How to Prune a Japanese Laceleaf Maple

Japanese Laceleaf Maples are beautiful trees that can add elegance to any garden. But, like all trees, they require some care and pruning to keep them looking their best. In this article, we’ll show you how to prune a Japanese Laceleaf Maple.

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Introduction

Pruning a Japanese laceleaf maple (Acer palmatum) is vital to the tree’s health and appearance. Though the task may seem daunting, pruning is actually quite simple once you understand the basics. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert pruner in no time.

There are two main types of pruning: formative and corrective. Formative pruning is done when the tree is young, and is used to shape andtrain the tree. Corrective pruning is done on older trees, and is used to remove dead or damaged limbs, as well as to improve the tree’s overall shape.

Formative pruning:
When your Japanese laceleaf maple is young, you’ll need to do some formative pruning to shape it. Begin by removing any limbs that are growing vertically. You’ll also want to remove any limbs that are crowded or rubbing against each other. These cuts should be made just above a bud or branch junction.

Next, cut back any branches that are growing out at an angle greater than 45 degrees from the trunk. These cuts should also be made just above a bud or branch junction. Finally, cut back any branches that are longer than 2/3 of the length of the main trunk. These cuts should be made just above a bud or branch junction as well.

Corrective pruning:
As your Japanese laceleaf maple matures, you’ll need to do some corrective pruning from time to time. Corrective pruning is used to remove dead or damaged limbs, as well as to improve the tree’s overall shape. Begin by removing any dead or damaged limbs with clean, sharp cuts. These cuts should be made just above a bud or branch junction.

Next, remove any branches that are growing out at an angle greater than 45 degrees from the trunk (unless you’re purposely trying to create a weeping effect). These cuts should also be made just above a bud or branch junction. Finally, cut back any branches that are longer than 2/3 of the length of the main trunk (again, unless you’re purposely trying to create a weeping effect). These cuts should also be made just above a bud or branch junction as well..

What You’ll Need

-Prune shears
-Japanese laceleaf maple tree

##Before you start pruning your Japanese laceleaf maple, it’s important to understand the different types of cuts you can make. With pruning shears, you can make three different types of cuts: heading, thinning, and renewal. Heading cuts are made to remove the terminal buds of a branch, which encourages the side buds to grow. Thinning cuts are made in the middle of a branch to remove crowded or crossing branches. Renewal cuts are made on older branches to encourage new growth.

When pruning your Japanese laceleaf maple, it’s best to make heading and thinning cuts in the spring when the tree is actively growing. Renewal cuts can be made at any time of year.

Pruning Steps

Pruning a Japanese Laceleaf Maple is best done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. You’ll want to prune out any dead or diseased branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. You should also prune any branches that are growing too far out from the trunk of the tree.

Prune in Late Winter or Early Spring

Pruning a Japanese laceleaf maple should be done in late winter or early spring, before the sap starts to flow and new growth begins. Summer pruning can damage the tree, so it’s best to wait until the coldest weather has passed.

When pruning, always use clean, sharp tools to avoid damaging the tree. Make sure to sterilize your pruning tools before using them on your Japanese laceleaf maple, to avoid transferring any diseases.

To start, remove any dead or diseased branches from the tree. These will be easy to spot, as they will be dry and brittle, or may have fungus growing on them. Cut these branches back to the main trunk of the tree.

Next, remove any crossing or rubbing branches. These can damage the bark of the tree and cause weak spots that are susceptible to disease. Cut these branches back to a bud or branch that is pointing in the desired direction of growth.

Finally, trim back any long or stray branches. Cut these back to a point where they branch off from a larger branch or the main trunk. Japanese laceleaf maples can be pruned quite heavily without doing any damage, so don’t be afraid to remove large branches if necessary.

Remove Dead, Diseased, or Damaged Branches

Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. You can identify these by looking for:
-Dead branches: These will be brittle and will snap off easily. Sometimes they can be difficult to spot, so look for small buds that failed to open in the spring.
-Diseased branches: These will have discolored or dying leaves, and the bark may be cracked or peeling. If you see fungus or other signs of disease, cut the branch back to healthy wood.
-Damaged branches: These will have cracks, splits, or other wounds in the bark. Cut these back to healthy wood as well.

Remove crossing, rubbing, or crowded branches

You can begin pruning your Japanese laceleaf maple as soon as it’s planted. It’s best to prune in early spring, before new growth begins. As you prune, look for crossed, rubbing, or crowded branches and remove them. Also look for any dead, diseased, or damaged branches and cut those back to the point of healthy growth.

Remove suckers and water sprouts

Suckers are small, vertical shoots that sprout from the trunk or main stems of a Japanese laceleaf maple. They’re especially common on young trees and should be removed as soon as they appear.

Water sprouts are similar to suckers, but they grow from lateral (side) branches instead of from the trunk or main stems. Like suckers, water sprouts are usually more vigorous than the rest of the tree and should be removed.

Prune to shape the tree

First, identify the areas of the tree that need to be pruned. Start by pruning any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Next, remove any crossing or rubbing branches. Finally, cut back any branches that are growing in an undesirable direction.

Next, begin pruning the branches to shape the tree. If you want a more formal look, prune the branches so they are evenly spaced and symmetrical. For a more natural look, you can prune the branches to create a flowing, asymmetrical shape.

As you prune each branch, make sure to cut it back to a bud or another branch. This will help promote new growth in the desired direction. When cutting back to a bud, make sure to angle your cut so that water will run off of it and not pool around the bud (this can lead to disease).

Finally, remove any remaining leaves from the tree. These can be raked up and composted or left on the ground as mulch.

Conclusion

Pruning a Japanese laceleaf maple is a bit different from pruning other types of trees. Because of the tree’s unique structure, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t cut too much off at once. It’s important to prune in the late winter or early spring, before the tree begins to leaf out. Doing so will help ensure that your tree stays healthy and continues to produce vibrant foliage.

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