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. Early February is best in most states; January in southern states’ zones 7-10. Japanese maples are elegant in all seasons, with delicate leaves, fine fall color, and the loveliest branch patterns in the world. Thanks for your post conversation about hard pruning J maple. 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. https://www.swansonsnursery.com/blog/pruning-japanese-maples The first pruning should be in mid-winter before any warmer weather has even attempted to set in. Learn how to prune Japanese maple trees in this article. In this section we will briefly see the most important care. Pruned in fall after the leaves have dropped or in early spring, before the sap starts to flow (March). But Japanese maples will create their own naturally beautiful forms with no pruning at all. Pruning is one of many cares that a Japanese maple needs to be healthy, strong and beautiful. This is a good time to do major corrective or training pruning. TIP: Kathy advises, "Always start pruning by eliminating dead wood. I recommend pruning Japanese maple trees twice a year. The weeping Japanese maple in our backyard needed some serious help. Japanese red maple trees will grow a thick crown if properly pruned. Japanese maple care is easy. 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. Stop when the water begins to run off. Our house was a rental before we bought it, so no one had taken care of this tree properly for years! To reduce the tree’s size, prune in late July; to generate growth and increase size, prune in spring. Caring for Japanese maples in summer is mainly a matter of providing enough water to prevent stress. Step 2 - Raise the Crown. Japanese Maple Care. 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). The dwarf and smaller maple can use pruning fairly often but only to make small incremental change in shape and form. Carefully follow the natural harmony of the growing pattern. Some simple pruning can restore or enhance their natural form, bringing the most out of them for summer and winter. This differs depending on the variety. Maple Dwarf, includes Japanese, Amur, Paperbark, Korean and Pacific Sunset. It isn’t really a requirement to prune. Care and location are two important criteria that will make your Japanese maple one of the most beautiful trees of your garden or terrace. The winter is so dreary I could care less what my pruned tree looks like, No one sees them. This will lead to the tree growing excessively or without control. Err on the side of … Also, excessive pruning may lead to the weak growth of the maple. Apply the water to the root zone slowly so that the soil can absorb as much water as possible. Soil: Japanese Maples require well-drained soil and can not tolerate soggy-wet (clay) sub-soils. Pruning and caring for Acer palmatum. Water the tree deeply in the absence of rain. Japanese maple naturally takes on magnificent shapes, sometimes layered, weeping or natural. 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. By separating layers, you will create a balanced, visually appealing tree." Then, move around the tree, and remove small branches that interfere with the layer above them. This is my first time working with this type of tree, and I was scared to start hacking at it. This is critical to prevent winter injury. Pruning Tips. 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