branches to stop them becoming too thick and weakening the lower and inner branches. Continued pruning of these apical areas will distribute vigour throughout the tree.
Prune all branches back hard after leaf-fall or in late Winter. Removal of large branches or trunk-chopping should not be carried out in early Spring as this can cause excessive sap-loss.
Trident Maples are very suitable for defoliation and leaf pinching techniques. With defoliation and increased ramification of the branches, leaf-size can be reduced dramatically.
Wiring should be carried out with care as bark marks easily and branches thicken quickly.
Trident Maples are very easy to approach and thread graft new branches and roots. However, given their tendency to backbud easily and continually, it can be worth waiting for an appropriate bud to start developing before resorting the grafting.
PROPAGATION Easy to propogate from seed, sow outside as soon as ripe. Air-layer in late-Spring. Take hardwood cuttings in Winter, softwood cuttings in Summer.
PESTS AND DISEASES Aphids, caterpillars, scale insects, mites and leaf-scorch.
STYLING Acer Buergerianum have powerful roots and are particularly suited to root-over-rock forms. Suitable for all forms except formal broom with single or multiple trunks in all sizes.