Trident Maple


Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum) - Native to Japan, Eastern China and Taiwan have been used for centuries in the cultivation of Bonsai. The small three-pronged leaves on the Trident Maple are what give it its common name. This species is a very popular choice for Bonsai material, along with its compacted leaves, Trident Maples are also known for their intricate and interesting roots which is why you will find most root over rock compositions are done with a Trident Maple. The Trunk on the Trident Maple quickly develops into a peeling orange-brown bark, giving it a mature look. 

Trident Maples are hardy trees and can take aggressive pruning and shaping, the leaves are dark green during the summer turning into an orange or red colour in the fall. Potted Tridents need to be protected in the winter from frost. Please see our winter care page for details. 

Repot every 2-3 years early in the Spring. Use a well-draining soil mix, our Base Substrate mix along with Akadama or Calcinated Clay at a ratio of one to one work best for this species. 

The Baby Trident Maples are in 4" shallow pots and still have flexibility in their trunk. Perfect for creating movement and interest.

These are not seeds - But Actual Bonsai Tree

Please see our Choosing a Bonsai page, for the age and dimensions regarding the different stages of our Bonsai (Baby, Young, & Mature).

Soil (Substrate)

Bonsai soils are usually a mixture of organic potting compost (Pine Bark or Forest Floor), Akadamapumice, lava rock in varying amounts. 

It is important for the soil have good water retention while also draining well, along with very good aeration. The quality of the soil directly affects the health, size and growth of your tree. One of the worst things you can do to your tree is plant it in regular garden soil. Garden soil hardens when it drys and can often lead to a disadvantage when growing a Bonsai. 

Soil mixtures can be purchased here, but given their weight and cost of shipping, you can also easily make your own. 


Depending on the type of Bonsai you're growing, here are the general formulas for successful mixtures. 

Deciduous Tree (Leafy and looses leafs in the fall)

50% Akadama

20% Pumice

20% Lava Rock

10% Potting Compost


Coniferous Tree (Evergreen like Juniper, Cedar)

1/3 Akadama

1/3 Pumice

1/3 Lava Rock


If you are not able to check on your Bonsai's moisture levels daily, add more Akadama to the mix. 

Given how these soils erode over time, repotting every 2-3 years is required. 


Here are some suitable replacements if you cannot find the recommended types of soil.

  • Akadama - fine fired or baked clays, some even recommend cat litter as a substitute. 
  • Pumice - fine crushed aggregates, expanded shale and vermiculite.
  • Lava Rock - This can be replaced with fine gravel or you can also look into purchasing a larger lava rock at a hardware or gardening centre and crushing it. 



One of the best and easiest ways to fertilize your Bonsai, is to add a liquid fertilizer mix when water your Bonsai's once a month during the spring/summer. If your Bonsai looses leaves in the winter there is no need to fertilize it then. If you have a coniferous tree, fertilizing the tree once in the beginning of winter and once in the middle of winter should be sufficient.


Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
Ivan Pye (Nanaimo, CA)
Trident Maple

The tree arrived in excellent condition. I was impressed with the packaging and service.

Vallen Reyes (Burlington, CA)

Trident Maple

Evon Middleton (Ottawa, CA)

The tree is leafing out nicely. Thank you.

John Presseault (Toronto, CA)

Tree is very tall with branches low and high. None in the middle so will take some fancy pruning and lots of time but it's quite healthy so that's good

Darlene Forrest (Petawawa, CA)
Trident Maple

My tree arrived just days after I ordered it, perfect condition. I could not be happier. Packaging was perfect, the soil was damp, so it did not dry out during shipping. It is doing great.

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