I'm thinking about trying to take a cutting from the dwarf Japanese maple in my yard and grow it as a bonsai. However, I'm a little leery because the tree has already endured some damage (as explained here), and I don't want to harm it unnecessarily. Is this safe to do?

This photo gives you a sense of the state of the existing tree:

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2 Answers 2


Considering the recent damage discussed in the other post, I would recommend you wait until the tree has had a season to recuperate. You will be adding some wounds when you trim the stubs (and trimming is good in this case, as too-long stubs can start to rot and be an entry port for fungal infections), for a tree that has lost that much substance already, that’s enough.

If for some reason you end up with a usable twig anyway, you can give it a go, but I would not removed more than necessary for other uses.

If you are really lucky, you may even find seedlings under the tree in a short while.


The recommendation for propagating Japanese Maple seems to be layering, not taking cuttings.

That is easy to do if you have branches that are long enough to bend down to ground level, but you need to wait a year or two before you will have that. See "Simple layering" here: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=358

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