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When should a Japanese maple be pruned?

How much can I cut back a Japanese maple?

How do you prune an overgrown Japanese maple tree?

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Japanese maples are some of the most difficult and complex trees to prune. An experienced arborist has the skills and talent to work with these trees and shape, define, and encourage their natural beauty.


TreeMedics LLC offers the best Japanese maple pruning service available.

We're looking forward to working with you!


A Japanese Maple, also called Lace Leaf, is one of the most valued and attractive trees you can have in your garden, so if you are lucky enough to have one, you want to give it the care it deserves. During the winter months, when the leaves fall and reveal the Japanese maple's trunk, it can be tempting to grab the clippers and get to work.


Pruning has been described as both a science and an art. Pruning is a science because it requires knowledge of plant biology and botany. As an art, it involves the understanding of aesthetics. For an arborist or horticulturist to be successful in their work, they must understand both components. The same goes when pruning Japanese maples. Japanese maples require expert pruning due to their complex branching patterns and their great value in the landscape. By pruning appropriately, you can direct growth and structure, improve airflow, remove diseased and damaged branches, prevent unwanted growth, and reduce weight. 


When to Trim Your Japanese Maple

There is a difference between each tree, and you should take the time to get to know yours. How do you know which branch is the leader or the apex? Which branches cross and compete with each other? What is the ideal form of the tree? The pruning process is dynamic, and requires patience and concentration. 

As a general rule, though, pruning is best done during the winter months when the tree is dormant. With the leaves removed, you can see the branch structure more clearly and make the proper cuts. Fine pruning can be done at the end of spring, while branches that are dead, damaged, or diseased can be removed during the summer. It's important to note that Japanese maples usually grow well on their own, so there is no need to prune or trim often.


Some Tips for Trimming Japanese Maple Trees


It is impossible for us to go into great detail regarding Japanese maple tree trimming, but we have compiled five quick tips. These tips can help ensure best results:


  • Make sure not to make any major changes to the shape of the tree. Making significant changes could result in holes in the canopy.

  • Shearing should be avoided. This can lead to uneven growth in the flowing branches.

  • Pruning is mostly done on the tree's interior to remove dead branches.

  • Make clean cuts back to the lateral branches.

  • Disinfect your tools regularly to prevent the spread of disease.


Which Branches to Prune


Proper pruning encourages healthy growth. You can leave your Japanese maple vulnerable to diseases and the heat of the sun by going trigger happy with trimming. Here are some branches you may want to consider removing:


  • Branches that are broken, dead, or diseased.

  • Branches that grow inward.

  • Branches that cross over each other.

  • Branches that meet at an angle of less than 45 degrees.

  • Branches and foliage that are dense or crowded.


Keeping Your Japanese Maple in Good Hands

The Japanese maple is a beautiful tree with lovely branch patterns and delicate leaves. This tree is great for adding color to your garden and providing shade. In other words, if you have one of these beauties in your garden, then you already know how valuable they are. Hiring a qualified arborist is the best way to preserve your garden treasure. Call TreeMedics to get started on scheduling your appointment today.

Additional questions our customers have asked

  • How to train Japanese maple?

  • How to trim a Japanese red maple tree?

  • How to prune a Japanese laceleaf maple?

  • Topping a Japanese maple, is it a bad thing to do?

  • Can you prune a Japanese maple to keep it small?

  • Can you trim a Japanese maple in the summer?


For answers to these questions and more we invite you to give us a call today!


Got a question? We'd love to hear from you!

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