Japanese Maple Arakawa Bonsai

Japanese Maple Arakawa Bonsai

I purchased this Arakawa online from The Growing Grounds bonsai nursery who are located in North Carolina. It arrived here in a box on 12/17/07 and it was about 14 years old at that time. The Arakawa (translation ‘rough bark’) cultivar is known for its characteristic ‘cork’ bark which is my favorite aspect.

2018 Update: The crown died back on this tree a few years ago, so I have since planted it in the ground to let it grow wild for a few years in order to develop it into a new form. I will post new pics at some point.

2/5/19: I thread grafted a new leader this winter, will post pics when I can.


8 thoughts on “Japanese Maple Arakawa Bonsai

  1. wow.. those images of images of japanese maple bonsai are so beautiful. no wonder, those little trees can lighten up anybody’s day.

  2. This is one of my favorite Japanese Maple trees. They are phenomenal as bonsai because it has old-looking bark in a young tree. I wonder, though, why there are not any variations on these trees marketed – such as tiny leaves or red or variegated leaves.

    1. Thanks Dustin! I’m not sure about summer air temp limits, but I know that the leaves do burn with too much direct sun, and that they need to have at least a month or two of cold weather dormancy. Assuming you have cold enough winters, you would probably be ok as long as you protect it from the harsh sun with a shade cloth or similar. Cheers!

  3. I live in Pennsylvania and just purchased one of these from someone in California. Can I leave it outside all Winter safely?

    1. Hi Tom,
      Congrats on your new tree – I think the Arakawa is the best maple you could choose for bonsai.

      Yes, maples are deciduous trees that require a period of winter dormancy to survive. If you keep it warm all year round it will eventually die.

      It won’t hurt to protect it from harsh winds and such, but this is an outside tree. Only tropical trees such as ficus can be kept indoors long term.


  4. Thanks Steve. I finally purchased a semi finish Arakawa after finished up my home made sun room / nursery to protect maple from summer direct sun light and heat wave and winter cold wave. Hope my new Arakawa will develop nicely like yours !!! Whenever you decide to sell your tree, I would love to be the first learner, 🙂

  5. Just finished reading your blog. If you need a round great looking pot please try Finnoa of How I Make Bonsai Pots, she does awesome work and is from New Zealand.
    great pots and really cool prices.
    Please try her you will be pleased.


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