Pruning 7' Japanese Maple in Container

dignatioApril 29, 2012

I have a Japanese Maple 'Orange Dream' that has grown extremely top heavy and probably too large for its 20" diameter container. I've had it for 2 years and have been too unsure to prune it very much. I'm afraid it's grown so tall that the next big storm will knock it over or break some branches. As you can see below, it's also started to lean to one side.

I've read through Al's excellent threads on container trees, and I want to repot it into his 1:1:1 mix, root prune, and top prune it come January/February. However, should I try to do anything now with it?

I understand now that maples are very apically dominant. How do I go about pruning it when all it seems to want to do is grow upward? My hope is to keep it at a manageable size for a larger 24" container. Thanks for any advice anyone can offer!

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