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How to Trim a Japanese Maple?

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03 December,2020

How to Trim a Japanese Maple?

How to Trim a Japanese Maple?

With appropriate pruning, you can direct growth and structure, improve airflow, remove diseased and damaged branches, prevent unwanted growth, and reduce weight. The ISA-certified arborists at Southern Star Tree Service know a thing or two about trimming and pruning Japanese maples and we are here to share some of our knowledge and techniques. This article should help you keep your Japanese maple elegant through all seasons of the year. If you still have any questions or if you would like to hire an ISA-certified arborist, then feel free to call Southern Star Tree Service. We are always happy to help.

When to Trim Your Japanese Maple

Each tree is different, and you should spend time and energy on getting to know your tree. What branch is the leader or apex? Are there crossing and competing branches? What is the desired form of the tree? Trimming is a dynamic practice that requires time and focus. 
In general, though, the best time to trim is during the winter months while the tree is dormant. It is easier to see the branch structure and make the right cuts when the leaves are out of the way. Fine pruning can be done in the late spring while larger, dead, damaged, and diseased branches can be removed during the summer. However, you should know that Japanese maples usually grow well on their own, so don’t feel pressure to prune or trim often.

Some Tips for Trimming Japanese Maple Trees

We cannot go into great detail on trimming Japanese maple trees, but we have put together five quick tips. Follow these for best results:

  • Avoid trying to make major changes in the shape of the tree. This can leave holes in the canopy.
  • Refrain from shearing. This can cause inconsistent growth in the flowing branches.
  • Prune to remove dead branches mostly on the interior of the tree.
  • Use clean cuts back to lateral branches.
  • Regularly disinfect your tools to prevent disease from spreading.

Types of Branches to Prune

The purpose of pruning is the encourage healthy growth. Going trigger happy with trimming can leave your Japanese maple bare and vulnerable to the sun’s heat and diseases. These are some branch types you can consider removing:

  • Broken, dead, or diseased branches.
  • Inward growing branches.
  • Branches that cross between each other.
  • Branches that meet on an angle less than 45 degrees.
  • Crowded or dense branches and foliage.

Let an Arborist Care for Your Japanese Maple

Japanese maples are elegant trees with lovely branch patterns and delicate leaves. They add color to your garden and provide a healthy amount of shade. So, if you have one of these beauties in your garden, then you know how valuable they are. Take care of your garden treasure by hiring a trained and certified arborist. The ISA-certified arborists at Southern Star Tree Service are always equipped and ready to help. Call Southern Star Tree Service to get started on scheduling your flexible appointment today.


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