Prune a Japanese Maple

tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)March 9, 2012

Hi all,

I have a Japanese Maple which is mis-shapen. It was growing underneath a 35' Norway Maple and a Crabapple. Both the Norway Maple and crab were very damaged from storms and sapsuckers, respectively. I had to take them down this past winter, along with a pin cherry.

I was very sad especially to have to remove the crab, as it used to attract baltimore orioles, The crab pretty much stopped flowering last year.

Anyway, the remaining Japanese Maple has been neglected and is not very symmetrical.

If it needs to be heavily pruned, is this the time to do it?

What areas need to be removed.

(Links for three other pics at the bottom)



Northwestern New Jersey

Three other pics

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

that is one of the biggest JM's i have ever seen ....

and looks a lot like a couple of my redbuds.. are we sure on this ID???

what i dont understand.. is WHY you think it needs anything ...

so.. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL ... and once you define that.. then you will start to get a better idea of how to go about it all ...

there are a couple low branches.. that would smack me on the head on the riding lawnmower.. i would take those out ...

i would remove any crossing branches.. and dead ones ...

but otherwise .. it look pretty good .. as it is ...



    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:13PM
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As ken said, I don't think you need to prune anything..
Here is the largest Jap maple I have ever seen.. (for fun)


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 3:10PM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

Well, my wife wants it symmetrical. So, the question is, will it become symmetrical in several years on its own, in full sun?

That all I need to know.



    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:04PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

perhaps you can have her explain what that means ...

because it looks pretty symmetrical to me...

perhaps her problem ... dont touch that.. lol .. is the hill it is on ...

in other words.. her perception ...

since it is just coming out from growing in the shade.. i would probably give it a season or two.. before i went in there and screwed it up

or... buy her a pruning saw for mothers day .. and tell her to go at it .. lol ...


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:44PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

What a landscape changing experience! And a pretty neatly shaped tree you have.

I might let the Japanese maple go for a year and see what it does. If you have a hot dry summer I would be a little concerned a tree used to the shade might burn a bit.

One of my dogwoods which was in the shade of an ash tree is growing all these shoots up towards the sun. I need a plan to prune a couple off. You can probably have that kind of fun next year.

Also, if any branches are crossing and rubbing you can prune them. Be conservative, it takes way less time to cut a branch off than grow it back.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 9:30PM
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