View Full Version : japenese maples
10-29-2002, 10:54 AM
quick question is there anything special that you need to do to prune a japanese maple? i've never pruned any and people who have them around here seem to worship them.
10-29-2002, 11:58 AM
I would not touch them. I have some and I prune mine as needed. BUT, you know if you do theirs and something happens to them you will be to blame. I'm sure you don't want to spend the $$ to replace them.
10-29-2002, 12:00 PM
a little searching provided.....
Pruning and wiring Root pruning should be accompanied by branch pruning so that the root system is not overstressed trying to supply nutrients to an oversize branch system. Branch pruning should be done mainly in fall or winter, to avoid excess loss of sap and so that the shape of the tree can be better seen. Seal pruning wounds with a wound dressing (bonsai suppliers often carry a wound dressing putty from Japan that works well and can be cleaned up after the wound has healed).
To develop fine branches and avoid long internodes, pinch back new growth during the growing season. Pinch back new shoots by pruning them to two sets of leaves (internodes). An internode is the space on a branch from one pair of leaves to the next. In Japan, the centers of new shoots are removed with tweezers and a magnifying glass just as the shoot is opening up for maximum internode reduction.
If a branch has already been allowed to grow out with long internodes, the only way to shorten them is to cut back the branch to the first internode and re-grow it, with appropriate pinching to keep the internodes short.
Leaf pruning (removal of leaves during the growing season) can be done every other year in early summer to encourage smaller leaves. All of the leaves are removed from the tree, leaving the leaf stems on the branches. This "false autumn" results in a second set of leaves that is smaller than the first set. Do not leaf prune the same year that a tree is repotted.
Maples are usually shaped by pinching and pruning. If wiring is necessary, wire in summer when the tree is in full leaf, protect the bark with raffia, and do not leave the wire on for more than six months. The trunk of a young maple can be shaped by tying it to a stake so that it is bent in the desired shape or kept straight if a formal upright is desired.
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