Please, could someone give me quick advice on these maples?

meyermike_1micha(5)April 15, 2012

Hello, I was wondering if I should cut away the thicker branches that have already been chopped, or just leave them for now?

I can see new growth coming off of one of them. I am not sure what shape I want these in, since I have no vision, but I hope whatever I am doing or going to do will make good looking trees:-)

See all the new growth around the two cut branches?

Then on this one, the cut branch looks absolutely ugly, but there is new growth nubs coming on the branch to the left to fill in that side?

Thanks so much:-)

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I'm no expert but have many jap maples in my yard (in ground). I would let it grow out this season, maybe trim it up this fall or late winter next year if it still looks ugly, to YOU.

I for one would cut those bigger already chopped branches but only cut above where there is new growth. This new growth might take off.

The great thing about most jap maples is they will grow in many directions and make for some interesting branch structure. With that being said I've always been told not to trim alot when the tree is young and let the tree do it's thing.

just my two cents worth

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:34AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Is your intent to keep these trees in pots, or plant out in the landscape? Potential bonsai?


    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Hello Al. My intent is too keep them in their small pots:-) Potential Bonsai.

Thank s to you both:-)


    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:55PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Our perspectives are going to be different, I think, but with an eye toward the future .....

First plant: Shorten the big stub on the right (in the pic) and don't let any branches grow from it. You want it to die back to the trunk. Leave it on until the tree begins to grow a collar around the stub, then cut it off just outside the branch collar. This reduces scarring & the wound will heal quickly. The other stub growing between the two main branches toward the top should be reduced now so the bottom of the 'Y' formed by the co-dominant leaders is rounded at the bottom & the 'stub' look is gone. You need to decide how much taller you want the tree to be. Reduce both of the co-dominant leaders to 2 apparent nodes if you don't want the tree much taller, and completely eliminate one of the co-dominant leaders if you want the tree to grow much taller. After that, I wouldn't do any more pruning until next spring.

Second tree:

Treat the branch growing off to the right as a sacrifice branch - it will come off before it starts to form a collar around the trunk. The future leader of your tree is the little branch just above that sacrifice branch, so when it gets a little harder, use a string to tie it to the trunk so it's growing vertically. Next spring, you'll remove the sacrifice branch and prune the trunk off just above the leader you tied up.

Got it?

That's just how you were going to do it - wasn't it? ;-)


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 3:26PM
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Amazing! I can see where you are heading, and who would of thought that tiny little branch on the second tree just starting under the sacrificial one would of had a significant value? I hope I do this right.

Ok, I will get to work tomorrow and be back with the pics.

I appreciate this so much and will be back with pics of the work done.

Talk to you soon Al and long time dear friend:-)


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Wow, this is really helpful to read. Now that I read what Al is suggesting it makes a lot of sense, but I, too, would never have thought of that tiny branch as the future leader!You just can't find this kind of information in books. Thanks, Al!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:59PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, guys!
Mike, sorry I haven't popped in...just now able to log in today. GardenWeb has had some serious issues
for my computer lately - probably their aggressive and imprudent advertising choices, as usual.

Anyhow, Mike, I would remove those heavy branch stubs. But I always defer to Al for pruning advice.
On that second tree, my advice is the same - make use of that tiny branch as your next leader :-)

I hope the weather's nice for you, Mike! We're overcast and in the mid-70ðF's this week.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Done! And Hello Josh:-))))

I took pictures and I will post them tomorrow everyone. Al, I hope I got it right.

By the way Josh, the weather was a whopping 55 degrees today after 84 yesterday. I think my plants are confused lately.

Sweet dreams all.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Al, SHOOT! I think I may have cut back too much on the branch to the right in the top pic. Shoot! I hope it will heal over fine.

How does it look now? Could it use any further improvement or is it all set for now? Should I pinch the tops off or if it were your tree, would you cut it back even shorter from the top?

As for second tree. Look how much that tiny little branch is starting to grow in just the few days since I started this thread:-0)

This is an extra pic of my special Trident Maple tree.
Look Josh, after all that frost that damaged this baby suffered, it is coming back. Can you see the new nubs?

Thanks again everyone.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:22AM
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    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:54PM
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