The Q&A Archives: Japanese Maple

Question: I have a Japanese Maple that is growing nicely ... but I have no clue how to prune it. I bought it because it was shaped really odd, mostly growing to one side but now it is hanging very close to the ground. It seemes to grow more long then tall and I don't want it hanging in the dirt ... it makes it look weepy ... should I prop it up until the trunk catches up to its limbs ... help me out please.

Answer: Immature maples sometimes develop odd branch patterns. I'd prune it to make it look more symmetrical. First, start by removing the low hanging branches, then prune to even things up so it is no longer lopsided. If you need to remove an entire limb, cut it cleanly back to the trunk of the tree. Otherwise, remove small side branches by cutting them close to a main branch. I typicially prune my Japanese maples in the early spring (never removing more than one-third of the live material), then I selectively prune out misplaced branches as the summer progresses. Although its 15 years old, I've managed to keep my Japanese maple short (about 5') with a roundish canopy. You can do the same. Best wishes with your maple!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"