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Japanese maple

Lynne9Lynne9 Posts: 3

I recently purchased some 2 litre potted Japanese Maples. I have Béni-hagoromo,Trompenburg, Atropupureum.  some have branches clustered low down about 1' up from base and then much taller branches straight up about 5 or 6 as high as four feet.  Should I be pruning these now or leave them alone for A year or two. I don't want to spoil the natural shape bit I also don't want half the tree way up high and then a cluster of lower branches.  So anyone know a good book I can get?  All websites I've seen are about pruning either Bonsai, which i do not want or pruning really mature trees.. help....


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,567

    I would just remove those low branches, close to the main trunk, as soon as the leaves fall.  Next spring, they should then concentrate their energy on leaves for the upper branches.  You can gently rub off, with your fingers and thumb, any buds that try to shoot from the main stem so you end up with a clear trunk and a fine canopy as they mature over the coming years.  

    Keep them sheltered from extremes of cold as this can lead to dead stems which need snipping out once all frosts have passed.   Protect the new foliage form strong winds that desiccate the leaves and looks unsightly.  Paler leaved forms also need protection form strong sun.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,027

    You need to be aware, that not all Acers should be the same shape.

    Some are "standard" tree shape, whilst others are like mushrooms, low and spreading. This obviously influences how you might want to prune them.

    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,000

    Another point to remember ; try to use only rainwater if available , and under no circumstances let them dry out , not even for one day !! Highly susceptible to drought , especially younger plants image

  • Thanks so much for advice. I've had a couple of beautiful lace leaf for 20 years that are/were in great nick until we moved. Mover broke one really badly and a fox landed on top same one last February which, was then followed by some very late deep frosts, we are in mid-Wales. The net curtain covers I use, lightweight, had been dragged off without me realising, fox or someones farm cat and it is in dire need of a reshape. Which I will do in winter. I am not so worried about that One. I left them alone for years before time and weather damage required some light pruning but these new ones are very different shaped acers.

    i will do as suggested and take of the lower clusters and allow the taller and higher placed branches to grow on and thicken. Rainwater is what I use generally only occasional hose water. All are planted in mix of john Ines no3 and ericaceous as it's worked for me to date.  Where they are positioned now, all in pots, is ok for summer but for winter it gets too windy and they will be moved against the house wall.

    Any other advice appreciated and any books dealing with growing and shaping young plants would also be on my wish list.

    thanks all L

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,567

    Try google.  There must be something out there but not necessarily a whole book.  Ask at your local library which will have access to lists of "Books in Print" on any subject plus any available to lend in their system.

    Meanwhile, there's a bit here if you scroll down - and here - 

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Lynne9Lynne9 Posts: 3

    Obelixx..thanks for links!

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