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Discussion in 'Maples' started by pattie, May 20, 2009.
Hi, new to growing japanese maples. I need to know how and when to prune these trees.
Hi, i need help pruning japanese maples when and how thanks
Post a thread on the Acer (maple) forum for more info.
In general, I would say Japanese maples don't need much pruning. They can usually be left to assume their graceful natural shape.
pattie, you are not alone! the trees do have a natural beauty but i've read about the need to prune to bring out the beauty of the tree, esp. with the dissectums, which are often staked as well. i would love guidance on this issue. i've even,in desperation, wondered if looking at books on the design principles of bonsai, and whether they could be applied to the 'big' trees with pleasing results. debviolet
This website has some information on pruning, and some before and after pictures.
See FAQs in this forum, please.
I have a few dwarf cultivars and they usually keep an attractive shape on their own. The only thing I worry myself with where pruning is concerned, are the crossing or too dense branches toward the center of the tree. I think Jms always look best when the gracefulness of their form is revealed. Other than that - I just pinch prune the terminal bud of any new shoot that is trying to take off on it's own. By just pinching out the very last buds on any branch heading in a direction you don't like - you can make a maple tree, dwarf or otherwise, look any way you wish. The best time to do a major overhaul in form is in the early spring when the buds are just starting to swell. Besides that time, you never want to take off more than 1/4 of the tree at a time. The best thing to do is just trim often and lightly. The exception to this is when the tree is dormant - NEVER PRUNE THEM THEN. I hope this helps a little. :)