Pruning: Acer palmatum "pixie" , spring trim

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Otto Bjornson, May 3, 2021.

  1. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Member

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    Just pruned our acer palmatum "pixie" this morning and created another maple video for my channel. The Pixie is essentially a dwarf version of the much larger Bloodgood.

    This particular tree was one of my first grafts when we started our nursery. Always held onto this one as we were curios just how tall it might get!

    After 25 years it sits just over 4 ' in height ( 1.3 metre)
     
  2. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Rising Contributor Maple Society

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    Thank you for sharing. She’s a beautiful specimen.
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    This is something many do not realise. I hope your comments Otto will be of use to the members, when considering Bloodgood and or Pixie.
    It is so easy to become blasé and forget that not everyone has the benefit of years of growing maples.
    Nice music to your video again.
     
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  4. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Member

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    thanks Derek!
    Yes, out in the fraser valley where we live, space is abundant. But in vancouver and many urban areas with very small back gardens or patio space it is still possible to create a garden environment with container grown trees / shrubs. The pixie of course is a great choice but likely not readily available at most nurseries. To this day I have never seen a pixie for sale at any nursery out here in the lower mainland of BC.
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    What a difference between continents, Pixie is readily available over here.
    You are right though, it is a great maple for anybody who wants those deep reds and has little space available. And with good aesthetic pruning as shown on your video, a great shape can be achieved.
     
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  6. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Member

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    and one more pruning video in which I prune 6 japanese maples. Get the shape and form you want by pruning every spring starting at a young age
     
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  7. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I am sorry, but I didn’t see the point of trimming these trees. Unless you want to keep their size down, I fail to see the point. To me, all of them looked better ‘before’.
    I did enjoy the music though.
     
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  8. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Member

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    Hi Nik,
    Of course it is always personal preference which I understand. The reason I prune the container grown specimens back is because I really like to create a nice full grown look in a compact size. Time and again I have been asked to try and salvage a container grown specimen that has not been pruned and the structure is just not there with branches overlapping, dead inside growth, etc. Often what also happens is what I refer to as the "butcher " pruning job where limbs that are 1 to 2 cm in thickness cut back giving it that old fashioned "bowl hair cut" for lack of better description.
    Here is another specimen "fireglow" in our garden. Over 40 years in the container now and pruned with the same approach I still take with each tree. Nice elegant full grown look in a compact form (to my eyes)
     

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  9. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    My point exactly… is that the way a 40-years old ‘Fireglow’ should look like?
    It looks pretty, but not natural, and I am a big fan of the natural look.
    Again, sorry to disagree with you.
     
  10. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I do enjoy the open airy look of a Japanese maple, but I know some don't. As you say Otto it is down to personal preference and tbh it is really good that we all have different likes and ideas. It makes life far more interesting IMO.
    That is a lovely Fireglow btw.
     
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  11. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Member

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    For sure, as mentioned, personal preference. Here is the same 40 year old fireglow in our back garden. Container growing is not for everyone. Most of our customers live in highrises or condo's or townhomes with very minimal garden space other then a small deck. For them the container medium is perfect.
    Here is another Fireglow, same age which we have grown in the garden, maybe you like that one :)
     

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  12. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Yes, I do!!! It is glorious!
     
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  13. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    From my short experience, a potted tree can soon become "leggy".

    Pruning it helps making "leaf pads" look like a mature tree in the ground, a bit like a "bonsai" which is supposed to be a rendition of a tree in its natural habitat, or a "niwaki", which is a bit more drastic in showing the lines of a mature tree.

    For "laceleaf" maples, the twisted branches are a major feature, yet most of the time they can't be seen in summer. Pruning can probably enhance this chatracteristic. I'll go to an arboretum on Saturday where there are a few maples, they don't prune their trees, but if I can take significant pictures, maybe you'll understand better what I mean.

    This being said, it's either you prefer a sort of dome which is always attractive, or a more evocative tree with some "empty spaces" to enhance the natural port of a tree.

    To me, empty spaces between leaf pads adds to the 3-D vision of a tree, makes it more a tree than a "plant".
     
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