acer pruning

Acer Negundo Variegata. Hi everyone and Happy New Gardening Year. My problem is : Is it ok to prune this tree now? On occasion I have trimmed it but it has bled. Now it needs a good shape up. Any ideas?



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,492

    Hi Patzz, This tree is also known as a boxelder.  From:


    Generally, pruning isn't necessary, but small trees can be pruned in order to accentuate shape. If pruning is desired, make cuts during summer/early fall (for climates with mild winters) or between late fall and mid-winter (in climates with freezing-temperature winters) in order to minimize sap bleeding."

    It's a US site so as we are in the UK I would take 'freezing climates' advice and prune it now if it really needs it but I expect it will bleed regardless.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • patzzpatzz Posts: 56

    Hi Bob, I expect it will. Normally I would,nt dream of pruning it but my daughter ill advisedly had to have this tree and it just grew and grew and was not planted in a place capable of letting it flourish. And guess who gets the job of pruning!!! Many thanks for your reply. I shall be taking the saw round soon. Good old Mum and Dad

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 12,097

    Prune it as soon as possible when it's dormant, then it shouldn't bleed. Once the sap rises it will bleed, so never prune in spring.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,244

    acers are real bleeders aren't they. 

    Acer negundo doesn't go well here and has never got to need any cutting but the field maples drip for days if I cut a branch off, even in the winter

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    My OH pollarded ours between Xmas and NY because it was over 8 m tall with lots of ingrowing branches, it didn't bleed at all. May not have so much shade this summer, but a bloke along the road did his last year and it grew like the clappers again, is now almost as big again as when he started.image

  • patzzpatzz Posts: 56

    Thanks everyone. Bleeder or not it,s for the chop. And the sooner the better. Though I suspect it will give it the incentive it needs to double in size. Triffid anyone ??

  • patzzpatzz Posts: 56

    Hi Verdun, I think this is less refined and has made a tree. My daughter was sold it as a small tree for a small garden. Depends on your interpretation of small I suppose.

  • I have a Flamingo acer that does not look happy,being eaten ,i also have other Acers that the leaves are starting to look moth eaten,and brown on the ends,should i cut my Flamingo back and how much,it is in a pot and about 4feet tall.


  • smandgtsmandgt Posts: 1

    Quite a few of the branches have reverted their leaves to green so after reading the above I think that I will mark the branches now and prune late Winter to Spring!

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