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Limiting Height of Crimson Queen

Posted by jamgood96 8 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 19, 10 at 16:09

Hi all! I'm wanting to plant a Japanese Maple Lace Leaf in my front yard, but am quite concerned about the height. My old house that I grew up at has three JM's that are probably around 4-5' tall, and have a spread of around 8'. They have been there 25+ years and still look great. I think they're Crimson Queens, but don't know for sure. Everything I read says the CQ's can grow to 8-10'. Is this always the case, or can the height be limited by certain pruning methods or staking methods? Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Limiting Height of Crimson Queen

The ultimate height of a Crimson Queen (or any other weeping form for that matter) will depend on where the graft is located and how the tree has been trained or staked. If a low graft and no staking (or the early removal of any stakes), then you will have trees that grow no more than 4-5 feet, if that. The higher the graft, the taller the tree will be before it develops a weeping habit. And the longer the tree is staked to encourage vertical growth, the taller it will grow. For some reason, many growers insist on staking, likely because it does protect the young trees to some degree during transport. The problems arise once the tree hits the retailer and the customer, who leave the stake in place after planting unnecessarily.

I always remove any staking as soon as the tree is planted in the ground, both on any weeping forms as well as the upright varieties. This allows the trees to assume a much more natural - and in the case of weeping forms, a lower - overall habit.

RE: Limiting Height of Crimson Queen

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 23, 10 at 11:33

Higher crowns give weeping trees some elevation from which the branches can descend. As with other trees and shrubs weeping lace-leaved Japanese maples with a defined single trunk imparting a tree shape have more presence. As with other weeping forms, the branches should, however be allowed to cascade to the ground. Cutting lower branches off to produce a floating crown creates a visual tension (the floating, non-anchored appearance) and makes the specimen less impressive than one that has a sweeping basal skirt.

All of the branch structure becomes visible in winter, when the leaves fall off. It is not necessary to limb up or open up the plant in order to see its branches in summer.

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