To Prune or Not to Prune?

raymondo17(z9 Sacramento)March 5, 2011

I have a Sangokaku Japanese Maple that, to my eye, looks like it needs some pruning. My wife, on the other hand, likes the way it looks and wants me to leave it alone. So I come to you fine gardeners to solicit your advice: Prune or don't prune?

If prune, any advice on approach would be appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Nice tree.

I might be tempted to get out the small bypass pruners and take off a couple of them tiny branches which will grow towards the ground and any rubbing branches. Looks like a good tree to me also though. I'm thinking maybe four, five cuts. Small stuff.

What were you thinking about doing?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:11AM
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raymondo17(z9 Sacramento)

Toronado, I have other Japanese Maples, but this Sangokaku seems to have many, many more tiny branches than the others, resulting in a heavily leaf-laden tree. Maybe this isn't a problem, but sometimes to my eye it just seems very leaf-heavy.

Also, as I understand it, the red bark is only apparent on new branches, so I thought that pruning of older wood on a Sangokaku would be beneficial.

Those are my thoughts as to why I might want to break out the shears.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:52PM
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jamesmaloy

Not being an expert of Japanese Maples, I only want to add that I agree with Toronado. No major pruning. I think the tree has a beautiful shape and surely must be gorgeous when leafed out.
James Maloy

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 12:32AM
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ripley529(z7a IL)

I have one about 7 ft tall with more of a central trunk like a tree, not as bushy as this one. Mine has only been in the ground about 3 years. It's central leader is red, and all the stem growth. Only part that is not red (coral), is below the graft.

Pruning is a matter of taste, but I would definately take out any branches rubbing on another.

Otherwise very pretty tree, will be happy when mine fills out somemore.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:02AM
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