22 September 2020. You may also be interested in knowing about pruning: Note that buds are arranged opposite each other on the stems and that they face the direction they will grow. They take the shape of a “Y” that has an additional branch coming out of its center. Autumn also works, but spring is never an option since that’s the moment when the maple develops sap. Your next concern should be branches that intertwine or cross since they disturb the natural silhouette of the Japanese maple. EverythingBackyard.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This is not the best time to do other types of pruning on Japanese maples. This will prevent branches from growing more on one side than on the other. In this article we will learn all about how and when to prune a Japanese maple, plus some tips to take care of it. Even so, if they’re dragging on the ground, this is a sign that they’re too low. Look at the bottom of the trunk and work your way up one branch at a time following it to its end. Branches that are too vertical or too horizontal. Of course, this is part of what makes them so appealing, flowing harmoniously without needing too much assistance. There are two limits to pruning Japanese maple trees that you should be aware of. It is known for very distinct lobing of the leaves, so much so that they almost appear to be compound leaves. If you have a laceleaf Japanese maple (or a weeping Japanese maple), then its branches won’t only grow upward. When you cut back to the buds, two branches will form. You want to be able to see between the leaf layers. Whenever you’re pruning Japanese maple trees, it’s important to keep their appearance as balanced as possible. Much of the twiggy growth on the main trunk and on the branches near the main trunk can be removed to expose and show off the branch structure, but leave the twiggy growth on the tips or gently thin it if it is too plentiful. Basic safety elements such as helmet and gloves. Summer pruning is usually limited to removing aggressive water sprouts growing straight up through the tree. If the reason why you’re pruning your maple is that you’ve noticed branches that look unappealing or awkward, you’re going to have to wait until the maple grows to its fullest. Pruning your japanese maple may or may not be necessary during the warm days of summer. Japanese maples are some of the most beautiful and imposing types of trees that you could plant in your garden or backyard. I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. The second one is that you should never prune as much as to remove more than 1/5 of the crown of the maple. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In general, it can be said that it is carried out in a way that is not complicated. When pruning Japanese maple, you have to remember that this tree variety comes with opposite branches. If that has added up the different habits, it can be really difficult to recognize a Japanese maple from any other type of maple. Revealing the “Essence of the Tree”: Aesthetic Pruning of Japanese Maples by JUDY MAIER . If weak branches grow too close to strong ones, the foliage will start to look clumpy. These include dead or brittle branches that no longer produce foliage. You should be able to see light coming through the tree, which will enhance a sense of spaciousness and depth in the garden. The first one is that any branches that have a diameter larger than half of the size of the trunk should never be cut off. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries. Japanese maples can’t be pruned whenever you want to. Even if you think that they look good as they are, you should still cut them off. Moreover, pruning in this season also ensures fewer growths. TABOR TOOLS K-7 Straight Pruning Scissors, Gonicc 8″ Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears, The Best Mosquito Repellent for Yards to Keep the Bites at Bay, Bear Butt Hammock Review: What the Experts Think, The 7 Best Compost Bin Options For Making Your Own Fertilizer. The choices you have are to either cut off both of the two branches that intertwine or just cut off one of them. These are dead stems that usually appear on the inside bottom of the maple. The reason why is because growing so close together, they will most likely disturb each other’s growth. This is precisely what we’re going to help you with today, by taking you through the 11 main steps of pruning Japanese maple trees. Some trees have instant character, while others take time to develop theirs. With good judgment, however, some pruning may be done at most times of the year. Once you manage to plant one, you’ll be able to enjoy it for a long period of time, without too much maintenance. As long as you go through all the steps we’ve outlined above, your Japanese maple will develop beautifully, enchanting anyone who lays eyes on it. The trick to differentiate between weak and strong branches (apart from the way they look), is to establish which one is more important for the overall look of the tree, and then cut the other one off. Firstly, you have to prune off the lower limbs which choke the lower shrubs or cause obstacles to walkways. When removing a larger limb, the cut should be made just above the branch collar, which is the ridge or line where the branch joins an older branch or stem. Use Your Green Thumb To Start A Hydroponic Garden Today, Eight Toxic Plants to Keep Out of Your Yard, Everything You Need to Know About DIY Vertical Gardening. There are several tools that need to be used to carry out the pruning of a Japanese maple. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree reaching heights of 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft), rarely 16 metres (52 ft), for its exotic beauty it is planted in gardens around the world. Each type of maple has one or several badges, these can be the color or size of its leaves, the bark of its trunk, etc. If you don’t get rid of that wood, the rot will spread to the rest of the tree as well. This will make all branches look like a “Y”. One of the greatest things about pruning Japanese maple is that you can also control the direction in which your tree is going to grow. All you have to do is pay attention to the moment when new buds are developing. Secondly, you need to prune off the deadwood. Stand back and reevaluate the tree from all angles. Although you can prune your tree almost any time of the year, the best time to prune is during the last frost of the year. Winter is the time for structural pruning Japanese maples most, if not all, of the leaves will have dropped, leaving a gorgeous potentially gorgeous “winter silhouette.”. The way to do it is by taking a saw and cutting at the base of the branch, close to the trunk. They will make the maple look out of proportion or unbalanced. Don’t rush, and if in doubt, don’t cut. The first thing that you should take care of is dead branches or those that are about to die and/or look diseased. When pruning a Japanese maple, cut up to—but not into—the branch collar. The shape is really important for a Japanese maple since its glory rests in its harmonious branches. There is not a single moment or time to perform the Japanese maple pruning. The trick to pruning this type of Japanese maple is to allow its top layer to form a sort of canopy over the entire tree. Usually the skirt of the tree needs to be raised so that you can see the trunk(s). The first one is that any branches that have a diameter larger than half of the size of the trunk should never be cut off. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. The Japanese maple can grow something called deadwood. Focus on the finer pruning tasks: thinning crowded branches, shaping, and thinning out leaves (by hand or with scissors). [3] X Expert Source Monique Capanelli Plant Specialist Expert Interview. This is good news if you want to keep the tree under control. You should do this either in summer or in winter. Periodically step back and examine your work from different angles. There are two limits to pruning Japanese maple trees that you should be aware of. So far we have seen some general tips for pruning the Japanese maple, but they can not be applied in the same way at any time of the year. Keep in mind that you must disinfect all cutting tools before pruning. Undoubtedly in the Japanese maple the hallmark is the shape of its leaves. This depends, in part, on whether the tree receives a lot of direct sunlight. I take my experience and share it here for you to read! The second one is that you should never prune as much as to remove more than 1/5 of the crown of the maple. Prune your Japanese maple in winter, if possible. Now that you’re all set with when and how you should start pruning Japanese maple, it’s time to get into the actual things you have to do to style your tree. Japanese maple pruning according to the time of year, 7. If you follow the next tips you will not have problems to trim your Japanese maple: Start by examining and evaluating your tree from the bottom up and the inside out. This is not the best time to do other types of pruning on Japanese maples. Since to correctly develop the pruning of a Japanese bonsai maple you would need a special post, I have chosen to select a video (From the Bonsai Boise channel) where you can consult on this subject. Which is why you have to make sure that no weak branches will get in the way of the strong ones developing properly. The most important part of any Japanese maple is its strong branches. To minimize stress, dieback, and regrowth, do not remove a side branch that exceeds half the diameter of the parent stem. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you cut too close to the parent stem (a flush cut), a column of rot will enter the stem. So, when it comes to eliminating branches that are diseased, dying, or dead, this is something that you can do no matter how old the maple is. There are hundreds of species of maples and as many subspecies. Copyright 2018 by Everything Backyard. Usually, people prune these types of trees because they want to provide them with a better look, not because there’s something wrong with them. If you have an upright Japanese maple, you might notice that there are some branches that grow quite low on its sides. They do not need continual maintenance aside from two, possibly three seasonal pruning sessions a year. First of all, you shouldn’t even consider pruning them before they’ve reached maturity. © Copyright, HowandWhentoPrune.com • Contact • Legal, privacy and cookies, How and when to prune japanese maple tree, 3. This will help not to transmit diseases, you will have to do it before starting the pruning and every time you change plants. If you have a lace leaf maple, you should cut off any lower branches that extend either upwards or straight. Acer palmatum, commonly known as Japanese maple , is a species of woody plant native to Japan, Korea, China, eastern Mongolia, and southeast Russia. You can choose to eliminate them if you feel like they’re only bringing you trouble. Pruning the upright Japanese maple can be summarized in four simple steps: In case you have doubts about how to prune a Japanese maple I make a simple summary with three tips: The bonsai is an art, where pruning is a key point. If you have an upright one, any branches growing downwards have to be eliminated. We hope we’ve taught you all about in today’s guide. Any pruning to shape should be done sparingly and. Be sensitive and aware of what would be preferable for the tree at any particular time; it is best not to prune in early spring, when leaves and bark are tender, nor in the full heat of summer. Even if this is not the case, such branches can even make it difficult for people to walk under the tree. It’s extremely easy to realize which branches are growing properly and which are not. 22 September 2020. Branches that are growing inward, or are too deformed. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. In the case of the lace leaf variety, it’s a common occurrence to see branches hanging extremely low. They’ll also grow downwards and to the sides. This will determine the tree to redirect the way in which it develops new branches. If you start cutting just from where they overlap, you won’t get the desired results. Pruning your japanese maple may or may not be necessary during the warm days of summer. The elements you should always trim out on your Japanese maple are the following: You’ll often find deadwood at the bottom and inside of a tree, where branches have been shaded out. These are branches that grow out of other larger ones two at a time. If you choose to do it in summer, this will allow you to picture how your tree will look after you remove the branches that you want to go. Summing up the pruning of the Japanese maple, 8. You can direct the growth by choosing one bud and rubbing out the other. So here we come with this article, I hope it has been clear how to prune a Japanese maple, and do not hesitate when you have to cut it. If you’re looking for some really sturdy and reliable pruning shears, allow us to recommend a couple of options, such as the TABOR TOOLS K-7 Straight Pruning Scissors, the Shineliu Pruning Shears SK5, or the Gonicc 8″ Professional Sharp Bypass Pruning Shears – all of which you can find on Amazon. If you decide to prune in winter, the bareness of the branches will allow you to have a clearer picture of which branches are interfering with the maple’s structure. How to prune the Japanese maple bonsai tree – Explanatory video, Katsura Japanese Maple Bonsai – Light Pruning- (https://youtu.be/AEiKtja_iF4), Revealing the “Essence of the Tree”: Aesthetic Pruning of Japanese Maples. This depends, in part, on whether the tree receives a lot of direct sunlight. This is how the tree becomes layered, like a series of fans. Make sure to eliminate as much as you can out of that branch, even though you won’t be able to completely get rid of it. This means that you should beware of extremely obvious diameter differences. Pruning Japanese Maples by Michelle Le Strange, UC Master Gardener. They do that because that area gets a lot of shade, and the wood tends to rot. Pruning it should leave the branches looking like opened fans. However, you will note all lobes of this leaf still originate from a single point on the leaf stock and have no stems of their own. The season when you take care of pruning Japanese maple trees is also important. Summer pruning is usually limited to removing aggressive water sprouts growing straight up through the tree. Still, if you want to make sure that your Japanese maple gets the best care and doesn’t become too unbalanced, you have to learn how to prune it. Trimming an upright japanese maple tree, 8. Look at your tree from the base up, following a branch upward to assess what and where to prune next. Japanese maples normally grow at a moderate rate and are well-behaved trees (unless in full sun). All you have to do is consider the type of maple you have. If you have a fairly new tree you may notice that some of the main branches are lanky and falling down. [2] X Expert Source Monique Capanelli Plant Specialist Expert Interview. What you have to do when you prune your maple is to cut off that middle branch. Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. This is when we can actually change the architecture or the lines of a tree in significant ways: to reveal more of its essence, to resolve a spatial problem (because the tree is too big), to enhance the surrounding environment (such as training around an entry way), or simply to make a more beautiful and healthy tree. Japanese maples often are multi trunked. This last step is often fine-tuned in late spring or early summer when the trees are in full canopy. Timing Is Everything: When Is The Best Time To Plant Grass Seed. The trick to making Japanese maples look great is to separate the branches into overlapping layers that don’t touch each other. Another way to make sure you prune in a balanced way is to prune lightly. Avoid pruning a large branch back to a small side branch or you’ll get an unbalanced appearance. This might cause it to grow excessively and uncontrollably. The two main types are lace leaf and upright. If you have an upright Japanese maple, then you know that its branches only grow upright, like in the case of most other trees. When finished, the tree will have fewer leaves, but the leaves will stand out more, and the tree will appear more delicate, fresher, and better shaped. What tools to use for Japanese maple trimming, 5.1 Examine your Japanese maple before pruning, 5.3 Gently shape the remainder of the tree, 5.5 Make your Japanese maple look good by pruning it, 6. What you want to do is make it look even and properly thinned out. Thus, you should cut them off (although you’re not required to). The same applies to lateral branches that grow upward into the above layer. There is a general rule to not remove more that 30% of a tree per year, so it may take more than one season to develop your perfect tree. This can be a problem for some people, especially those who want to grow other types of plants under the maple and who don’t want their growth to be affected by these lower branches. This can happen in about three years. If you’re the proud owner of a Japanese maple, then you know that their branch structure is quite intricate. If lateral branches grow downward, crossing into the layer below, it should be removed or cut back to a side branch facing up and out. Here’s how you can decide if you want to prune your maple in summer or in winter. Don’t prune your tree into a narrow hat rack with short branches. This might cause it to grow excessively and uncontrollably. Depending on the type of Japanese maple you have in your garden, you’re going to have to decide on the shape your tree will take after you prune it. In this section we will briefly see the most important care. New layers of bark are tender and rip easily, so it is important to be careful with cuts and saw work, and to avoid pruning off large branches, unless absolutely necessary for the health of the tree. If you cut too far out, you will leave an unsightly stub. The tree is dormant, the bark is less tender, and large cuts heal more quickly during this season. The only thing a Japanese maple requires on a regular basis is pruning. For example, winter, when trees are dormant, is best for some work, whereas late spring, after new growth has developed and while trees are filled with vitality, is best for other work. The choice will depend to a great extent on the type of pruning and the size of the fruit tree. Then, pluck the ones that you think will cause branches to grow in inconvenient places. Pruning is one of many cares that a Japanese maple needs to be healthy, strong and beautiful. Spring is predominantly a time for shaping and thinning, particularly to create that lacy, leaves-dancing-in-the-wind look. To prune the upright Japanese Maple tree, you need to follow 4 major steps.