Tag Archives: spring pruning

Japanese Maple Spring Pruning

Japanese Maple before spring pruning
Japanese Maple after spring pruning - beautiful trunk, branches and wonderful light!

Upon first glance, it might be hard to even tell this is a tree not a large shrub. Under previous ownership, it use to be sheared every year into a round ball. Now the goal is to have a more natural shaped canopy as well as open it up so the interesting branches and trunk can be viewed. Oh, and look like an actual tree!

You will notice in the “before” picture how dark it is under the tree and how you can’t even see the branches or trunk but in the “after” picture, dappled light makes the whole garden seems lighter and breathe easier. I admit I pruned the juniper in the background as well but that is another story!

This is a familiar scenario –Large Japanese maple, close to the house with the original design intent long forgotten. It may take a few years of spring and winter pruning to get the tree back to looking like a tree and not a lolly pop but each season I am more impressed with how the tree is revealing its true essence.


Lace Leaf Maple

Lace leaf maple before spring pruning

April is a great time to do detailed pruning on Lace Leaf Maples (Acer dissectum).  Its important to wait until the new leaves have hardened up but once they do its time to reveal the beautiful trunk structure of the tree.  I always save a few branches for vases  because the leaves are so beautiful this time of year before the sun and hot weather of summer take their toll. This is the first spring pruning for the maple in these pictures. Unlike many lace leaf maples this one is very compact so I have been careful to reveal just the right amount of trunk so it does not look so “busy” inside.  The long term goal for this tree is to reduce the clutter of branches as well as replant the tree so the crown of the trunk is not buried so deep in the ground.

Lace leaf maple after spring pruning