Thanks for your post conversation about hard pruning J maple. The winter is so dreary I could care less what my pruned tree looks like, No one sees them. Japanese red maple trees will grow a thick crown if properly pruned. The dwarf and smaller maple can use pruning fairly often but only to make small incremental change in shape and form. Err on the side of … Japanese Maple Care. While the second is, when carrying out pruning on a Japanese Maple Tree, never attempt to prune more 1/2 of the entire crown of the tree. Stop when the water begins to run off. Carefully follow the natural harmony of the growing pattern. Our house was a rental before we bought it, so no one had taken care of this tree properly for years! Japanese maples are elegant in all seasons, with delicate leaves, fine fall color, and the loveliest branch patterns in the world. Pruning Japanese Maples by Michelle Le Strange, UC Master Gardener One of the most favorite trees in the home landscape is the lovely Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum). I have many coral bark trees, sorry I don t the proper name, I use them all for leaf color spring and fall, oh, and for the red trunk during part of the winter. To reduce the tree’s size, prune in late July; to generate growth and increase size, prune in spring. Water the tree deeply in the absence of rain. Caring for Japanese maples in summer is mainly a matter of providing enough water to prevent stress. Then, move around the tree, and remove small branches that interfere with the layer above them. The first pruning should be in mid-winter before any warmer weather has even attempted to set in. This will lead to the tree growing excessively or without control. It isn’t really a requirement to prune. Early February is best in most states; January in southern states’ zones 7-10. Step 2 - Raise the Crown. Pruning is one of many cares that a Japanese maple needs to be healthy, strong and beautiful. Soil: Japanese Maples require well-drained soil and can not tolerate soggy-wet (clay) sub-soils. I recommend pruning Japanese maple trees twice a year. Pruned in fall after the leaves have dropped or in early spring, before the sap starts to flow (March). https://www.swansonsnursery.com/blog/pruning-japanese-maples Japanese maple care is easy. This differs depending on the variety. We choose and plant this tree because we’ve seen its delicate form, graceful elegance, and the character of its branches enhancing many established landscapes. Some simple pruning can restore or enhance their natural form, bringing the most out of them for summer and winter. But Japanese maples will create their own naturally beautiful forms with no pruning at all. Apply the water to the root zone slowly so that the soil can absorb as much water as possible. Japanese maple naturally takes on magnificent shapes, sometimes layered, weeping or natural. Care and location are two important criteria that will make your Japanese maple one of the most beautiful trees of your garden or terrace. In this section we will briefly see the most important care. Learn how to prune Japanese maple trees in this article. By separating layers, you will create a balanced, visually appealing tree." This is a good time to do major corrective or training pruning. TIP: Kathy advises, "Always start pruning by eliminating dead wood. This is critical to prevent winter injury. Here are some essential pruning tips for the Japanese maple: Prune the Japanese maple in nearly every season with a slight preference for winter and generally avoiding spring. This is my first time working with this type of tree, and I was scared to start hacking at it. Pruning and caring for Acer palmatum. Pruning Tips. Also, excessive pruning may lead to the weak growth of the maple. 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