Trident maple seedlings

Winter has arrived at Shibui Bonsai and the deciduous trees have (mostly) dropped their leaves for a winter sleep.

There have been increased mutterings from the Head Gardener about how many trident maple seedlings there are in her garden beds. Now is the time to start on new deciduous bonsai projects so we can kill 2 birds with the one stone.

You can see why she gets a bit cranky. Look how many seedlings have germinated in that garden bed among the real garden plants. At least we have managed to let them grow long enough that we now have a huge source of bonsai potential.

trident seedlings!

Trident maples are a great species for bonsai. They are a traditional Japanese favorite. They are resilient so great for beginners learning how to care for and manage bonsai. They grow fast so we can get a good start on a bonsai in just a few years, even quicker if you are happy with a stick in a pot bonsai.

This year I’m offering 4 different sizes of trident maple seedlings:

Small – trunks up to around 3 mm thick. Just 50c each


Medium – trunks from 3mm through to around 6mm (pencil thick) $1 each

medium size – $1 each

Large – 6mm – 1 cm (around finger thick) $2 each

Some of these seedlings managed to evade detection last winter and have continued to grow taller and thicker so this year I will have a limited number of thicker trunks at $5 each.

Please note that thicker is not always better for bonsai. The thicker trunks rarely have any significant taper so they will require trunk chops which will leave large scars for a number of years. Larger trunks often have one or 2 thick roots that will also need attention.

I also have access to Japanese maple seedlings. These are slower to grow so all are in the small and medium size range and all $1 each. Japanese maples are a little less tenacious than the tridents so there are fewer of them available. Choices will be a little more limited so expect to get a mix of straighter and bendy trunks and a mix of small and medium trunks sizes when you order Japanese maples.

All these seedlings are sold as they come out of the garden. Roots may be trimmed lightly so the pack better but final root pruning is up to you. Some may have good lateral roots, others will have a single ‘tap’ root and few laterals. The good news is that maples respond really well to root pruning so just cut fearlessly. You will see some photos of how I cut roots of trident maples in the following posts. Even with very few roots survival rate is very high.

Email to enquire about maple seedlings or other Shibui Bonsai stock.

Due to state quarantine restrictions seedlings cannot be sent to West Australia, Tasmania or overseas destinations.

In the following posts I’ll outline some of the projects that I use trident maples seedlings for. Many of these projects will be suitable for other species too.

winter pruning

It has been some time since I posted here. Life just seems to be very busy despite Covid restrictions I have been busier than usual. Work continues and bonsai orders have increased as people look for things to do.

Winter has now arrived at Shibui Bonsai and most of the deciduous trees are bare so it is time to tackle the winter pruning. Winter trim can be done any time when the trees have no leaves but I like to get on with it as soon as possible because soon I’ll be occupied with digging the trees in the grow beds. Then those will need to be potted up and by then it will be repotting time. Now is definitely the best for me.

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Japanese Black pine

It is Autumn here at Shibui Bonsai. There is also a partial business shutdown response to COVID 19 virus pandemic so I’m doing my bit by not going out too much. That allows me to get on with some of the autumn bonsai tasks like needle pulling and reducing the new shoots on some pines.

For those who are new to pines as bonsai there are some specific strategies to control the growth that differ from most other species.

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