scraggley unpruned japanese maple

jsanders420(7)December 8, 2012

I have become the proud owner of a 20 year old (ish) Japanese maple that has never seen a set of pruning shears. One stick going straight up 20+ ft. I am going to try to save it, the root system must be great, but I have no idea what to do. I'm thinking of just whacking it off about 5 feet up (above a limb)and taking good care of it. Is there any better way?

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

please post pictures.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:19PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Almost all ways are better than 'whacking' it off at five feet. You're proud of it, don't ruin it.
Yes, please post a picture.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 3:09AM
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Pruning is never a "requirement" with Japanese maples but rather an aesthetic choice. I know of many, many JM's that have never seen pruners (or so seldom that they wouldn't recognize them!) and most look just fine and are structurally sound as well.

As previously stated, a photo of the tree in question is essential before anyone can give appropriate advice. And as an aside, "whacking" and Japanese maples should never be used together in the same sentence :-) Of any type of ornamental tree, the correct pruning of JM's is an art rather than a science and a very delicate hand should be used at all times. Once it's off, you can't put it back!!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 5:25PM
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