Bonsai Tree Varieties: Deciduous Bonsai

These will be familiar as the trees of our temperate forests. The leaves fall in autumn at the end of an active season of growth which commences in early or mid-spring, depending on the species.

Almost all deciduous trees can be used for bonsai, but the most suitable are maples, beeches, hornbeams and elms. Which lend themselves particularly well to leaf and shoot pruning. Most of the species originating in the Far East have. By nature, the added advantage of very small leaves. All deciduous trees colour in autumn. This can give a magnificent effect with colours ranging from cold to scarlet – a special bonus which makes up for their nakedness in winter.

Wind on the Mountain is a Chinese Elm (Ulmus p...

Image via Wikipedia

Accustomed to our temperate climates. Deciduous trees are easy to grow. Provided they are watered adequately and kept out of hot sun. Their vigorous growth means that one must continually keep their shoots within bounds, with repeated pinching out to ensure the miniaturization of the leaves. Skilful pruning during dormancy will make precise shaping possible.

Deciduous trees are ideally suited for various multiple group arrangements, in trays or on a large stone slab, a quiet and elegant way of displaying such trees.






Acer buergeranum (A. trifidum) (Trident maple)

Green dentate leaves, turning bright orange in autumn

Spring for branches, before bud burst. Autumn for leaves

Throughout the growing season

Acer palmatum and cvs. (Japanese maple)

Tiny dentate leaves with 5 or 7 lobes, turning bright red or orange in autumn

Spring, before bud burst

Throughout the growing season

Be tula nigra (black birch)

Pale green foliage; reddish brown trunk with white base, bark flaking off in


Spring, before bud burst

Throughout the growing season to 3 buds

Carpinus laxiflora (hornbeam)

Very luxuriant foliage produced in spring

Spring, before bud burst

Throughout the growing season to 2 buds

Fagus crenata (beech)

Crenate leaves, which turn brown in autumn but do not fall until spring

Spring, before bud burst, or autumn

Late spring and early summer, to 2 or 3 buds

Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree)

Two-lobed, fan-shaped leaves, green in summer, turning yellow in autumn

Spring, before bud burst

Throughout the growing season, cut back to 2 or 4 leaves, depending on the age of the tree

Malus cerasifera (Nagasaki crab apple)

Covered in blossom in the spring. Small apples can follow flowers if pollinated. Leaves somewhat large

After flowering. In autumn, prune back to a flower bud

Only pinch out very long growth through the growing season

Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese elm)

Tiny glossy leaves, cracked, flaking bark

Spring, before bud burst

Throughout the growing season

Zelkova serrata (grey bark elm)

Tiny oval leaves, spreading branches, luxuriant foliage

Spring, before bud burst

Throughout the growing season to 1 or 2 buds

24. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Bonsai | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Bonsai Tree Varieties: Deciduous Bonsai


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