Acer Triflorum - Good as Bonsai?

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#1
One of my favorite ornamental landscape trees, along with Stewartia. The bark will stop you in your tracks and the leaves are unique as well.

Does this maple present a good Bonsai choice? Is it worth a shot if I can track one down for sale in a nursery?
 

0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
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#2
Maybe this should be in the MAPLES forum :eek:

No matter. I doubt it, because of its similarity to acer griseum which doesn't work out well.

But, most maples produce small leaves and short internodes if kept small - primarily in small pots where roots are constrained. Acer circinatum, a.palmatum, a.shirasawanum, a.plantenoides, and even a.rubrum (to a degree) do this, which suggests starting from seed or cuttings.

I suggest you give cuttings/seeds a try and meanwhile grow the nursery tree in your landscape for a while. I have lots of acer palmatums in my yard and I frequently layer branches for my bonsai-ish purposes that otherwise would be pruned and tossed.
 
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Front Royal, VA
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#3
This is a fantastic tree but nearly impossible to find. Seed germination is quit long and laborious with a double embryonic dormancy requiring 6 to 8 months warm stratification followed by cold. Basically it takes two years to germinate and only about 5% of the seeds are viable. Summer cuttings is a good way to go if you can find a plant.
 
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on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
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#5
Maples are strange. For example, if you use bonsai techniques on red maple, Acer rubrum, the leaves will reduce, but the leaf petiole remains full size. This gives you an odd looking tree, 1 to 2 inch leaves held way out on 2 to 5 inch long petioles. Other maples will have other issues. The short list of maples that work well is the Palmatum section of the genus Acer, this is the list Osoyoung stated: Acer circinatum, palmatum, shirasawanum, japonicum, pseudosieboldianum, sieboldianum. A. palmatum is the one that is most successful in creating smaller sizes of bonsai, the others are best in the medium to larger bonsai sizes.

For Acer species that are not in the palmatum group, to create a convincing bonsai, you need to plan to go large. Shoot for a tree that is over a meter tall, at least 3 feet tall, taller is better. This will not require as drastic a reduction in vegetative parts to look reasonably well proportioned.

The "Best Feature'' of A. trifolium and A. griseum is the exfoliating bark. Shoot for a tall design that shows a lot of trunk, to show off the exfoliating bark. Better yet, plant it in the ground, as a focal point landscape plant and use Niwaki training to give the tree an artistic presentation. In case you are not familiar with Niwaki, that is the parallel to bonsai art, where the tree in the landscape is trained and shaped. Essentially bonsai planted in the ground rather than in a pot.

Klehm's Song Sparrow Farms - does have a F2 hybrid from Acer griseum that looks interesting, on its own roots. But as said before Acer griseum does not submit well to bonsai techniques.
[/url]http://www.songsparrow.com/catalog/...cer x Shaved Chocolate<sup>TM</sup> ('KLMEE')[/URL]
 

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