The Japanese maple is a sumptuous tree that deserves its popularity thanks to its beauty. It offers several impressive spectacles: the first with its flowering in spring, the second with its colors in autumn. For these spectacles of nature to persist, regular pruning is of great importance. In this article, you will discover how to prune a Japanese maple step by step.
How to prune a Japanese maple?
Why prune a Japanese maple?
Pruning a Japanese maple contributes to the good health of the tree. There are several reasons why regular pruning is not only necessary, but it is part of the care that makes the tree so majestic. Here are the four points to emphasize and understand before taking action:
Control tree growth
Under ideal conditions, the Japanese maple can grow very quickly and this cannot be left to chance. Pruning it regularly is a considerable asset for the tree, but also for a more harmonious environment.
The branches of the Japanese maple are very dancing and create a magical universe that requires maintenance to control its growth
Maintain an attractive shape
If the tree is known for its beautiful shape and its foliage, it is not without the maintenance which consists of structuring it by pruning and keeping the leaves in good health.
Promote branch growth
Regularly pruning the Japanese maple stimulates the regrowth of lateral branches. This helps to increase the density of a beautiful, full and attractive shape.
Remove diseased branches
Pruning out dead and diseased branches significantly improves the overall condition of the tree. This frees up space for new shoots and the opportunity to flourish in the best conditions.
Prune your Japanese maple regularly to maintain beautiful shape, encourage the growth of new branches and remove diseased or damaged ones
When to prune Japanese maple?
The best time to prune Japanese maple is during the dormant period from November to February. This will avoid unnecessary stress by pruning. Or to be more precise, before it enters the growing season, just before new leaves appear in spring. This rule mainly concerns young trees and is practiced annually. While older trees may go through pruning every two to three years.
Another precaution to take into account is to never prune the Japanese maple during extreme heat. This will cause water stress and make it vulnerable to disease. Also during flowering, as this can cause damage.
The dormant period is the best time to prune the Japanese maple
Simply follow the five steps described below and you will not go wrong with the recommended actions and techniques.
#1 The first step concerns the preparation of the necessary equipment: gardening gloves, sharp pruners and eye protection.
#2 The second step is to remove dead and diseased branches. This is a good cleansing of the inert mass that prevents the tree from breathing.
Dead or diseased branches can be removed at any time avoiding periods of high heat
#3 The third step suggests pruning crossed and damaged branches to encourage healthy development. Interference between crossing branches and new branches can hinder the growth of the latter.
#4 The fourth step requires pruning branches that are too long or too large. They unbalance the structure of the tree. Try to establish a hierarchy that will allow it to be better anchored and stable. It will serve as a basis for building over time.
#5 The fifth step is the tree shape. Maintain its silhouette as much as possible by cutting out branches that grow outwards. This helps rebalance the shape. Beauty in our eyes is expressed through symmetry. To achieve this, let’s not forget that the golden rule is to always cut above a bud or shoot.
Branches often grow outwards and unbalance the shape of the tree
With all these practical tips, you will know how to prune a Japanese maple in the best way to make it beautiful and healthy. If the pruning of the adult tree is done every two or three years, regular maintenance of the shape and cleaning of the branches is the result of more sustained and regular work.