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Pruning acers

I have a snake bark maple that has a bole diameter of about 8" also an Acer Brilliantissima with a bole diameter of over 12", both of which are growing too large for their site. Is it safe to prune them back? I would need to cut back about three feet or so all round.



  • wrighttwrightt Posts: 226

    Wait until all the leaves have fallen otherwise it might bleed as I suspect this is the same as what I have to do with my Acer Palmatum.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    It's not a brilliant idea with acer palmatum as the smaller acers don't like hard pruning - it is much better to prune them gently and regularly. If you must prune wait until early spring.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,789

    and do think about the overall shape, cutting back 3 feet all round could leave you with a sort of blob and acers have rather a fine shape naturally.

  • After the first hard frosts is best. The sap will be low then. You can try hardwood cutting with the removed branches.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    There was a piece about pruning Acers in a newspaper this weekend and it was stasted that Acers should be pruned very early in the year or they will bleed.

    But best not to prune them at all.

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 480
    I have an Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry', which I thought would be ideal for my small modern "development" (postage stamp), garden. I've since discovered that these trees grow quite tall (12m) and wide (5m). Given that my garden is only 10m deep, can I successfully keep it in check by pruning, or should I cut it down now? I planted it two years ago, and it is still only quite small (2m tall x 1m wide).

    When I bought it the website said it was iideal for small garden, but on the same website it now says medium garden!
  • @tim burr - Acer Crimson Sentry is different to Acer palmatum, a Japanese maple. Acer Crimson sentry is a palatnoide, so tall and tree like. You can prune them hard just like a fruit tree to keep them small.

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