Best way to prune off this dead limb?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by CherieLee, May 2, 2020.

  1. CherieLee

    CherieLee New Member

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    I have a beautiful little japanese maple that was planted in the spring of 2018... within several months one of the 2 main limbs had completely lost all of its leaves. I left this big branch on for a year as I wasn't sure what to do about it. It has really destroyed the beautiful symmetry of this tree but I can't justify replacing it. Can I please have some advice on how to cut off this limb, and also wondering if there is any chance I can encourage more new growth on this side?
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi CherieLee, first of all it looks like Shishigashira. Secondly do a finger nail test on the bare branches as they do look dead. If it is green under the bark then the branch is still alive. Looking at the photo the branch does look dead tbh, but only you can tell. If brown or grey under the bark then the branch is dead.
    If the branches you test are dead then prune them back to about one inch from the main trunk. The principle is to prune out dead ,diseased or dying wood. This can be done at any time of year.
    If the branches are alive , then leave them now and check again in the Sumner (July). If you want to shape it to a nicer shape it will be safe to do so then.
    Best pruning to shape a maple is best done in February in the UK. Your fully dormant time prior to the Spring maybe a 'little' later.

    Hope that's of help.
     
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  3. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    @Acerholic those leave are too big to be a Shishigashira. Do you mean 'Mikawa yatsubusa'?
     
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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi@LoverOfMaples, yes your right, I must stop doing these replies late at night. Thanks for the correction.
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi @CherieLee, sorry for my mistake. LoverOfMaples is correct it does look like Mikawa Yatsubusa, it's exactly like mine.
    Btw if you are going to prune it out then use a pruning saw with a cut underneath firstly then continue on top. This will avoid it tearing from the healthy stem and causing more problems.
    Hope we have both been of help to you.
     
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  6. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I attended a bonsai workshop recently, and there was a training session about pruning trees.

    We were told that leaving a stub could lead to rot entering the tree deeper, and cutting too near the trunk wasn't good either. According to this bonsai specialist, one must leave the kind of "hem" at the base of the branch to prune (I don't remember the name in French, so I also miss the word in English). Something like that :

    taille.jpg

    I will add that to me, pruning when the tree is in full leaf may be better, the cut heals faster when it's done in May for instance. Just a personal opinion...
     
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  7. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Rising Contributor Maple Society

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    I believe it’s generally referred to as leaving the branch “collar” here in the U.K.
    I’ve tended to leave a short stub when pruning live wood in winter and then trim back further once the branch leafs out from the last pair of nodes that were left.
    If removing the whole branch, I do as AlainK suggests.
     
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  8. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, I've seen this term used before. French : "le col de la branche" is the term used in the doc I found again.

    It's based on Alex Shigo's work, CODIT, for "Compartmentalization of decay in trees".
     
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  9. CherieLee

    CherieLee New Member

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    Thank you Acerholic and LoverofMaples. Very grateful for the guidance!

    Thank you AlainK! I will follow this "col de la branch" method :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2020

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