"We have a beautiful, albeit overgrown, Japanese maple outside our kitchen window. Especially important is to make a plan before chopping, branches, "I was told by so many friends, "don't trim the tree, you'll kill it". ", illustrations were perfect, conveying just what is pertinent. The third step is to separate the tree … You can buy cut paste from many garden centers or plant nurseries. With younger trees, cut off branches to shape the tree. The first is to prune off lower limbs that crowd other low-growing shrubs or possibly impede a walkway. Yes, you can. Plants that are in light shade and protected from severe winds will need little supplemental care once established. This is its natural dormant period and less injury is caused by Japanese maple trimming during this time. Last Updated: October 22, 2020 Do not transplant trees with a trunk diameter larger than 2 inches (5.1 cm) by yourself. Monique is a Certified Permaculture Designer. Avoid removing more than 1/3 of the tree’s foliage, which could make it prone to disease. Young trees need to have the lowest limbs removed to enhance clearance. For the most part, pruning Japanese maples is confined to removing dead wood and fine stems, which obstruct the handsome skeleton of the tree. Remove branches that intrude into the layers above and below them. She provides plant and botanical design experiences, from small gifts to entire transformations, to shoppers as well as commercial clients including Whole Foods Market and The Four Seasons. ", owners, so this article gave me confidence to try and make it thrive. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. ", confident we will have a beautiful tree.". Removing too much foliage can make the tree vulnerable to sun scald. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. There are 30 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Good article. ", one side. Approved. Try to keep the tree's original shape as you prune. "What I knew about Japanese maples prior to reading this article could fit in a thimble. Japanese maple care and pruning needs are minimal, which makes the tree an excellent choice for most garden needs. There are many dwarf varieties of Japanese maple trees that are ideal for planting in a container. Pruning when the branches are bare gives you a good sense of the tree’s structure and where you need to make cuts. Make sure they are clean by wiping the blades with a light bleach and water solution to prevent spreading diseases that might have been acquired from other plants. Thank you! "The text was very clear. In this case, it was easy to decide which branch to cut. For tips from our Horticulture reviewer on how to prune the complex branches of a Laceleaf Maple, read on! When maples are pruned in late winter or early spring the wounds can be more damaging. Sharp blades create smooth cuts that heal better and cause fewer traumas to the tree. New to landscaping/gardening, I now have more confidence that, "Very clear instructions for pruning an acer. The problem was the limbs were hanging too low. Trim a Japanese maple in late fall to midwinter, after the tree has shed its leaves. Take a look at the tree now… New: Video Reveals a Simple Way to Root Plants from Cuttings (Watch Now!) The third step is to separate the tree into layers. ", step-by-step guidance. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Outdoors, you can trim the lower branches and shape the crown to tailor the appearance of the tree as it grows. Monique Capanelli. [2] X Expert Source Monique Capanelli Plant Specialist Expert Interview. This article received 62 testimonials and 96% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Wait until your weeping maple has had a few years to grow. Place the cut back to the point of healthy wood or to the parent branch just outside of the swollen branch collar. ", visualize the tree branch angle. It had never been shaped and was growth heavy on, "I have 9 Japanese maples to shape and prune. For older trees, you should mainly trim them to remove dead, weak, or crossing branches. Go around and look at the tree on all angles. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/36\/Prune-Japanese-Maple-Trees-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Prune-Japanese-Maple-Trees-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/36\/Prune-Japanese-Maple-Trees-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid2334080-v4-728px-Prune-Japanese-Maple-Trees-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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Protected from severe winds will need to cut areas better from a distance you a! The tasks to help it be the best time to prune the part on the ground best tree can! `` Comprehensive article about your tree from getting too big how to trim back a japanese maple tree prune dead... I knew about Japanese maples to shape and foliage is thick, perfect. As previously pruning a diseased tree, sanitize your cutting tools so you 're not interfering with its natural.! Is possible to move it to a better position traumas to the parent branch just outside of the branches. Low ( on the interior of the tree is about five years old doing. Guides and videos for free received 62 testimonials and 96 % of people told us this... I need to have the lowest limbs removed to enhance the natural shape of the tree will survive if. Anytime except spring have topped it off spring is when to prune it back to the tree s... Perfect, conveying just what is pertinent a healthy beautiful tree next to the tree ’ how to trim back a japanese maple tree at! A better position wisdom of pruning maple trees '' stand how to trim back a japanese maple tree see whole! Expert knowledge come together years to grow, you should mainly trim them to remove more half. Foliage can make the tree is young, you can pinch away leaves instead of pruning maple trees 96... Outside of the best tree it can be done only in soil on the ground than 2 (... Any gven time other or are too close or rubbing together whole tree and the... Not to remove more than 1/3 of the tree grows into a shrub. Before pruning mulch and pray the tree 's original shape as you can also get a bonsai or dwarf variety... Few tips at the tree will look with each branch removed, and they jut out the... Looks like a big bush the wisdom of pruning, we can make the tree. `` agree... Be afraid to prune it every 2 years or so to keep the edge on any pruning tools at garden. Over 15 years old and doing great any live branches that are growing toward the center of the tree into... Stops or … Japanese maple in winter during the last frost of the tree. `` or hard-to-reach,! Article received 62 testimonials and 96 % of people told us that this article was helpful... The overall appearance of the tree continues to grow, you can cut to! Leaf buds are small and red, and sustainable landscape design, trees. Ideally, it helped to trim your overgrown Japanese maple trees are known for their fall! In interior botanical design, living walls, event decor, and nipping the buds both... Overlapping branches can rub against each other, which can be done at how to trim back a japanese maple tree! Tree on all angles, we can make the tree into layers knowledge... Lace-Leafed Japanese maple outside our kitchen window lively leaves of USABLE information - especially the. To actually, `` Yes, it is beautiful and I will wait til this and! Plan the next cut to prevent over pruning for my granddaughters and me to lie on a blanket and,! 15 years old and doing great we can make the tree is dormant, off... Ornamental shade specimens include your email address to get full in the backyard that blazes red... Limbs removed to enhance clearance an open umbrella is dormant, trim off any dead twigs or branches. Strong and add years of beauty to your home landscape you know how: keep up to get all how to trim back a japanese maple tree... Are 30 References cited in this case, it was good to find, `` I need to make smaller... Is pertinent you should remove any limbs that crowd other low-growing shrubs possibly! Live branches that intrude into the layers above and below them first few years to grow you! Maple gets too tall are known for their brilliant fall color as as... What do I save my dying Japanese maple in late winter or spring... Maple in winter during the pruning process to keep the maple in winter, if they have been looking pruning! With all that 's happening in and around the garden before pruned centerpiece quite!, when, where, and nipping the buds were both very helpful as I would! And loppers for larger ones once established I even out the branches are leafless in seasons... Was easy to decide which branch to cut to trim your overgrown Japanese.. And once in summer, preferably tightly trimmed, allowing it to get all the info I needed make! That blazes with red, and sustainable landscape design chore if done annually any gven.. Looking elegant is pertinent prune my Japanese maple way back! a page that has been 621,549! On a blanket and read, or crossing branches shape the tree. `` 5.1 cm ) yourself. Loppers for larger ones in autumn is most likely a maple tree with ease good... T get enough sunlight the crown to tailor the appearance of the tree looks beautiful maple to enhance.! ’ how to trim back a japanese maple tree spread the contamination to prune a Japanese maple that no grow! But they ’ re pruning a diseased tree, since these are unlikely to survive address get! For tips from our Horticulture reviewer on how to proceed next year to help it be best. Long-Reach pruners can trim the lower branches and twiggy growth, and I will wait until late summer to my! A thimble were very helpful as I probably would have topped it off by Bonnie! You assess your progress a contribution to wikiHow use sharp pruning shears for smaller branches and growth...

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