Species Specific > Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion

maple reborn?


there are a lot of maples around where i live and some (will get some pics soon) show amazing resilience. for instance, new growth will form on old stumps. but i have seen in a few instances, an otherwise dead tree, begin to sprout new growth as if a sapling was placed on the dead wood. so i began to wonder, why don't we see (at least i haven't) similar portrayals in bonsai? have you ever seen a maple tanuki? as i wonder i am also thinking of creating just that very thing. would it fly in the bonsai world? interested to hear your thoughts.


Chris Good Morning,
I do not think you would have long lasting success with a Maple Tanuki. The wood of a maple is hard, but it will not last long if dead. Rot is going to come, it is the natural thing. Even if you use wood preservative on maple it will not allow the tree to survive many years without rot. In addition, dead wood is not normally a feature on Maples and a Tanuki is the ultimate in dead wood.

my 2 cents

indeed jay, being from the new england area, i am sure you have seen these natural portrayals as i have. so if not maple, why only pines and other evergreens. i am curious about this lack of use in bonsai and figured i'd start with maples being so available here. but still the underlying question remains, why not deciduous trees as well as evergreens?  ???

Chris,  Dead wood on Maples will not hold up to the test of time. We are not designing and growing  our trees for today and not even for next year, we are in most cases looking 5, 10 or 20 years down the road just to get them to 'BE' Bonsai. We hope our trees will last for decades and longer. Dead wood on Deciduous trees will rot, many conifers will not.

Living in the north you have the ability to grow Larch. Give them a go. They are Deciduous in that they drop their leaves in the fall ( they are conifers) but they will not rot if properly looked after. Of course ALL trees will eventually rot.

my two cents


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