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Transplanted mature Japanese Maple advice

jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
Hi, I had a mature cutleaf purple Japanese Maple moved back in January.  The guys that did the job didn't do everything perfectly, but it was a tricky on since the roots were tangled with another tree and were also embedded into almost solid clay in places.

Quite a bit of the canopy was lost and there was significant dieback, but it did start to put on new growth right toward the end of the summer after I started feeding with seaweed extract root stimulant  Some of this new growth was low down the trunk.

Now the leaves are gone and dormancy is here, I'm wondering about how to encourage more growth higher up in the main canopy.   

See below, if I cut these bursts of new growth from this year (the bits with the blue rings around) - will that encourage growth higher up?  And if so, is now a good time to do that?


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,140
    I'm always reluctant to prune my Acers but have to as one encroaches onto the driveway and the other onto the public pavement. I always do mine in the real depths of winter as they can 'bleed' quite heavily. January or February and I try to avoid when a frost is imminent.

    I can't comment on whether it will help generate growth in your case. One of the more knowledgeable folks may have some advice. 
  • arneilarneil Northern Ireland Posts: 274
    we moved one last autumn , watered it during the dry spell and it seems ok but we are not pruning it till it has been in for at least 2 years to make sure it is happy . One bit of new growth like yours got rubbed off by accident and I spotted another lower down , but leaving it . Is it to keep the canopy high ? I don't think it will contribute to thickening it further up by rubbing out the new growth
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,208
    If it only produced new foliage lower down it is possible those upper stems are dead.  Removing new stems and fliage lower down will simply starve it further.

    I would wait until mid summer to see if they recover and produce new foliage and, if not, learn the lesson and dig it out and replace it.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • jamesharcourtjamesharcourt West SussexPosts: 465
    It produced new growth higher up as well.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,208
    Then let that stay and see what happens next spring and summer.  Then cut off dead stems back to just above the fresh new growth.   Then you should leave it thicken out again as naturally as possible.  Japanese maples have a natural elegance of shape so best to leave well alone and let it recover in its own time.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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