Pruning: good time to prune my Japanese maple?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by benchris123, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. kibosuru412

    kibosuru412 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hayward, CA
    Hi. I just recently bought 2 more japanese maples. the fireglow for the front of my house, and shaina, for the backyard. Both were 15 gallons and one thing I have noticed is they look very bushy although I would assume they should take up the tree form. I don't plan to prune just yet as I want my trees to readjust to the new environment but was wondering if I am supposed to prune it to the shape i want by cutting away the lower branches.

    I want my fireglow to eventually have this canopy look, but right now, it looks like an ice cream cone. Same with my shaina, looks like ice cream cone, but I want it to have more of a tree form rather than a shrub form. Say if I prune next year, I can just cut away the lower branches? or will my tree grow taller and these lower branches actually will become part of the top canopy? Thankyou!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. maplesmagpie

    maplesmagpie Active Member

    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Zone 5b, along Lake Michigan in WI
    That's a very dark Fireglow. I wouldn't have guessed that, based on the red!

    I would wait to prune, as you've said, but I'm guessing your trees will fill out as they have more space. Many of these trees are grown in tight conditions and grow much more compact than they would if given the space to spread out.

    As for pruning...if you want a canopy look, you can still get that with low branching. For example:

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/344891/by-Q-Le-asian-landscape-toronto

    and

    http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=24285

    Both of these have excellent form and low branching, but they still form a canopy. If you trim off all the lower branches, popsicle-style, you'll be taking away a lot of the character of the tree. I'd let the trees grow out quite a bit, making small changes here and there (thinning out branches that cross or go vertical, for example) for the next few years, before deciding on trimming off major branches. Looking at online photos, and finding your ideal shape for each cultivar, can also be helpful.
     
  3. AlainK

    AlainK Well-Known Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    nr Orléans, France (E.U.)
    I second that: very nice examples shown, they do look like maples.

    Shaping a maple like they did with street trees some 40 years ago will remove their character and you would end with a dull tree, better use yew or buxus if you like topiary.

    Most Japanese maple will have slghtly drooping branches when they mature, anyway.
     
  4. kibosuru412

    kibosuru412 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hayward, CA
    Wow thanks for the tip! Those maples look so beautiful. Can't wait till my tree grows to that stage. :)
     
  5. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Active Member Maple Society

    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    Shaina is beautiful and was one of my favourites but I've given up on Shaina as they just seem to give up the ghost and die. Hopefully you have better luck.
     

Share This Page