About Japanese Maple Trees
Particularly sought after, due to their elegance and aesthetic appeal, these plants require periodic pruning. When this species was first brought to Europe, it was named as 'Acer Palmatum' due to the hand shaped leaves it has.
Even the original Japanese name (Irohamomiji) refers to the leaf shape, which resembles baby hands. Their dome-shaped growth pattern, beautiful branching pattern, and rich colors, make them a popular choice in gardens. Even bonsai Japanese maples are available, which are grown as indoor potted plants.
When to Prune Them
The choice of the latter period makes pruning easier for beginners, as the trees are leafless then and their branching pattern is more discernible. Having a look at the bones of the tree, which are the branches, you can decide how to alter its structure through pruning.
Lightly pruning the trees is possible in any season. The only time when it is not advisable is during spring, when the trees have sap rising in them. Besides knowing when to prune them, you need to know what exactly should you prune. It is meant to promote the growth of the tree and make it presentable.
The parts of the tree, that you must get rid of, through pruning are dead or deformed branches, crossing branches, and branches growing in wrong directions. Of course, which direction is wrong, will be decided by the pattern you want the tree to grow into.
Tips on Pruning
Plan Out the Look
Decide the kind of look that you want the tree to have. Plan your pruning accordingly. Some people prune these trees, over a period of three years, which ensures that their natural growth is not hampered. Prune only a few branches at a time. Pruning sickly or dead branches should not be delayed. A bottom-up and inside-out pruning pattern is advised.
Do Not Prune More Than One-Third
Another thing to remember is regarding the extent of pruning you can have at one go. It is advised by expert gardeners that not more than one-third of the tree should be pruned, at a time.
Seal Pruning Cuts
Make sure that you seal the pruning cuts after the job is done. This prevents bleeding of sap and insect infestation. Plan periodic checks of the tree for any signs of bleeding cuts. Make sure that they are sealed properly.