Red Maple in Fall Color

This post is dedicated to Portland’s own dear lady of deciduous, Anne Spencer, who passed recently. Anne grew this Red maple, Acer rubrum, from a three year old seedling twenty years ago. It is one of the joys of my backyard. This maple is a fine example of what slow dedicated work can bring, which is really the only way to an excellent deciduous product.

This year the Red maple is orange... the color of the photo does not get the glow of the orange quite right. 18" high.

14 Comments

  1. Morten Albek says:

    Nice bonsai, nice colours, nice story. Thanks.
    Regards Morten Albek.

  2. Jeffrey Robson says:

    Sorry to hear of Anne’s passing. I thought I recognized this tree from photos I’ve seen of the Portland’s club spring show 2010. I like choice of the new pot. The blue glaze of the container really contrasts nicely to the color of the trees fall foliage. From every picture I’ve seen, Anne had a talent for developing great nebari on her trees and this one is a good example of her skill. I love the great impression it gives of its stability & rootedness to the earth. I’d love to see a new pic when all it’s leaves have dropped.

  3. Sam Ogranaja says:

    I second what Jeffrey said. I have a beautiful picture of this tree in it’s full red autumn glory.

    Michael, do you take issue with a root that comes back into view further away from the nebari? I have a raintree that has pretty decent nebari but one of the roots is kind of long and I could expose it a little the way they sometimes do on oaks or this maple. I think it adds a character of age, what do you think?

    Have a great week!!! Lovely tree!!!!
    Sam

    • crataegus says:

      I just posted a close-up of the nebari, hoping this will clarify your question. It feels like a very natural nebari to me, without the artificiality that is so easy to create if over-done. The roots on this tree bump along the ground a bit, and so they appear and disappear in the moss, and that is quite natural to me. If they are flat or perfectly sloping from the trunk it looks fake. Nice observation, thanks–

  4. John J. says:

    Love this tree. It’s even better in person.

  5. Scott Tice says:

    Anne’s nebari work was simply stunning. The results she achieved were amazing.

  6. bonsai eejit says:

    I’m sure she would be delighted to see where her tree is sitting now, knowing it will continue to be loved and cared for in the manner it was accustomed too.

    Regards
    Ian
    bonsai eejit

    • crataegus says:

      Yes, I hope so. Anne did it right. She decided to sell her trees, and she used the opportunity to pass them on to people who had particularly admired a tree. She called me up one day, said she had a tree in mind for me, and asked if I could guess which one it was. Immediately I thought of this Red maple. I had encouraged her to enter it into the first National show, and she did. I’m not sure what would have happened if I’d guessed wrong… But I’m delighted to share the tree with visitors and share Anne’s story of how she trained it from a young seedling and assiduously created the nebari. I have a packet of photos too, from the first few years she had it.

  7. katpowelldesign@yahoo.com says:

    My sister and I both read through the comments posted here and are grateful for our mom being remembered and so highly regarded in the bonsai community. She will live on eternally🙂

    • crataegus says:

      How wonderful. Thank you for that. Your mother was cherished in the bonsai community here in the Northwest, and was known nationally for her beautiful work. We miss her.

  1. […] It’s the nebari more than the fall color that caught my eye with this Red maple (Acer rubrum). Here in Vermont Red maples usually flame a brilliant scarlet to orange, while this one shows much softer tones. Still, it’s a sweet tree with a sad/sweet story (from Crataegus bonsai). […]

  2. […] It’s the nebari more than the fall color that caught my eye with this Red maple (Acer rubrum). Here in Vermont Red maples usually flame a brilliant scarlet to orange, while this one shows much softer tones. Still, it’s a sweet tree with a sad/sweet story (from Crataegus bonsai). […]

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