This website is supported by its readers. If you click one of my links I may earn a commission. I am also a participant in the Amazon affiliates program and I will also earn a commission from qualified purchases.
Think of bonsai; Ficus and Chinese elm are likely the first trees you think of. That said, Japanese Maples are the tree species that take a beginner bonsai collection to an advanced one. These trees have bright, distinctive leaves and add a significant pop of color to most collections. That said, these trees can be on the expensive side, so how much does a Japanese Maple bonsai tree cost?
The average cost for a Japanese Maple bonsai tree is $321.94 or £257.55. A good price range, however, that most store-bought Japanese Maple bonsai will retail for is $50 to $300 for most 30cm trees. Japanese Maple bonsai trees are amongst the more expensive bonsai trees.
So what differences can impact the cost of a Japanese Maple bonsai? How much is too much to pay for a Japanese Maple bonsai? Keep reading to find out more!
Just a quick heads up, over the past three years of running Plantpaladin, hundreds of people have asked for product recommendations. As such, You can find my favorite indoor bonsai tree here (link takes you to Bonsaiboy), my favorite outdoor bonsai tree (link takes you to Bonsaiboy), or have a look at all the products I recommend here.
How much does a Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
To determine how much a Japanese Maple bonsai tree costs, I compared 20 Japanese Maple bonsai trees and over 100 bonsai trees of various species.
I also asked ten plant paladin readers who own Japanese Maple how much they paid for them.
All to ensure you have the most up-to-date/accurate post on how much a Japanese Maple bonsai costs.
Japanese maple bonsai quick facts
- The average price for a Japanese Maple bonsai is $321.94 or £257.55
- Japanese maple bonsai is among the more expensive bonsai tree species, with most smaller-sized trees retailing for at least $60 to $100 for a bare-bone Japanese maple.
- The trees are more expensive due to the bright colored leaves that come in various colors, which will bump up the price of the tree when compared to Ficus or Fukien tea varieties.
- Premium outdoor bonsai, such as Pine or cedar bonsai, will usually be slightly more expensive than Japanese Maple, but for the most part, these will fall under the medium to high price point for trees too.
- The cheapest Japanese Maple bonsai trees retail for around $37 (£29.99). These bonsai are usually medium-sized, around 30cm tall, five to seven years old, and are styled in the formal upright style. These trees are typically purchased online from Amazon.
- Premium Japanese Maple bonsai trees are much more expensive with premium Japanese Maple, older than 20 years, purchased from bonsai nurseries retailing for upwards of $1000.
- However, paying more than $200 for an outdoor Japanese Maple bonsai tree will be unnecessary for most beginners.
- Now while these ranges are accurate, the exact price of your Japanese Maple will depend on the overall quality of the tree.
- The most significant factors that impact the cost of your Japanese Maple bonsai tree are age and size, and species.
- Older, more giant bonsai trees will typically cost much more than younger, more miniature bonsai, which tend to be a dime a dozen.
- Japanese maple bonsai is typically grown outdoors which will further add to the expense of the tree.
Now this is quite a lot of information, so let’s break it down in more detail.
Japanese Maple bonsai costs
As mentioned, I compared well over 100 bonsai trees from 22 well-known suppliers to get this information as accurately as possible.
I compared many popular bonsai species to ensure we could work out if you overpay for your Japanese Maple bonsai and ensure the averages were accurate.
I also visited my local botanical gardens to ask if the prices seemed reasonable.
You can find the complete comparison of Japanese Maple bonsai trees below:
30 - 40cm
40 to 44cm
30 - 40cm
All Things Bonsai
How much does a small-sized Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
So first up, how much does a small Japanese Maple bonsai tree cost?
Usually, smaller bonsai trees cost significantly less than larger ones.
On top of this, smaller Japanese Maple bonsai trees are much more commonplace, even being able to find them in non-garden/home stores.
This makes them much easier to find than their larger counterparts, meaning they may also be cheaper due to economies of scale.
Now bonsai trees classified as small typically fall into the shohin category of 10cm to 15cm or less.
So how much does a small Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
A small Japanese Maple bonsai, categorized as Shohin style or 0 to 15cm tall, costs $114.75 or £91.77 on average. Small Japanese Maple then is amongst the most expensive bonsai trees on the market, even for smaller-sized trees.
Again, the main reason for the higher expense compared to other bonsai species is that the tree is sought after and is primarily an outdoor bonsai species.
How much does a medium-sized Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
Next up, medium-sized Japanese Maple bonsai.
Medium-sized Japanese Maple bonsai trees are incredibly commonplace and, believe it or not, are much easier to source than their smaller counterparts.
So does this commonality impact the price of a medium-priced Japanese Maple?
A medium-sized Japanese Maple bonsai tree that falls in the Chohin, Kumono, or Katade-Mochi size categories (20 to 46cm) costs $129.76. This is only slightly more expensive than the average price of a small Japanese maple bonsai ($114.75)
The reason for this is sourcing Japanese Mapales that are between 20cm to 40cm is much more commonplace than smaller trees which is why the price difference is not that significant.
Most medium-sized Japanese Maple trees fall in the price range of $60 to $200.
So we touched on this earlier, but what are size classifications?
Well, typically, bonsai trees are grown in various sizes, mainly when being grown for competitions.
The most miniature-sized bonsai trees fall in the Keshitsubo category, which is 1 to 8cm big or 1 to 3 inches tall.
The largest category is imperial-sized bonsai which can grow as tall as 200cm.
Typically, the larger a Japanese Maple bonsai tree becomes, and the higher it moves up a category, the more expensive they become.
To read more about size classification, check out my post here.
How much does a large-size Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
Finally, we come to sizeable Japanese Maple bonsai trees.
One of the challenges, however, with getting accurate pricing for Japanese Maple bonsai trees at this size is that almost no reputable bonsai nursery or online retail sells Japanese Maple bonsai taller than 40cm.
This is because most of the profit of these trees is made on medium-sized trees.
As such, general rules must be placed on Japanese Maple bonsai in line with like-minded trees.
As such, both Pine and outdoor trees both exhibit very similar characteristics to Japanese Maple bonsai trees and so having asked my readers, we can assume the following:
The average price of a large Japanese Maple bonsai tree is $1187.50 or £950. The larger Japanese Maple bonsai become, the more expensive they are, with 20-year-old large bonsai easily retailing for over $1000.
How much does a 5-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
Typically younger bonsai trees are less expensive than older trees, so does this ring true for Japanese Maple trees?
The average price of a 5-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai tree is $55.58 (£44.52). The cheapest 5-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai will cost $49.93 for small-sized bonsai. The most expensive 5-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai will cost $60 for trees with an informal upright style.
The reason 5-year-old trees, however, seemingly cost more than the 5-year-old subspecies is due to maturity.
Where other bonsai, such as Chinese Elm, can be trained for three years, Japanese Mpale typically takes ten years to mature and grow into bonsai, which is why most of these trees are of medium size over ten years old.
How much does a 10-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai cost?
So while 5-year-old bonsai trees are rare, do slightly older trees cost less? Especially if they fall between 5 to ten years?
The average price for a 10-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai is $90.27 (£72.30). While 10-year-old bonsai trees are more commonplace than their 5-year-old counterparts, they will cost more due to the species.
How much does a 20-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai tree cost?
So 10-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai trees cost more than 5-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai, but is this the case with larger 20-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai?
Similar to the point I raised above, it is scarce to find retailers selling Japanese Maple bonsai trees over 12 years old as the price usually becomes prohibitive.
That said, I found some extensions.
The average price for a 20-year-old Japanese Maple bonsai is $862.50 (£690.84). This is a significant increase of over $500 compared to 5 and 10-year-old bonsai. This extra expense is entirely down to the aesthetic appeal and design of the bonsai.
On top of this, as mentioned, most Japanese Maple bonsai species are very slow-growing, meaning larger varieties are much more likely to retail for a premium price.
Does style impact the cost of a Japanese Maple bonsai tree?
So age and size are the three most significant factors that impact the price of a Japanese Maple bonsai.
Does the style of a tree impact the cost of a Japanese Maple bonsai?
After all, bonsai typically fall into multiple style categories for competition, whether broom, cascade, or informal upright.
Japanese Maple bonsai trees with a cascade or multiple trunk design are more expensive than other bonsai styles. Cascade bonsai typically averages $263, and multiple trunk bonsai have an average price of $513.
Keep in mind, however, that these prices are likely to be higher for Japanese maple trees due to paying the price for the tree, so I expect these to retail for closer to $1000 per medium to large-sized Japanese Maple.
In my post on how much a bonsai tree costs, I found that, regardless of species, bonsai trees with a multiple-trunk design or a cascade are significantly more expensive than other styles.
The main reason for this is the time it takes to grow a bonsai tree with multiple trunks, most of which take 30 to 50 years.
That said, Japanese Maple bonsai grown with multiple trunks is likely the most expensive tree style.
Average by style
Do leaf color and style impact the cost of Japanese Maple bonsai?
So leaf color is one aspect of Japanese Maple trees that separates them from other bonsai trees.
Japanese Maples are categorized into over 17 varieties, falling into multiple leaf shapes and colors.
Now if that needed to be simplified, Some Japanese Maple sub-species have leaves that change color, with many turning green in the summer and red in the fall.
So which species cost the most?
Acer Palematum, commonly known as the smooth Japanese Maple, is the most expensive sub-species of Japanese Maple bonsai. These retail from $70 to $400 on average, and their leaf change from green in summer to crimson red in the fall.
What is the most you should pay for a Japanese Maple bonsai?
So having run through the data quite in-depth, what is the price for a Japanese Maple bonsai tree if you want to pull out all the stops and go for a premium expensive tree?
The most you should pay for a premium Japanese Maple bonsai tree is $1500. This considers that the tree is relatively large, older than ten years, and has a significant bonsai style, such as cascade or multiple trunk styles. Most Japanese Maple can easily be picked up for $100 to $200.
You should avoid paying over $2000 for Japanese Maple bonsai trees as cheaper alternatives are likely available.
What is a fair price to pay for a Japanese Maple bonsai?
A fair price for a Japanese Maple bonsai tree will be between $60 and $200. This considers that the tree is under ten years old, is no bigger than 35cm, and has a formal upright, broom, or informal upright style.
If you are a beginner looking for your first bonsai tree, stay within the $60 mark.
Do store-bought or online Japanese Maple bonsai trees cost more?
Japanese Maple bonsai trees from nurseries are much more expensive than those bought online. For example, a 30cm Japanese Maple bonsai tree costs $47 from Amazon compared to $311 from Herons Bonsai.
As Japanese bonsai trees are competition spec bonsai, you will often need to pay a premium, so I recommend purchasing these trees from a nursery.
What are the other costs associated with a Japanese Maple bonsai?
So Japanese Maple bonsai are relatively inexpensive, like all bonsai trees, but they have other costs.
- Wire – to help shape your tree – typically between $15 to $25
- Fertilizer – to help feed your tree ‘$80 to $100 for a good quality fertilizer
- Soil – $10 to $20
- Pots – to repot and ensure your tree’s roots aren’t squished – $166 on average for a good quality pot.
- Tools – $40 to $100 for a good bonsai tool set to cut, trim and shape your tree.
- Turntables – to move your tree when trimming $10 to $20
- Pesticides – $30 to $100 on an excellent pesticide
- Grow lights – $30 to $60, depending on the size.
How much do Japanese Maple bonsai seeds cost?
Japanese Maple bonsai tree seeds are inexpensive, costing between $5 and $15. Most seed packs contain multiple seeds, usually between 8 and 50 individual seeds. Bonsai seeds, regardless of species, are relatively inexpensive.
How expensive are Japanese Maple bonsai when compared with other bonsai trees?
So now you know how expensive a bonsai tree costs, how does this tack up when compared with other bonsai species?
Well, luckily, I’ve pulled this information to in the table below, but to summarize:
Japanese Maple bonsai trees are among the more expensive bonsai tree species, costing an average of $321 per tree. In comparison, Ficus bonsai only retail for around $46.37 per tree.
Rees such as Scots pine or other pine varieties retail for more.
How much does a bonsai tree cost – Survey results
Finally, I asked 20 plant paladin readers how much they bought their Japanese Maple bonsai for.
My top picks for the gear you will need!
So like I mentioned earlier, over the past three years of running PlantPaladin, hundreds of people have asked me for my recommendations on the best bonsai gear on the market.
Having spent thousands of dollars on bonsai items these past few years and tested at least 100 bonsai-specific products, I’ve listed my favorite products below – All of which I highly recommend and think you can get great value.
They can purchase directly by clicking the link to take them to Amazon.
Bonsai Tool Set: One of the significant challenges I’ve had is finding a toolset that was not only durable but didn’t break the bank. SOLIGT has recently developed a fantastic bonsai tool set that covers all the tools you need to trim, prune, and repot your trees. – You can grab it here.
Complete Bonsai Set: Many of you will want to grow your bonsai trees entirely from scratch, but finding the varicose seeds, pots, and other items in one place can be challenging. Leaves and Sole then have created a complete bonsai set that I’ve personally used that ticks all the boxes. You can grab it here.
Bonsai wire: The number of times I’ve run out of wire for my bonsai or purchased cheap bonsai wire that doesn’t do the job is embarrassing for me to admit. After a lot of trial and error, I found that using Hotop’s aluminum bonsai wire is one of the best options on the market. This can easily be used for both indoor and outdoor bonsai. You can grab it here.