Japanese Maple Tree Pruning

Pruning a Japanese Maple Tree

Many thanks to Master Gardener, Debbie Gurrad, for providing her expertise and also to Japanese maple tree owner, Cheryl and CVHS member, for allowing us to film this large pruning project.

In the video, Debbie helps Cheryl rejuvenate her tip-pruned maple tree. The pruning starts in September when the tree is in full leaf. At this time, only a light pruning is done because the branch structure can’t be seen. In the second half of the video (filmed in March), Debbie returns to provide additional structural pruning just before bud break. Many concepts are covered in this quite long video: tip pruning vs base pruning and which one should be used when and where, the importance of pruning to the branch collar correctly, how to achieve a layered, airy, dappled sun/shade look for your Japanese maple, proper balance, watching for crowded, rubbing, and crossed branches, branches growing in the wrong direction, the 30% annual pruning limit, and pruning from the bottom up and out to achieve the most effective results. If you have a maple tree that needs a severe pruning you may find what you need here!