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.

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