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Japanese Maple growth

Hi again
I have had this Japanese maple Orange Dream for about 3 years and always in a container. My main concern is the spindly erratic growth that is mostly outwards rather than up. This may just be because of its position in my back yard, where it only really gets the sun in the late afternoon. According to this plants info and pictures, it should be growing more upright than it is at the moment. Sent in a single image to highlight this
Pruning of acers seems to depend on which information you want to believe, as there are lots of opinions, which range from not to prune, to heavy pruning. Most however do not recommend pruning at this time of the year, so best left to late winter. But you can see from my specimen, that the temptation to control this growth is strong
If it just need re-positioning to catch a bit more sun, then I can put off the pruning until the proper time
Just like your opinions as to best procedure. Does not look like it in the image, but its beginning to command quite a bit of space, with all the new growth
My instinct is to cut back all the sideways growth, and trim the top, but for now that is on hold


  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    I would prune all the leggy pieces, to give it some sort of shape. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Yours looks much better than mine. I think mine did not like all the sun we got this year even though it was partly shaded. Moved it into more shade to see if it recovers. I just prune the leggy bits on mine when I'm passing!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    you can trim it now, take it back to a pair of leaves and it'll send out side shoots, i tend to trim my bonsai versions in July as it gives the new growth time to harden off before winter, but this year i waited until the heat and dry had passed to help it recover better, i'll just protect them from any early frosts.
  • Thanks all for your observations. Definitely needs a clipping, but read so much that its not the right time of year for pruning acers. Needs must , so one more job for the weekend. How far back to go treehugger80 with my cut ? I presume close to the main body of branches
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