This maple was started from a cutting some years ago [I will try and find out the date] by one of the Swindon members [Robert] He was very good at growing any trees and used pond baskets and pruning to improve the girth of the tree. He then managed to seal even big cuts. Thereby improving the size.

The cuts were sealed and then he regularly used a copper brush or similar around the edges so that they were distressed, the tree was then forced to increase the sealing process over time.

Due to family and work commitments he seriously reduced his collection and the club lost a valuable member. I was fortunate to be gifted this maple while it was in it’s large pond basket. That must have been around 2004/2005 and because of the usual bonsai problem….. too many trees, I kept it in that container for several years, just watering and feeding it [when I remembered] I then plucked up the courage to get it out of the pond basket and see what the roots were doing….. What a surprise, there were no big roots and it was solid with fine feeder roots, so much so it was quite a struggle to get into the centre.

After several hours of fighting the root ball it was finally reduced, but enough left to keep the health of the tree.

It was then planted in a mica training pot, I can’t remember the soil used but it would have been Akadama based. Watered regularly and fed with either rape seed, chempac or Green Dream……… But not at the same time.

Unfortunately, I am not good at cataloguing my trees with photographs but this was the tree in October 2010.

Regular pruning was done to maintain the shape of the tree and to allow light into the centre of the tree to allow buds to grow. In Spring 2015 or thereabouts the roots were reduced and it was potted into a ceramic pot made by Walsall Studio Ceramics and enjoyed it’s days in the sun.

Luckily, Robert has now returned to the club and is able to assist me in the progression of the tree as my knowledge is limited. The tree was re potted in March 2020 [see top picture] when the roots were reduced further and then placed deeper in the pot to assist more roots to fill in the barer areas around the trunk, which should make it look older and better. It is now in 100% Akadama and top dressed with chopped dry moss to help this process. The tree has been turned slightly to a better view of the width of the trunk and now this places the lower 2nd trunk back behind the main. Several weeks after the re pot, the rape seed cakes were added to the surface of the soil. The tree has always leafed out on first one side and then the other catches up………….. I hope!!!!