Let’s talk about when you should prune your Japanese Maple tree. The ideal time to prune a Japanese Maple tree is as soon as it needs pruning, if you don’t, they get straggly and not that attractive.
STEP ONE: Disinfect your tools so you don’t spread disease. Because this is such a small tree, hand pruners will be the only thing needed.Normally you want to prune in the winter because it causes less stress for your tree and you can see the branch structure better. But this poor thing had a lot of dead branches which were easier to see when the tree still had its leaves. So I cut out all the dead branches first.
STEP TWO: Step back and look at your tree remove any branches that are sticking out and ruining the shape of your tree.
This is a weeping lace leaf and there was a branch sticking straight up from the top, so I cut that back to the branch collar.
The branch collar is the place where one branch meets another.
Working from the bottom up and inside out, thin the tree by removing crossing branches and rubbing branches.
When shortening branches always cut back to a bud. Prune for balance and shape, you want to accentuate the trees intended form.
Keep branches that most contribute to the pleasing shape of the tree. Never take more than one third of the crown and never remove a limb greater than one quarter the diameter of the trunk.
I felt the tree needed more pruning, the person who owns it did not agree, so this was the finished tree. I does look better than when we started.
With regular pruning and shaping, your Japanese Maple tree will add beauty to your landscape.
Here is a video Mike made for you on how to prune Japanese Maple trees. Click HERE!
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