Collected Vine Maple

Michael Hagedorn

Those of you who follow the Bonsai Wire podcast may recall an epic adventure involving a broken tailbone while collecting a Vine Maple. This is that tree. I still can’t believe John Eads and I got it out. The root system was locked onto the lava rock like an octopus. We spent 2 1/2 hours breaking the rock, noting the diminishing daylight, and muttering spells to slow down time.

This collected specimen has a long story to tell. Many basal orifices remained where old trunks had died off, suggesting a maple of marvelous antiquity. The following photos are of collection day, November 2020, and then after one year of growth.


John Eads working with a bar to extract a Vine Maple, November 2020.


In January 2022, after a year of growth. The wingspan of this Vine Maple is 6’ 4” / 1.9m. I’m still puzzling over the front.


One trunk…

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