Amur Maple Bonsai Care [Acer Ginnala]

The amur maple tree has long been a favorite tree of choice for small yards. And not too long ago, the amur maple bonsai tree has also become popular for many good reasons. Read on below to know more about the qualities and growth requirements of this stunning bonsai tree.

Scientific NameAcer Ginnala
Average Height15.00 to 20.00 feet
Average Spread15.00 to 20.00 feet
Origin CountriesNorthwestern United States, Northeastern Asia
Flower Bloom TimeApril to May
FlowerFragrant, Showy
SunlightFull Sun to Part Shade

Can we bonsai amur maple tree?

Dave's Bonsai E44: Amur Maple

Yes, it is possible to bonsai the amur maple tree. Just so you know, the amur maple is a wonderful low-growing tree perfect for small yards as well as other small-scale landscapes. You can grow the amur maple as a multi-stem clump, or you can train it into a small tree that has a single trunk with a height of 4 to 6 feet.

The amur maple can grow from 20 up to 30 feet tall with a finely branched, rounded, and upright growth habit that forms dense shade below the crown. Some pruning is also necessary early on in the tree’s life due to its excessive branch formations to form dominant major branches.

This tree can also grow fast while it is still young if it gets fertilizer and water. However, this is suitable for planting near power lines as this slows down and stays small even at maturity.

Amur maple bonsai history

The popularity of the amur maple bonsai tree has just started recently. It is also expected to gain more fame because it is a fuss-free and attractive maple. The bonsai tree also shares the trident maple’s three-lobed leaves, although this is more resistant to frost. The truth is that it tolerates adverse conditions better compared to other types of maples.

The amur maple is also a favorite thanks to its gorgeous autumn coloration. The Durand’s Dwarf, in particular, is an especially desirable bonsai cultivar.

Amur maple bonsai scientific name

Amur Maple / Acer ginnala

The scientific name of the amur maple tree, or also called flame maple, is Acer Ginnala. The genus of shrubs and trees, in general, are called maples. The genus Acer is part of the Sapindaceae family.

Ginnala is the genus Acer’s species name that constitutes the binomial name Acer Ginnala. Its genus Acer is a word derived from Latin that means maple, while the species ginnala comes from the specific language of the native areas of the trees.

Amur maple bonsai care

The amur maple boasts of vibrant coloration during autumn and is prone to adverse environmental conditions. This is also regarded as among the best tree species for bonsai. There are several important things you need to know for proper amur maple bonsai tree care:

Amur maple bonsai temperature

The amur maple bonsai tree is remarkably weather-resistant. However, it is also possible to grow it in hotter areas as long as it is taken care of properly to prevent dehydration or leaf burn.

Amur maple bonsai fertilizer

The amur maple bonsai tree requires feeding once every couple of weeks. There is a higher requirement for nutrients during the growing season. To cater to this demand, you need to increase the frequency of feeding to once a week.

Amur maple bonsai pruning/trimming

You can hard prune the amur maple bonsai tree because it has the ability of back budding easily. It results in the formation of pleasingly small branches in relation to the tree’s trunk.

Amur maple goes dormant during autumn, making it the perfect time for wiring it. Just like other maples, you have to be careful to avoid scarring the bark. To do this, you should wrap the branches before you wire them, and don’t leave wires on for too long.

Amur maple bonsai repotting

It is best to repot the amur maple bonsai tree in early autumn or spring. But you need to protect plants repotted during autumn from the coldness of the winter months. Young amur maples have rapid growth, making it essential to have the tree repotted once every couple of years. Amur maple bonsai trees that are older and already more established requires repotting just once every five years.

Amur maple bonsai pests and diseases

The amur maple bonsai tree is often free from pests. Aphids infest maple trees, and there are times when there might be a lot of them. High aphid populations may lead to leaf drop. One more indication of a serious aphid infestation is the presence of honey dew on the lower leaves and other objects under the tree. Spraying can help control aphids, or you can just leave them alone. If you don’t spray on them, predatory insects can help in controlling the aphid population.

Scales are occasional problems on maple trees as well, with cottony maple scale being the most common. The insect creates a cottony mass on the branches’ lower sides. Scales are often controlled through the application of horticultural oil sprays during spring before growth starts. You can also control sprays with well-timed sprays to get those crawlers killed.

When borers become an issue, this indicates that your tree doesn’t grow well. You need to keep your tree healthy to put the borers under control. It is more difficult to control existing infestations using chemicals. Proper control requires identifying the borer that infests the tree and applying insecticides exactly at the right time.

One common disease of amur maple bonsai trees is verticillium wilt. Its symptoms include death and wilting of branches. Infected sapwood has olive or dark green staining, but you cannot find it all the time. But if there is no staining found, don’t assume that the issue is not verticillium wilt.

Trees with severe infection can no longer be saved. Trees with light infection with just some wilted branches might be able to pull through. You can lightly prune and fertilize an infected tree. While this treatment won’t cure the issue itself, it may help the tree in outgrowing the infection.

The symptoms of girding roots are similar to those of verticillium wilt. Scorch takes place during periods with high temperatures with accompanying wind. Trees with inadequate or diseased root systems will show scorching as well. Trees scorch if they don’t get adequate water. Symptoms of scorch are tan or light brown dead spots between the leaf veins.

These symptoms can be seen on all of the tree’s parts or just on the side exposed to the wind and sun. Scorching as a result of dry soil may be fixed through watering. Watering might not have any effect, however, if the cause of scorching is the diseased or insufficient root system.

Amur maple bonsai soil

The soil tolerances of amur maple bonsai trees include sand, loam, clay, well-drained, alkaline, and acidic soils.

Amur maple bonsai watering

It is necessary to water your amur maple bonsai tree every day during the growing season. You can increase this frequency in summer to up to three times daily. Missing even just one day may cause the leaves of the pant to dry around their edges.

Amur maple bonsai sunlight requirements

The amur maple bonsai tree’s positioning will depend on whether your tree is planted in a pot or in the ground. If your tree is planted in the ground, it can tolerate full sun exposure even during summer. However, it requires shading if planted in the pot to prevent the foliage from being burnt. Remember that excessive sun exposure can lead to rich-colored leaves, and you need to look for the perfect balance.

Amur maple bonsai varieties

There are several varieties of amur maple bonsai that you can try planting, and some of these are the following:

Flame amur maple bonsai

Flame amur maple can grow as a big shrub with multi-stems or as a small upright tree that has a rounded crown. The leaves that reach a length of up to 4 inches are broad-ovate and serrated. They have a bright and fresh green color through summer and early spring.

Bailey compact amur maple bonsai

The bailey compact amur maple is the compact version of the famous species with a tight and dense growth habit and wonderful fall colors. This is perfect for accent or garden use and makes an excellent hedge as well.

This is mainly grown for its notably ornamental fruit. This also boasts of showy and abundant red samaras during late summer, with dark green foliage during the season. It has lobed leaves that turn into stunning orange shades in the fall. Its flowers, however, are not that remarkable as ornaments.

Royal crown amur maple bonsai

The royal crown amur maple has an attractive three-lobed foliage that becomes reddish-purple during fall. It has excellent chlorosis resistance on alkaline soils and produces 3 to 5 equal main stems that are easily trainable into a specimen with multiple branches.

Acer ginnala amur maple bonsai

The acer ginnala amur maple is a small specimen patio tree that has dense foliage being used for screening. It has a variable shape, and you can tailor it successfully to certain landscape requirements through pruning.

This is easy to transplant, casts dense shade, and is relatively free from pests. This is quite adaptable to different pH ranges and soils, but it performs best when planted in well-drained soil. This can endure heavy pruning, and you can successfully grow it as a container plant.

Ruby slippers amur maple bonsai

Ruby slippers amur maple grows either as a small and upright spreading tree that has a rounded or dense crown, or a huge multi-stemmed shrub. This grows easily in well-drained, rich, and moist soils in part shade or full sun, and performs great in places with cool climates during summer.

Amur maple bonsai growth rate

When young, the amur maple bonsai tree can grow to a height of 18 to 24 inches, with its growth rate depending on different factors.

The amur maple generally grows 12 to 24 inches annually until it reaches its mature phase when its growth stops. The tree grows to a height of up to 15 to 20 feet. This shows that for the tree to achieve its maximum height, it generally needs to continue growing for 15 to 20 years.

When there are favorable external conditions, the amur maple can effortlessly have a lifespan of up to 50 years. The species easily thrive in cold environments, affecting its lifespan.

Can I bonsai amur maple indoor?

Yes, you can bonsai your amur maple indoor. The amur maple bonsai tree can adapt well when it comes to its light requirements. This can grow in partial shade, partial sun, and full sun. This means that you can position it anywhere between dull to extreme light conditions.

How to bonsai amur maple tree?

When it comes to making an amur maple bonsai tree, you have to remember that if you plan to harvest its seeds, these should be fully matured before you harvest them. The moment the seeds turn dry, these will not be suitable for harvesting anymore.

The seeds must also be well hydrated and fresh. You should stratify the seeds in an airtight back for around 4 months at 1 to 10 degrees Celsius. Once the seeds start to sprout, it means that these are now ready to be harvested.

Follow these steps on how to bonsai an amur maple tree:

  1. Layering is among the most successful ways of propagating this species that can take up to 12 months. Another common practice is by cutting which can be done either in June or July. The cuttings must have 2 to 3 pairs of leaves with at least a single pair of buds at their base. You can use rooting hormones to improve rooting. There are higher chances for propagation during summers.
  2. The amur maple bonsai buds back fast on old wood and you can cut it back pretty tough. You can prune new shoots and wire them during the growing season. However, similar to other maples, its bark requires extra protection.
  3. You can then repot your amur maple bonsai tree during spring or in early autumn. If you replant the tree in autumn, you need to take extra care of it when winter comes. Younger trees tend to grow faster, which means you need to repot them every one to two years. On the other hand, mature amur maple bonsai trees require repotting every 4 to 5 years. It is also important to choose the right kind of soil for your bonsai. It is recommended to use free-draining soil containing pumice and akadama with a 1:2 ratio.

Why my amur maple bonsai not blooming

There are many reasons why your amur maple bonsai is not blooming. This happens if the tree doesn’t get sufficient sunlight or is pruned too often or at an inappropriate time. Your bonsai may not bloom as well if it grows too strongly because of high nitrogen fertilizer, or when the soil becomes too dry.

How to make my amur maple bonsai blooming

  1. Let your amur maple bonsai get good light. Put it in a sunny window that gets lots of light.
  2. Allow your bonsai to get a good amount of fresh air. Place it somewhere with good ventilation.
  3. Don’t forget to water your amur maple bonsai tree until water flows out of its pot. This way, you can be sure that there is no waterlogging. Any excess water must always flow out. If no water flows out, make sure that the container has a hole for this overflow to occur.
  4. Make sure that your bonsai grows straight and give it some anchor if necessary.
  5. Fertilize your bonsai tree every 6 months for it to stay healthy.
  6. Use a bonsai pot that is a little over 2/3 the height of your bonsai tree. This is great for support as well as the aesthetics of the tree itself.
  7. Perform occasional pruning of the roots.
  8. Keep your bonsai tree safely away from frost to make it bloom.

Why are the leaves on my amur maple falling off?

The leaves of your amur maple may fall off for different reasons. For one, leaves that are infested with diseases or insects will usually drop early. Pests such as white flies, mites, and scales can lead to early defoliation as well. Drought stress may also be another reason why your tree drops its leaves.

Your tree may be able to survive with no issues if premature defoliation is just a rare occurrence. But early drop that takes place every year may ultimately make your tree weak and affect its survival.

Is amur maple bonsai toxic to pets?

The amur maple is considered safe for pets such as dogs. However, it wouldn’t hurt to be extra cautious, so it would be best to keep your amur maple bonsai tree away from your pets.

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