Pruning Japanese Maples - Knowledgebase Question

Conyers, Ge
Question by ccoleman26
March 11, 2010
I live just outside of Atlanta. When and How do I prune my Japanese Maples? They are growing vertical are growing vertical and I would like for them to fill in and grow more horizontally. One tree is about 5 years old and for the last 2 seasons the leaves have been sparse and small. How do I help it to promote healthy growth.

Answer from NGA
March 11, 2010


If you shorten the branches they will develop new branches toward the center of the plant. You may need to prune the new branches back as well to make it even more bushy. I prune my Japanese maples in the early spring, just as new growth begins and then prune out errant branches as they appear in the summer. Try pruning early the spring with a second pruning in early summer. Repeat the process next spring and summer and your maples should be fuller and not so sparse. Best wishes with your trees.

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