Pruning help

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Connor Sullivan, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Connor Sullivan

    Connor Sullivan Member

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    Hello,

    Any suggestions for pruning this branch on my Bloodgood?

    Keep or cut it?
     

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  2. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    If you decide to cut it, do it in early summer, not now. I would suggest trying to separate it from the leader by weighing it down somehow, tied down to a large stone or something else...
     
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  3. Connor Sullivan

    Connor Sullivan Member

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    I was thinking of putting pack peanuts in between the two branches, something that can space them away from each other. But maybe I’ll try to tie it down, how long to they need to be tied for?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    Hello @Connor Sullivan - I think you're on the right track to find a way to space the two branches apart. I this were my tree, I'd also cut the smaller branch above where I indicate in the attached photo. That is just my opinion of course - others may have other suggestions!

    EDIT: Just noticed that you also asked how long you would need to maintain a forced separation . . . I think you would have to check every few months to see if the branches stay where you want them to be or whether they would spring back into their original positions. I've not done this sort of thing often but it could take the better part of a year before you'd be sure the branches stay where you want them to be.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Connor Sullivan, good morning Connor, looking at your photo I'm not sure whether that has come from the rootstock. If it has then it is probably not Bloodgood.
    If you want to keep it to give the multi branch look, then as it still looks supple, I would use a guy rope to pull it away from the main trunk and peg it down to one side and leave it pegged for two years. Obviously keep a check on it as you don't want to cause any scaring or damage. Or at the end of Winter you can prune it out or as N @Nik suggested in the Summer.
     
  6. Ken Hamilton

    Ken Hamilton Active Member

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    I have found that the only time that I don't get massive sap bleed from pruning ***. Maples is within two to three weeks of leaf fall. Specially on large wounds. Never tried early summer as I imagined bleeding would be profuse.
     
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  7. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Perhaps you should try it before suggesting imaginary information.. Sorry to be so blunt.
    In early July, after spring growth has finished is the best time to prune Japanese maples in my opinion and (limited) experience. Wounds heal very fast and there is absolutely no bleeding.
     
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  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Just thought I would chip in on Summer pruning. I have always given my maples that need it a tidy up in early July. This is mainly for excessive whippy growth. They have never had a problem with this pruning and heal nicely before Autumn frosts.
     
  9. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree. Even mid-June is OK here.
     
  10. Ken Hamilton

    Ken Hamilton Active Member

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    The fact that pruning immediately after leaf fall works as well as your suggested time is hardly imaginary information!
    I was merely conveying my experience.
    Absolutely no need to be "so blunt".
     
  11. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Sorry. Again.
    I was referring to “...as I imagined bleeding would be profuse.”
    I always simply say when I don’t know something, and I don’t know tons of stuff about maples. There is nothing wrong with that.
    Again, apologies!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  12. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Whenever, a cut shouldn't be "blunt", on the contrary whether I prune my trees in Autumn, in Spring or in summer I always make sure that the cut is very neat, and clean.

    The start of a branch has a sort of "hem", even a turtle-neck sometimes if the tree was pruned and go fast ;-)

    taille-branche_210126b.jpg

    The red part is essential, it will help the cut heal faster.

    If you leave a too long stub for too long, there's a risk or rot, fungus, etc. that will go further down.

    taille-branche_210126c.jpg

    If you cut too close to the trunk and remove the upper part (red) of the "hem", the cut will take much longer to heal. Hence an exponential risk of diseases : no good either.

    taille-branche_210126d.jpg

    The best way :

    taille-branche_210126e.jpg

    From what I read, what I was taught, and from my limited experience... ;°)

    If that can help...
     
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  13. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Cool diagrams @AlainK , I follow similar guidelines. I leave all of the “hem” intact, and I make a concave cut, going as deep as possible without injuring the “hem”. If the branch is less than 1 cm in diameter, the wound is more or less completely healed by the end of the growing season.
    Thanks for posting these!
     
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  14. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    There may be a more accurate word for that, makes me less humble (if I ever was) to see you use the same word <WiNK>
     
  15. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    “Collar” ?
    I just don’t know...
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Branch collar.

    And all of it should be left intact.
     
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  17. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, it must be.
     
  18. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks Ron. I posted my previous msg and then went away from the computer, "branch collar", OK, thanks a lot.

    ;-)
     
  19. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Pruning after initial flush -- that is late june-ish -- is very effective and there is no bleeding, the tree is resting (and growing roots) prior to the second flush. It's true that cutting in this period, the maple can immediately begin to grow wound wood. The main disadvantage in pruning at the time is seeing what you're doing!

    That is, if the cut is made correctly at the end of the branch collar. Yes, that's what the "hem" is called! :P I like "hem" a lot, within weeks I've been trying to explain to a friend how to prune a large shrub, she hated "branch collar", whereas "hem" could have been more evocative. (wikipedia cleared it up, thankfully).

    I think in the last picture @AlainK, your cut goes into the collar at the bottom. Indeed, the collar often extends further on the bottom than the top, so that the cut must often angle out from top to bottom.

    Personally I like leaving a stub for branches smaller than about a half inch in diameter, then cut to the edge of the collar.

    I find I have to prune in fall, because there's often a lot of it to do, and that's when I have the time. In summer, there's weeding, watering, potting up, shaping and training, lawn, moles, early fruit, yadayadayada, So the only summer pruning I end up doing is minor shaping.
     
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