This maple is a favorite tree; I’ve written about it quite a few times, and spent most of last year dragging it in to yet another club meeting to discuss something seasonably appropriate…and joking each time it would be the last time it showed up there. The (outdated) article on it’s development from a nursery container is here. The cultivar is ‘shishio improved‘; although I’ve not seen the unimproved cultivar. My only complaint about this cultivar is that the trunk refuses to put on any bark; it seems to be as green now as it was in ’04.
This was the first year it wasn’t wired over the winter, and it held a nice shape all year. Here are a few photos of how the tree changes over the seasons. It really exemplifies the season.
Enjoy! Thanks for looking, and feel free to leave comments. What do you want to see next?
I have been studying bonsai since 1994, in an ever-increasing obsessive fashion. In our last 5 years prior to moving from Iowa to Alabama pursuing a career in the foodservice industry, my bonsai collection was limited to a few varieties that could survive brutal winters outside, or winters under dim light in the dank basement of our humble duplex...my wife puts up with a lot. Including the trailer hitch I put on our brown 1983 Chrysler New Yorker to pull a U-Haul full of trees to Nashville for a 3-month stop along the career path that led us to Alabama. 12 years later, we no longer have the New Yorker; and not a single one of those trees remain on my bench, having given the last holdout to a new club member this summer. I prefer collecting native trees and buying the classical species used in Japan, feeding organic, and reading everything I can get my hands on.
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4 thoughts on “A colorful year in the life of a Japanese Maple”
As you asked, i would like to see your hawthorn.
Thanks Rui. If you have access to Bonsai Nut, the pictorial history of the hawthorn going back to its collection in 1999 is here: http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?5761-Collected-Hawthorn-History
Additionally, I submitted an article of its development for publication on the Journal of the American Bonsai Society, and it should appear at some point this year.
Has it got any Bark yet?
Have you aged any in 11 years?😜