How to Prune a Weeping Japanese Maple

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Weeping Japanese maples are a beautiful addition to any landscape. But like all trees, they need to be pruned from time to time. Here’s a quick guide on how to prune a weeping Japanese maple.

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Pruning Basics

Pruning is a necessary and important step in caring for a weeping Japanese Maple. Without proper pruning, the tree will become overgrown and the weeping effect will be lost. There are a few things to keep in mind when pruning a weeping Japanese Maple. First, always prune in the dormant season when the tree is not actively growing. Second, prune to shape the tree and encourage new growth. Third, never remove more than 1/3 of the tree’s canopy.


Pruning a weeping Japanese maple should be done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.


Pruning tools come in all shapes and sizes, but there are only a few essential tools that you really need to get started. A good pair of bypass pruners is the first tool you’ll need. Bypass pruners have two blades that come together in a scissor-like action, and they’re great for cutting through green, living wood. You’ll also need a pair of loppers for cutting thicker branches, and a small pruning saw for cutting branches that are too thick for loppers.

Weeping Japanese Maple

Weeping Japanese maples are a beautiful addition to any landscape. But like all trees, they need to be pruned on a regular basis to maintain their health and shape. In this article, we’ll show you how to prune a weeping Japanese maple.

Why prune?

A weeping Japanese maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum) is a beautiful addition to any garden, with its delicate, drooping leaves and graceful branches. However, like all trees, it needs occasional pruning to keep it healthy and looking its best.

There are several reasons why you might need to prune your weeping Japanese maple. If the tree is young and still growing, you may need to prune it to shape it or control its growth. Older trees may need pruning to remove dead or damaged branches, or to thin out the canopy to allow more light and air to reach the inner parts of the tree.

Whatever the reason for pruning, it’s important to do it carefully so that you don’t damage the tree or spoil its natural shape. With a little knowledge and a gentle touch, you can keep your weeping Japanese maple looking beautiful for many years to come.

How to prune

Pruning a weeping Japanese maple is best done in late winter or early spring, before the new growth appears. You can prune weeping Japanese maples to control their size and shape, or to remove dead or damaged branches.

To prune a weeping Japanese maple, start by removing any dead or diseased branches with pruning shears or a saw. Then, cut back any branches that are growing outside of the desired shape of the tree. Finally, thin out the canopy of the tree by removing some of the branches from the center, allowing more light to reach the inner branches.

What to avoid

Weeping Japanese maples are beautiful trees that can add character and interest to any garden. But if you’re not careful, they can also take over your garden and become a complete nightmare to deal with. If you want to keep your weeping Japanese maple under control, there are a few things you need to avoid doing.

First of all, never prune your weeping Japanese maple during the summer months. This is the time when the tree is actively growing, and pruning will only stimulate new growth. If you prune during the summer, you’ll end up with a lot more work in the fall when you have to prune again to keep the tree in shape.

Second, never prune more than 1/3 of the tree’s branches in any given year. Pruning too much at once can shocks the tree and cause dieback. It’s better to prune a little bit each year so that the tree has time to adjust and recover.

Finally, avoid topping or shearing your weeping Japanese maple. This type of severe pruning will encourage new growth that is weak and spindly. It’s much better to let the tree grow naturally into its pleasing weeping form.

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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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