Ask a Question forum: I need help shaping Japanese Maple saplings

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Apr 25, 2015 2:34 PM CST
I've grown these from seed and their a little over a year old. They've naturally grown crooked, I would like to trim so the trees grow straight again, where should I prune?
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Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Apr 26, 2015 3:31 PM CST
I would not prune for several years yet. I might tie them gently to a stake..
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Apr 27, 2015 12:45 PM CST
Coppice said:I would not prune for several years yet. I might tie them gently to a stake..


I'm giving them away so they need to be ready for planting. When I planted mine it was slightly smaller than these but growing straight so I never had to prune.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 28, 2015 12:12 PM CST
Coppice said:I would not prune for several years yet. I might tie them gently to a stake..


Ditto.

A stake will sorta straighten the tree out... but I'd hold off on the stake, these trees don't look large enough for any rough handling.

Trees have a way to naturally straighten the main leader... if we leave them be.

When we cut the main leader off... they turn into bushes...
All the buds near the cut will send out new growth... and instead of one sorta crooked main leader, you'll have multiple main leaders, and they will more difficult to fix than what you have now...

Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Apr 28, 2015 12:42 PM CST
stone said:

Ditto.

A stake will sorta straighten the tree out... but I'd hold off on the stake, these trees don't look large enough for any rough handling.

Trees have a way to naturally straighten the main leader... if we leave them be.

When we cut the main leader off... they turn into bushes...
All the buds near the cut will send out new growth... and instead of one sorta crooked main leader, you'll have multiple main leaders, and they will more difficult to fix than what you have now...



Ok I understand now not to prune. I will tell the new owners to leave the tree be it will grow other branches and fill in and even itself out.

Do they look healthy otherwise?
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Apr 28, 2015 12:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Apr 30, 2015 9:50 AM CST
I think J. maples look good when allowed to twist and turn, and I tend to purposely prune mine to encourage that. Just another thought/option.
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