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When to trim back an Acer & holly tree

My mum has an Acer & holly tree and I'm wondering when is the best time of year to trim them to shape?


  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,989

    Regarding the Acer, I would personally suggest that pruning is not required - they are quite beautiful to let grow away. If you do need to prune, however, the standard advice is to do over Winter as the sap will be dormant - although a late summer prune can work. Ensure you use clean, sharp cutters for damage and disease limitation. 

    I am not sure of the official advice on pruning Holly but I do mine over the summer - but this is more shaping/pruning rather than major branch removal.

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Hi, thanks for the replies, pruning was maybe the wrong word, shaping,

    My dad usually done the pruning but he's no longer with us.

    the Acer has usually been shaped to the dome shape, I did do it about this time last, I'll get it done next week.

    The holly just needs trimmed to a shape as well, I'll see what it's like next week


  • Id post the holly tree but it's not letting me upload it?

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,307

    What a beautiful and well looked after tree.

    Any significant pruning on acers is best done in mid-winter. The do bleed sap unless they're dormant.

    If you're just removing the whippy growth now, that'll be fine.

    As for the holly - I hack away any time of year - they're completely indestructible and throw up runners all over the place in my garden.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • You are right there Pete8. We had our holy tree pollarded (is that the right word) about 10 years ago - it is about 30 foot tall and I have to say for a year or two after this big cut it did look odd, but now has grown back into a beautiful rounded topped tree again - sorry too late for pictures. But just to prove your point that holy trees are virtually indestructible. . It is probably as old as the house - over 100 years, just like the pine trees and camellias we have here in the garden.

  • Thanks for the replies, looks like about now is the right time to shape it.

    Still can't get to upload the holly tree, is there a size limit for uploads?

  • image lol

  • Ha, ha, Tetley, you did make me laugh out loud - my spelling is atrocious at the best of times. Your comment made me think of past inhabitants, as children we used to come here to get HOLLY from the vicar who lived here in the house in the 1960's. So it was a holy holly tree back then.

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