Bonsai trees

The Field Maple

Published: 12/25/2007 (mm/dd/yyyy)

Latin name

Acer campestre

Common name

Field Maple


This tree is native in most parts of Europe, it is quite a common sight in hedgerows where it will grow abundantly. Mature trees trees have round crowns on a short trunks, in the wild they can attain a height of 20 feet which can seem small compared to other species of native trees and in the bonsai hobby they tend to take a back seat with bonsai growers preferring the Japanese maple or the trident maple. They produce a blossom in May but the actual flowers are quite small as are the size of the leaves, most leaves will only reach a size of 3-5 centimetres and they develop 5 blunts which grow opposite to each other. The field maple is a deciduous species but full growth usually occurs in May when the blossom appears and the leaves extend to be fully open, in autumn (fall) the colouration of the leaves fade to an orange or yellow colour. Mature specimens of the field maple may develop cracked trunks giving an overall beautiful appearance.


Outdoor (all bonsai trees except indoor specimens)


Light: It likes bright positions or half shade. In the height of the summer make sure that the intense heat from the sun does not damage the leaves so it is advised to move them to a shadier spot in the afternoons, returning them in the evening as the sun starts to fade.

Temperature and exposure

The lowest limit of temperature is as it's in Europe during Winter. Maybe the lowest extreme is about -20°C. But it's roots have to be covered with some isolation materials or they have to be burrowed in the ground very well. They are classed as extremely hardy but severe winters will spoil the tree so precautions are always best before any damage occurs.

Pruning and forming

In Spring you should cut the thin twigs as much as you can. In the growing season they grow very quickly and can soon become dense which will impair the tree, the shoots can be cut right back to the first pair of leaves and keep cutting back growth in the middle of the tree to allow good air circulation throughout and to keep the appearance as high as possible.

Soil and replanting

The Field Maple bonsai prefers soil made from 3 parts of gardening soil, 2 parts of crushed lava and one part of robust sand. 2/3 of the soil soil has to be changed every two years. They can be planted directly in the garden if the soil is of a decent quality but in this scenario it is wise to lift them at the start of the growing season and prune the roots back to encourage new root growth and keep the tree size to where you want it.

Watering and fertilization

If the tree is outside, it doesn't need watering. Only if the soil has dried completely after a drought of a few days in the summer, they are fairly drought tolerant but they do require some water in extreme drought conditions. They can be boosted with a suitable fertiliser right through the summer months i.e May to August but after this the fertiliser should be changed to one with a low potassium level.


The Field Maple reproduces by seeds.


The best styling method is the fan style or the upright style. But the Field Maple is suitable for all the styles.


This is a place for pictures of real Ficus bonsai trees. If you have any, send us them and they will be published with your copyright and link to your site if necessary.

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