As a relative to the Japanese Maple, the Trident Maple is a beautiful deciduous
tree that works well for bonsai growing. Known for its breathtaking colors of
foliage in the fall, which range from a faded orange to hot pepper red, this
tree is bushy on the top with a thick, strong trunk.
The bark of the Trident Maple is a soft brown with a dappling effect. The leaves
are small and close together toward the top, which is where the name “tri-dent”
originates. The benefit of using the Trident Maple for bonsai is that it reaches
a mature appearance very quickly. The overall appearance is one of refinement
with a unique bark.
The Trident Maple does best in semi-shade during the hotter summer months and
then full sun for the remainder of the year. Regardless, you want to make sure
this bonsai always has good protection from wind. The soil should be kept moist,
not over watering and never allowed to dry out completely. The Trident Maple is
hardy, being able to tolerate poor soil and some exposures. However, full sun,
as well as protection from wind and frost is best.
You can train your Trident Maple bonsai in just about any style. For example,
the root-over-rock, twin trunk, forest, and upright are simply stunning, showing
off the vibrancy of foliage color. The only style we suggest you avoid is the
broom. The soil should be free draining and you will need to repot the Trident
Maple every year in early spring. The key here is to wait until you see the buds
begin to swell and then repot. Finally, be sure you feed the Trident Maple
weekly during the springtime and then in late summer, biweekly.