Species Specific > Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion

very young japanese maples



I just recently bought a few young Japanese Maples(green leaf) from a seller who grew them from seedlings. She said they are around 3 years old, but its hard to believe because they are really small (6 to 7inches) in height, but since i really wanted a maple and they were only 5 bucks each, i gave in. They are currently in 6 inch containers and i was wondering at what age or size should they be re-potted into a smaller bonsai pot. I bought three because I'm new to maples and bonsai in general and i wanted to have extra for the trial and error i might face(i hope they all survive).

I know its not the best time for re-potting, but i just did an experiment today, to see how one would do in a new pot. I've been researching which soils to use for the maple and it seems everybody has their own ideas and preferences. I live in northern California, where the weather is always on the warmer side (90 degrees today). Anyways, after researching i decided to use 50% Perlite and 50% pine bark.

ill post pictures sometime this week because no matter how long i take describing the trees, you'll never get the full picture, and plus a picture is worth a thousand words! ;D

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. please don't rip me too hard; i know not what i do. haha

6 inches for a 3 yr old seedling J.Maple seems about 12-18" too short.  As long as you're ok with the price you gave theres no use lingering on that.

Theres a possibility that you could get a prepackaged bonsai soil fairly cheaply at one of the bonsai shops out there.  The soil you've chosen isn't bad ...but I'm not familiar with your climate like a (local??) bonsai shop might be, or better yet, a local club.

Keeping in mind I'm not familiar with your climate, I'd be careful with these maples in the sun.  They should be outside, but if you could give them some afternoon shade they'll thank you for it by the beginning of fall.

Don't be afraid to fertilize them and don't let them dry out.  Good luck and keep us posted.

John Kirby:
Get ahold of Peter Tea in San Jose, www.peterteabonsai.com. He is a young professional who teaches and is active in the local bonsai club there, and they have a great one, he can help you get started with the club. You can learn a lot by interacting with those folks- from brand new folks to the art (like yourself) to professionals. Keep us posted how your experiment goes- I will be doing some repotting on young satskis and JBPs over the 4th of July weekend, but it is just a little slip potting with the cutting of some circling roots.


here are some pictures...


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