Horticulturist shares how to ‘properly’ prune Japanese maples for ‘healthy growth’

Winter is an ideal time to prune, as the lack of leaves on deciduous trees and shrubs enables gardeners to see what they are pruning more clearly. What’s more, since the sap is not as active during the winter, the cut is less likely to “bleed,” and the tree or shrub is less of a shock than being cut when the sap is in full flow. The wounds will fall over just as they would in nature, and this natural healing process should take place before growth begins again in the spring. While Japanese maples are typically planted around October to March, December is a good time to start pruning acres.

John Valentino, president of John & Bob’s Smart Soil Solutions, shares his top tips for pruning Japanese maples in a YouTube video titled ‘How to Prune a Japanese Maple Tree.

He said: “It’s a cold day here in December, but it’s an excellent day to show you how to encourage health and growth on trees when they lie dormant until early spring. We’re going to show you exclusively step by step Going to show how to prune a Japanese Maple.

“I’m John Valentino, president of John and Bob and I’m a landscape architect and a landscape contractor. I’m going to talk about thinning and going back as the first step in properly pruning a Japanese maple. Am.

The gardening pro stresses that timing is “critical” when thinking about pruning Japanese maples. He said that for gardeners who have small acer trees and want them to grow more, they need to prune it in mid-December when it is dormant or just beginning to go dormant.

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However, it is different for those with large maples. John said: “For a large Japanese maple we are always trying to control growth, I would wait and prune it after it has put out all its leaves in the spring because those leaves photosynthesize and help that tree.” Let it grow even bigger.

“So as soon as it puts on all its new growth, we’ll trick it and we’ll cut off all that new growth and it’s a great way to control size on any tree or any plant.”

According to the expert, while pruning Japanese maples, it is essential to avoid back cuts as it is inappropriate to do so. Heading back cuts are when you cut a branch right down the middle without regard to the location of the buds or where the angle of growth is directed.

The expert said: “A heading back cut is when we cut it right down the middle, regardless of where it comes out and not caring about any buds or anything. Avoid these cuts .

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The expert urges gardeners to make thinning cuts to their acers instead. John explained: “So a thin cut is when we remove the whole branch, we go back to where it starts and we cut it down, so what we’re left with is a tree that which looks similar but just has fewer branches.

“Then you can see through it you can see the structure of the tree. The key to it and the beauty of it in Japanese maple are these thin cuts.

Before making thin cuts, John recommends making “preliminary cuts” first, especially for larger Japanese maps. He claimed it would be “very helpful”.

The expert said: “Many times the branches are heavy and if you try to go straight in and try to thin it out because it is so heavy it will start to crack. can tear the bark and leave a very bad cut. We want clean, precise cuts that heal very easily.”

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Once the prance is cut, John advises not to add anything over the cut. He said: “Don’t put anything on the injuries, these heal best by making nice clean cuts with sharp instruments and they will heal themselves.

“So if your branch is heavy, it’s a really good technique to cut it in half where you take off a lot of the weight and then make a final cut where you have a bit of branch left – which is very Makes nice clean cuts.

A special type of branching to remove from Japanese maples is cross branching. John explained: “So there are a few simple rules that will help you a lot if you keep them in mind. You don’t need to keep a lot of things in mind and one of the rules that will serve you well is the removal of crossings.” Have branches.

“So, especially on a new tree, many times you’ll see branches going in every direction and crossing each other. Whenever you see that you want to make a thin cut to remove that entire branch, We want to cross branches.

In some cases gardeners can find branches that are starting to cross and they can choose a bud that will go in a different direction if they want to leave the branch. When an acer tree is young, the expert advised not to take everything. He added: “You want to leave a good amount so that it has a good amount of foliage that can feed itself in the spring.”

Branches that are growing too close to each other around the stem. Horticulture Pro said: “We want to prune away branches that are too close together because if they are too close together on the trunk, they will grow together.

“They’ll make it so you have a weak attachment there because the branches are too close. Instead we want to spread them out so they can have a strong attachment.”

According to John, for any tree but much more so for Japanese maples, the objective is to open up the center a bit and so gardeners must remove more branches from right in the middle of the tree to accomplish this task. Stay away from thin cuts and heading back cuts. The expert said: “So we’ll look in the center and if the branch is pointing to the center, we’ll take some of that out.”

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