Hedge maple / Field maple
Country of Origin : Europe and Southwest Asia
Bonsai Styles : Root over rock, informal upright, group, twin trunk, slanting
Zone : 5
This tree, which is also known as field maple, is a small deciduous tree.
The leaves of this maple are palmate, as they are on other maples.
Due to its attractive leaf shape and beautiful autumn foliage color, hedge maple bonsai makes a pleasing bonsai. However it is not cultivated as a bonsai as frequently as its Japanese cousins – Japanese maple bonsai.
During the autumn, the leaves turn from a dark green to buttercup yellow or orange before they fall.
Because hedge maple twigs are relatively coarse, it is not suitable for smaller bonsai.
However, it can be grown as an extra-small bonsai in which a single leaf resembles a mass of foliage and twigs on a branch.
In autumn, the color of the attractive leaves changes to pink, and in winter, the branch and twig structures give the trees an artistic appearance.
Best location keep Hedge maple Bonsai
Plants should be grown in full sun during the growing season in order to maintain their vibrant colors. This will give the best foliage color in fall.
Protect the bonsai by providing it with some shade on the hottest days in summer. Or else the leaves will scorch.
Winter protection is not necessary for field maples. However, extra-small Acer campestre bonsai require frost protection in the winter.
Protect the bonsai tree from strong winds.
Propagation Hedge maple
Hedge maple can be propagated by sowing seeds in winter.
Softwood cuttings can be used to propagate the tree in summer.
Air layering can be done in the spring or summer season.
Watering Hedge maple Bonsai
You should water your Acer campestre bonsai every day during the growing season, from spring to fall.
In summer, they may need to be watered twice a day.
It is best to water sparingly in winter, but keep the soil evenly moist.
Read watering bonsai tree for more details about immersion technique.
Wiring Hedge maple Bonsai
Ideally, wiring should be done in the spring.
The wires should not be left on for more than six months, and they should be removed as soon as they begin to bite into the bark.
The wire marks on maple stems are unsightly, so wrapping with raffia while wiring is a good idea.
Or you can use guy wire.
Note: Wiring is best done immediately after leaf cutting.
Pruning Hedge maple Bonsai
When to prune Hedge maple bonsai?
Despite its fast growth, this species makes an excellent bonsai that can be cut back aggressively.
During spring or summer, prune back old growth on field maples.
Trim back long internodes aggressively in order to minimize internodal distances.
Leaf cutting in midsummer encourages smaller leaves and good autumn color.
Pinching Hedge maple Bonsai
In spring, begin pinching out the growing tips of any new shoots as soon as two or three leaves have formed, doing so throughout the growing season.
Leaves on new shoots should be trimmed back to one or two pairs.
Repotting Hedge maple Bonsai
When to repot Hedge maple bonsai?
Hedge maple can be repotted every 2 to 3 years in early spring or late winter. (As soon as the new buds appear. When buds swell, but before they open).
Early spring time is a good time to repot.
Repotting should also be done when the roots of the plant are pot bound.
If the roots are pot bound, the leaves of the plant will become pot bound.
Prune the roots up to the woody roots to remove circling and damaged roots. Do not remove more than one third of the roots.
Use a basic soil mix.
OR, you can use 50:50 ratio of akadama and perlite or lava.
Must Read: Bonsai Soil Recipes
Must read : Choosing the right bonsai container
Feeding Hedge maple Bonsai
From spring to late summer, apply a general fertilizer about once a month.
The leaves will be more vibrant in color if you switch to a potassium and phosphate-rich feed in the fall.
You should not feed your tree during the winter when it is dormant.
Read more about bonsai fertilizer and its application.
Diseases and pest of Hedge maple Bonsai
It is often infested by aphids and mites along with scale insects, as is true of all acers.
If you can’t pick off enough pests by hand, apply a systemic insecticide.
Hedge maple bonsai care
Fine shoots can be killed by a cold wind in winter.
It is essential to protect leaves from summer winds since they can scorch them.
The roots of hedge maples are thick, fleshy, and they contain a lot of water. During prolonged freezing, water-logged roots can crack as the water inside them expands as it freezes.
You should keep the soil – and the roots – just moist during winter.
Keep the field maple bonsai indoors in a shed to prevent it from becoming waterlogged by winter rain.
What to look for when buying Hedge maple Bonsai
Despite the availability of field maples, commercially grown bonsai are a little rare.
When planted in the ground and left to grow for a few years, the species will thicken fairly rapidly as a hedging material. It is certainly one of the easiest trees to train into bonsai.
Look for scars or old stumps of old branches on the trunk.