Japanese Maples in our greenhouse.

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This Acer palmatum is native to Japan. Its botanical name comes from its leaves, which have 5 deep lobes and resemble a hand. The Acer palmatum start coming into leave, this is a very beautiful time of the year were you still see the structure of the tree and already the colour of the leaves. Because of the cold weather is pinching of the Maples now not advised. The leaves open and start growing but are not in balance and with the cold weather they are not reacting after the pinching. So better wait.

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Acer palmatum Beni shidare. The new emerging leaves of Acer palmatum ‘Beni shidare’ known as the Beni shidare maple are pink/orange during spring.

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Acer palmatum Deshojo. The new emerging leaves of Acer palmatum ‘Deshojo’ are red during spring.

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Acer palmatum.

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Acer palmatum Deshojo.

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Acer palmatum Beni shidare.

Watering.

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The majority of bonsai enthusiasts think watering is easy. The most important months for proper watering, without bringing harm to the trees, are April and May. During these two months the trees start growing and this must be in combination with proper watering and fertilization depending on the temperature. An organic liquid fertilizer with very low nitrogen given in  half a dose is ideal for the growing season to begin. Depending on whether a tree is recently repotted or longer time in the pot makes a big difference in watering, both in quantity and frequency. Each tree that has a growth stop is almost always the result of improper watering. A stop of growth you can see, depending on the species, on the needles, buds or young leaves. From then the tree gets weaker and a weaker tree is more susceptible to diseases. Photo taken begin nineties: I learn to water the bonsai in Japan.

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This picture was taken in the month of May about 15 years ago in my old garden.I create humidity during windy and sunny days. I fill the water basins to put under the cascade trees.

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Sprinkling the whole garden wet in full sun, after I watered all the bonsai so that the pots are soaking wet. This gives me a growing climate during hard periods for the trees. By creating a humid environment  the watering of the Bonsai trees will be easier. Try to avoid gravel beds in full sun under your trees. Plant or put pots with living material is always the best,  for example grasses and fern.