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How to Care For Trident Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple bonsai are some of the most popular bonsai in the world. Anyone can take care of this hardy plant without too much trouble. They do require a decent amount of attention since they need to be watered frequently. You can be as creative as you want to be with these trees since they handle pruning and wiring very well. 

These trees can be distinguished by their dark green leaves that turn red and orange in the fall. The Trident Maple has three-lobed leaves as opposed to the five-lobed leaves of the similar tree, Japanese Maple.

Caring for Trident Maple Bonsai

Taking care of a Trident Maple bonsai is not hard at all. They prefer lots of light with afternoon shade. Watering should be done frequently so that the soil stays moist. Feed these trees from spring to summer using a balanced fertilizer. They take pruning very well but wiring should be done with some caution. Pests are rare, and diseases can be easily fixed.

Where to Position Your Trident Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple bonsai need to be placed outside all year long. These trees are in the outdoor category because they need to go into dormancy in the winter. While temperatures must be low in the winter, they need to be protected from frost. Placing them in a cold garage or in a greenhouse will work well in the coldest of winters. 

In the summertime, Trident Maples prefer lots of light. Set your tree in a spot where it can receive shade in the afternoons. Too much direct sunlight will cause the leaves on the tree to burn.

Watering Your Trident Maple Bonsai

Your Trident Maple bonsai’s soil should be kept moist. Watering should be done nearly every day. A well-draining soil is a must. This soil will help prevent over-watering, which is a common, deadly disease in these bonsai. In the winter, water less often since it will be dormant. 

Never water your bonsai more than once a day unless the soil dries out. Checking the soil before you water will help you determine whether you need to water your Trident Maple. Do not let the soil dry out completely, but do not soak the soil.

When to Fertilizer Trident Maple Bonsai

As you may know, bonsai are trees that are planted in shallow containers. The purpose of this type of container is to restrict growth and nutrients. Since the tree cannot receive the nutrients it needs as trees in nature do, fertilizer is needed to keep the tree healthy and strong.

Trident Maple bonsai have a dormancy period, which means they also have a growth period. Fertilizer is used to encourage growth, so it should be applied during this growth period. This is from spring to autumn, March to September. Use a balanced fertilizer once or twice a month. Do not fertilize in the winter.

How to Prune and Wire Trident Maples

Pruning and wiring practices are key to maintaining the shape of the tree. Heavy pruning at the top of the tree will encourage growth at the bottom of the tree. For every five to six leaves, leave two. Remove weak branches carefully in the summer. When roots die, prune them off. Roots are very tolerant when it comes to pruning. 

Do as much wiring as possible when the tree is still young. Do not keep the wires on for too long. Remove the wire during the same season that you applied it. Wire is known to bite into and scar tree branches when kept on too long.

Trident Maple’s Common Pests and Diseases

So long as your Trident Maple is properly cared for, it is unlikely that it will encounter any pests or diseases. If a pest is to attack your tree, it is likely an aphid. Apply a pesticide and your problem should be solved. 

Diseases are much more likely to occur. These include problems that arise due to light deficiency as well as under- and over-watering. All of these problems can be dealt with if discovered quickly. 

If your tree is not receiving enough light, consider moving it to a place where it can receive full sun and little shade.

Issues related to water can also be resolved easily. Simply water when the soil starts to dry out. Do not let the soil dry out completely. 

Those new to bonsai growing will love the Trident Maple bonsai. It is easy to care for, and is arguably one of the most beautiful bonsai species you can grow. You can let your creative side run wild when cultivating this tree by using pruning and wiring techniques. The care of this tree is simple. Water often, fertilize every two to four weeks, and keep the tree outside unless it frosts. Pests and diseases can be taken care of easily. We know you will love caring for your Trident Maple bonsai!

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