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Acer Pruning

Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

I have two lovely mature Acers. One has a couple of dead branches that I'd like to remove and the second could do with a gentle trim back as it's starting to push out towards a pavement.

When would be a good time to do both these jobs?



  • actually about a month ago really, the dead bits it doesn't matter, but when pruning branches its best to do it in the summer as the wounds have time to heal before winter hits. plus you get a better idea of what they look like with leaves on.

    that said you can still prune now if you have too, take it back to a joint otherwise you leave a little stub of branch that dies back, never heals properly and leaves the tree open to infection. plus it looks terrible.

  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    Here's the two trees in question. Firstly, the one with a couple of dead branches


    And secondly the one which is encroaching on the public footpath. The main trunk is our side of the fence but as it's grown it's spread itself out.


    I had read about only pruning when dormant due to high sap hence my question here. Thanks again.

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 35,817

    You were right to re ask that question. Acers should be pruned between November and January whilst completely dormant Dave.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    Thanks LB4. Would it be acceptable to use an electric hedge trimmer do you think? The branches in question are pretty fine at the point where I'd want to cut back to.

    Thanks again to all. 

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Posts: 35,817

    I personally wouldn't use a hedge trimmer Dave. I prefer loppers/secateurs for that kind of a job. Hedge trimmers can be a bit brutal.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • no no no too hedge cutter, these buitifull trees should be pruned with care.

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,888

    There's a case for a late summer prune, as sap should be slowing and you can see the overall shape, but a winter prune is more common/advised. I agree with the others that hedge trimmers are not the right tool - go for clean and sharp cutters. Ideally do small trims and removal of dead branches annually rather than a big massacre. 

    Mine all receive a leaf-mulch with each Autumn - nature's free service! 

    Last edited: 20 September 2016 21:05:43

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,142

    Thanks all.

    I will avoid the use of a hedge trimmer and I have also washed out my mouth with soap and water! image

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