My main hobby is bonsai, but as a side project I have also started collecting maples. Some of them I aim to develop into bonsai but not all. I imagine the species with the larger leaf sizes won't be bonsai-appropriate and will instead just hang out and grow.
I don't have a yard or garden for these hobbies, my plants just live on the balcony of my Helsinki apartment.
In this post I will go over all my maple species acquired so far, along with photos. Most of them are just small seedlings but in a few you can already see the beginning shapes of a bonsai.
This is an East Asian maple species. I am not sure if it has an English name. I bought it at Arboretum Mustila in 2015.
Acer barbinerve has hairy veins on its leaves all throughout the growing season. Indeed the species names barbinerve means 'bearded nerves'.
Amur maple. Some sources list the scientific name as Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala. While this is not a species native to Finland, it is a common street tree in Helsinki.
#1 This one I dug up from the ground. My best prebonsai A. ginnala.
See also last year's photo (link in Finnish).
#2 Also dug up. I haven't given much attention to this one,
just waiting for it to grow.
Crappy picture, but whatever.
Some sources give the scientific name Acer tschonoskii subsp. koreanum.
Delicate, interesting looking leaves, quite small. Dark red young shoots.
Manchurian maple. This is one of my favourite maples. The three-lobed compound leaves are exotic.
The leaf does not look like a maple leaf at all at first glance. The leaves don't get very large, so it may be a viable bonsai species. Mine is still quite small, so not for a long while yet.
Beautiful, delicate, very thin leaves. They feel like a silky, slightly waxy membrane suspended in thin air.
This one is apparently called striped maple, moosewood or moose maple in English. Mine is a straight, tall stick with no movement or taper. Unlikely candidate for bonsai.
The leaves are quite similar to Acer tegmentosum.
The scientific name only has one n. It was misspelled by the father of taxonomy and binomial nomenclature Carl Linnaeus himself. According to the rules of this stuff, it can never be changed, because once a name is accepted, it stays, unless the whole species is re-interpreted to be something completely different, like a subspecies of another or belonging to a different genus altogether. I think.
Acer pictum subsp. mayrii
Looks like I forgot to photograph this one. Maybe I'll take a photo and add it in here later.
This species is quite interesting for bonsai purposes. Its leaves are very much like Acer platanoides but smaller and less "spiky" at the margins. Both are in the same section Platanoidea, so it might be an interesting experiment to try and graft this species in A. platanoides rootstock. This might solve the problem of A. platanoides having leaves potentially too large for bonsai while providing A. pictum ssp. mayrii with the probably more cold-hardy roots of A. platanoides.
But most importantly, I could just use the practice at grafting.
Norway maple, the only species native to finland. This individual has one of the most promising trunks and nebari of any of my prebonsai. I have blogged about this tree before.
Central European bonsai people are ready to dismiss the Norway maple as having hopelessly large leaves, but I am willing to give this one my best shot anyway. Especially considering I have such a nice trunk to work with.
Korean maple. I have three of these, acquired from the Mustila Arboretum and a small nursery in Helsinki, all in 2015.
The leaves on this species are very nice and quite similar to many other species: A. palmatum, A. japonicum, A. shirasawanum and of course A. sieboldianum. This one is definitely one of my favourite species because of its gorgeous leaves and cold-hardiness, which has proved to be much superior to A. palmatum here in Finland.
Mountain maple. This one still hasn't leafed out this spring. I am a little bit concerned for this tree, as it dropped its leaves quite abruptly, very early last autumn and hasn't resumed growth yet. It doesn't seem dead though, because scratching the bark does reveal green tissue beneath.
First plant I ever bought on Ebay, just this spring. I don't have a clue about this species. The seller used the English name "Himalayan maple" but I am not very confident about how established or official that name is. Seems like the Himalayas isn't very far off in regards to where this species comes from.
This guy will just hang out in this pot while I keep an eye on how it grows.
This species is from far east Russia, China and Korea. Big leaves, skinny trunk. Not likely to be a good bonsai subject.
Nice striped snakebark though.
Similar to A. spicatum both by virtue of its flowers and leaves, but in Far East Asia rather than North America. The leaves are actually also quite similar to A. sterculiaceum but smaller and the hairiness is different.
Some sources say the scientific name is A. caudatum subsp. ukurunduense.