Red Maple as Bonsai

1 month ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

Red Maple, Acer rubrum, is a North American forest tree with a range extending from southeastern Canada to Florida. It’s well regarded as a street tree for great fall color and less sidewalk issues than other maples.  It’s a bit of a stretch to suggest I have wide bonsai experience with Red Maple. I have, however, taken care of an older one for 10 years, and have a few thoughts. Anne Spencer designed and grew the tree featured here for 20 years, from a 3-year old plant. For the last 10 it’s been in my garden. Almost all the photos are Anne’s, except the last two.  The first images from Anne Spencer’s ‘adoption papers’, the complete photographic history handed to those lucky enough to get one of her trees. The photo on the left is from 1991 when it was 3 years old. Here is the Red Maple in 1999, showing the long internodes that Anne said took nearly 20 years to simmer down into polite short ones.  In 2004 it’s 16 years old. The structure that it retains today was well in place by then. In 2005 in a show. In 2006.  Anne said the internodes were starting to behave in 2008. Also the nebari is fusing well. In 2008 Anne documented her leaf reduction technique to bring light into the interior and balance strong areas. In 2014, when the maple had been in my garden for a few years already. Here the tree had settled into middle age and the petioles and…

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