Newbie asks, "Bonsai from Sugar Maple?"

DanS

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As a caveat, I'm relatively new to bonsai, and this in my first posting to this forum.

In a neglected area of my yard I noticed a small sugar maple, maybe 2 years old. It is about 1.5 to 2 feet tall with a trunk about 0.25 inch in diameter, so it has a lot of growing to do, but I was wondering how sugar maples do as bonsai. Do the leaves reduce as seen with trident maples? I've dug it up and placed it another part of the yard in a LARGE dirt ball to avoid disturbing the roots. If it can be used as bonsai material, should I start trimming it and doing some rudimentary shaping to make it easier to use as bonsai in say 5 years? I know trees always grow better in the ground, but would there be any advantage to placing it into a large pot?

Thanks,
Dan Sprague
 

Tachigi

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Hi Dan,
Welcome to BNut!

To the best of my knowledge Sugar Maples aren't the best subjects. The leaves reduce fractionally so if you try it better be a uber bonsai. My caveat to this is that this has been my experience and that of a few friends that have tried, someone else's experiences might be different. :)
 

DanS

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That is what I thought. The pictures I've seen of sugar maples are not very...pleasing...as bonsai go. But I also heard you can get significant reduction of leaves temporarily by leaf pruning. This could make a sugar maple bonsai more appealing to show, if you could get the leaf pruning and reduction before-hand. But I've never done this and do not know what to expect in terms of the degree of temporary reduction.

Dan
 

Bonsai Nut

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I would be interested to see the results. Sugar maples are some of my favorite trees in real life. I would imagine that a mid-season defoliation would yield results similar to other maples.
 

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