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Pruning acers

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  • Joy90Joy90 Posts: 35

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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,111

    Not really - Acers bleed if pruned in the growing season which can harm them and allow infection.
    If you just want to remove a few whippy stems, that should be ok if you must, but keep it to a minimum and prune when the tree is dormant between Nov and Jan is best

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Joy90Joy90 Posts: 35

    Thanks that's helpful.

  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 2,630

    Joy 90 If you look back through this thread you can see there is a lot of conflicting advice..Yes Acers will bleed but mostly in early spring when sap is rising. Do any large structural pruning in the dormant season. The Japaneses experts prune in all 4 seasons just not in early spring, but you have to know what you are doing. Light trimming of any wayward extension growth could be done now, any die back can also be taken off as it's dead anyway,  anything bigger leave to winter.

    AB Still learning

  • Iain R says:

    Joy 90 If you look back through this thread you can see there is a lot of conflicting advice..Yes Acers will bleed but mostly in early spring when sap is rising. Do any large structural pruning in the dormant season. The Japaneses experts prune in all 4 seasons just not in early spring, but you have to know what you are doing. Light trimming of any wayward extension growth could be done now, any die back can also be taken off as it's dead anyway,  anything bigger leave to winter.

    See original post

     Do you recommend staking the Acer if it's getting blown a bit? (some trees can handle it no problem)

  • Doghouse Riley says:
    JP01 says:
    Iain R says:

    Joy 90 If you look back through this thread you can see there is a lot of conflicting advice..Yes Acers will bleed but mostly in early spring when sap is rising. Do any large structural pruning in the dormant season. The Japaneses experts prune in all 4 seasons just not in early spring, but you have to know what you are doing. Light trimming of any wayward extension growth could be done now, any die back can also be taken off as it's dead anyway,  anything bigger leave to winter.

    See original post

     Do you recommend staking the Acer if it's getting blown a bit? (some trees can handle it no problem)

    See original post

     I've more than staked them, I've physically trained them, by surrounding them with bamboo canes linked by a strong wire, then attached other wires to various branches and over time shortened them to get an even spread of the branches. They respond quite well as long as you remember the branches won't bend much before breaking.

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  • Thanks Iain R, I like the idea of staking and training it to some degree but as this is my first time with Acers can you give me any advice? Thank you

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  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 2,630

    It was Doghouse Riley that has staked & trained his Acer, & very good it looks too! You can use wire wrapped round like they do in Bonsai but that can mark the stems. Staking & tying seems a more natural way, remember this is quite a long term process you may need to leave ties on for up to 2 years to get branches where you want them, obviously thin whippy growth will be more compliant.  There is a lack of really good books on the subject, but one you may find helpful is "An Illustrated guide to Japanese Maples for Garden Planting & Patio Pots"  by Neil Kenny of  Larchfield Trees. Though there is a rather more on propagation & grafting than most people will want it has good advice on potting & growing plus some on pruning & training. 

    It depends on what you want to acheive, with such a young tree you may want to leave it another season to see how it develops naturally or if you have an overall shape in mind then look at where branches are placed & decide from there. As with all trees & shrubs any crossing or over congestion of branches should be dealt with in the dormant season. For the size of tree you have over-potted a bit but I would leave it now. One advantage of a potted plant is you can turn it regularly so it gets an even amount of light all round, unless  of course you want to get it to grow in one particular direction for a reason. I say a gain it is quite a long term process patience is a virtue!

    P.S. There are other threads on this site that may be worth looking at. 

    AB Still learning

  • Thank you so much Iain R, I've decided to let it go it's own way for a couple of years and have just diagonally staked the trunk. I'll leave any major pruning till early spring and we'll see. Thanks again for all your help 

  • alix6alix6 Posts: 1

    JP01 ....I also bought Sangu-Katu this year, and Osakazuki, after an autumn trip to RHS Wisley, I was hooked! Both have suffered with the wind and I'm trying to place them in different parts of the garden to try to shelter them. Both have lost leaves mid stem as a result ...my plan is to wait for leaf fall and then try to pinch them back moderately to some sort of shape. The pink stems on Sangu-Katu are stunning during the winter.

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