Deer pruning on Japanese Maples

judyny6(z6 NY)April 8, 2007

I am sort of new to Japanese Maples. I have 5 so far, 2 of them full size. The other 3 are 3 foot trees, and have all been nibbled by deer, even though I spray them with repellents. Butterfly and an unknown seedling are slightly lopsided, and Seiryu has had a large branch stepped on and removed. Will these trees compensate as they grow and regain their shape? Or should I prune them to try and even them out now while they are still small? Is now a good time to prune them- they have not started to leaf out yet. I would appreciate any advice to keep them beautiful.

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mattlwfowler

If you want a central leader it would be a good idea to stake or prune it to follow this somewhat unnatural habit for many JMs. However, the branches will usually fill in for the most part and pruning is only necessary if you want a particlar limb structure IMO.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 8:34PM
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mattlwfowler

Having said that, let me say that a naturally grown JM can be a great tree...but a carefully pruned and cared for JM can be an EXCEPTIONAL tree.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 8:35PM
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judyny6(z6 NY)

Thank you for your advice. Can you or anyone else suggest any good books on correct pruning methods? I don't want to do any further damage to the shape of my trees. Or if pruning the central leader is easily done, can someone tell me where it should be cut and when? Thanks, Judy.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 12:17PM
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namnhi2(HOU, TX)

Judy,
www.mountainmaples.com has pretty good tips on how to prune them.
NamNhi

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:23AM
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