How to Prune a Weeping Japanese Maple

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Japanese maples are often used as specimen trees in small gardens and large landscapes. They are slow growers and can live for centuries. Many weeping Japanese maples are grafted onto dwarf rootstock.

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The Basics of Pruning a Weeping Japanese Maple

Pruning a weeping Japanese maple is a bit different than pruning other trees. You’ll want to start by making sure that you have the proper tools for the job. You’ll also want to make sure that you know where you want to make your cuts before you start. Once you have those things squared away, you can begin pruning your tree.

What You’ll Need

Pruning shears
Loppers
A saw

Weeping Japanese maples are among the most beautiful of all the small trees that you can grow in your yard. They have a graceful, weeping habit and beautiful foliage that turns brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall. These trees are relatively easy to care for, but they do require some pruning to keep them looking their best.

When to Prune

Pruning a weeping Japanese maple is best done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This ensures that the pruning cuts will heal quickly and that the tree won’t be too disfigured by the removal of branches. You can prune again in early summer if necessary, but avoid pruning in late summer or early fall, as this can stimulate new growth that won’t have time to harden off before winter.

Steps to Prune a Weeping Japanese Maple

Weeping Japanese maples (Acer palmatum var. dissectum) are delicate, beautiful trees that are popular in landscaping. They are known for their graceful, weeping habit and their bright red, orange, or purple leaves. Pruning a weeping Japanese maple is a bit different than pruning other types of trees. In this article, we will go over the steps on how to prune a weeping Japanese maple.

Step One

First, you need to sterilize your pruning tools. You can do this by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution. This will help to prevent the spread of disease.

Next, you’ll need to identify the branches that need to be removed. These will typically be the ones that are dead, diseased, or damaged. Once you’ve identified the problem branches, cut them back to the point of origin (the branch collar).

Step Two

Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged wood back to live tissue using sharp pruning shears. Also remove any crossed, rubbing, or crowded branches. You can prune weeping maples at any time of year, but late winter or early spring is best so you can see the plant’s structure more easily.

Step Three

Evaluate the final shape of the weeping Japanese maple after pruning. The goal is to have a balanced tree with an even appearance. Remove any crossing, rubbing, or damaged branches. Also, remove any weak, thin, or overcrowded branches.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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