How to prune an Acer palmatum bonsai?

It is possible that your passion for bonsai began when one day you started looking at images of these little trees. It happened to me when I saw a few Japanese maples, since they have leaves and a bearing that I simply love. In addition, they tolerate pruning very well and, with minimal care, it becomes very beautiful.

However it is important that you know how to prune a bonsai Maple palmatesince even if he recovers well from this, we must not forget that a job poorly done can complicate his recovery.

When do you prune Japanese maple bonsai?

Japanese maple bonsai is pruned in late winter

La japanese maple pruning, whose scientific name is Maple palmate, should be done at the end of winter at a time when the buds have not yet sprouted but are about to do so; that is, it will be pruned when the buds begin to “swell.” But be careful, because if there are usually late frosts in your area, you will have to wait for them to pass since otherwise it would suffer damage.

What’s more, if the temperatures drop below 0 degrees and your plant has already begun to sprout, you have to protect it with an anti-frost cloth, otherwise it could lose its leaves. Pruning, in these conditions, will have to be delayed until temperatures improve.

What type of pruning should be done?

There are three types of pruning:

  • Management: it is the one that, as its name indicates, is made to form the bonsai, to give it a style. It consists of eliminating all those branches that do not fit with the style that you want to give it, as well as trimming those that grow too much. So that the tree suffers as little as possible, it is done at the end of winter (or in spring if there are late frosts).
  • Maintenance: It consists of eliminating dead and diseased branches and stumps, if any. It is also done at the end of winter.
  • Pinching: is a type of pruning consisting of removing the newest leaves from some or all of the branches. As green, tender material is cut, it has to be done throughout the year.
Healthy Japanese Maple Bonsai

What materials do I need to prune my bonsai? Maple palmate?

You really don’t need much. Although it can be a fantastic idea to buy a bonsai tool kit if you plan to collect this type of plant, if on the contrary you are only going to have one you can use things that you probably already have at home.

For example: normal household scissors will do for pinchingor even those used in the kitchen; for training and maintenance pruning, the anvil shears you use to prune your rose bushes They will also be useful as long as the branches are 1 centimeter thick or less, if they are thicker, you will have to buy a handsaw or handsaw.

Of course, it is important that the tools are cleaned before and after use. Fungal spores cannot be seen, but precisely for this reason they are so dangerous: they take advantage of their “invisibility” (actually with a powerful microscope we can see them) to expand, and the worst thing is that pruning can be a unique opportunity to infect the bonsai. But to avoid it, I insist, Tools should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water, or with a damp cloth.

how to prune bonsai Maple palmate Step by Step?

The Acer palmatum bonsai is a plant that needs to be pruned from time to time

Normally, you have bought a bonsai with a predefined style, but even then your plant has to be pruned to maintain it. In any case, if this is not the case, you should know that japanese maple suits virtually any stylealthough the easiest is the one that respects the natural development of the plant.

Acer bonsai
How to prune an Acer palmatum bonsai?

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