When should I prune an Acer tree?

Cutting Japanese maple - these 3 things to keep in mind

Japanese maples (Acer japonicum) and Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) in gardens. The compact trees or large shrubs inspire with wonderfully shaped and colored foliage, which pours into a true color spectacle in autumn. The trees adorn house and front gardens, are essential in Asian garden designs and can even permanently decorate terraces in large tubs. Over time, they develop a broad growth that can appear too lush for their location. Japanese maples can be brought back into shape with a pruning, even if the trees hardly need pruning.

Table of Contents

  1. When is the right time to cut the Japanese maple?
    • If Japanese or Japanese maple needs to be pruned, pruning is done in late summer or early autumn.
  2. How should Japanese maple be cut? Which parts should be cut?
    • Only dead, diseased or annoying branches are cut.
  3. What must be considered when cutting the different types of Japanese maple? Are there any differences in the cut?
    • There are no variety-dependent pruning measures on Japanese maples. Young specimens are only cut if the shrubs are grown as molded plants.

Even if Japanese maples are rarely or not cut, there may still be a need from time to time. On the one hand, shoots can be frozen after freezing in winter or the plants simply grow too wide. Frozen shoot tips or twigs are cut away in spring to sprout. The procedure is similar for diseased shoots caused by peak drought, a fungal disease called monilia. There are no specific cutting times here. Infested plant material is removed immediately upon detection and disposed of in organic waste. Growth corrections or thinning measures, on the other hand, are carried out in late summer or early autumn between August and September.

The cutting measures on Japanese maples are limited. The bushes or small trees are left their natural growth, which admittedly becomes very wide and spreading over time. Japanese maples are often found individually in gardens. As a result, Japanese maples develop very evenly and hardly require any pruning measures.

The situation is different with Japanese maples in the bucket. They often adorn terraces and can be too wide for the space available. If individual branches develop as a nuisance, they should be cut out in late summer. The cuts heal by winter. After winter, dead or frozen shoot tips occasionally appear. You cut them back to the healthy wood.

Tree pruning on the Japanese maple also results in diseased trees and bushes. The Asian maple species are prone to peak drought (Monilia). Unfavorable locations cause and promote the drying up and death of the shoot tips. Regardless of the season, infected parts of the plant are cut back into the old, healthy wood. The cuttings are disposed of in the organic waste bin instead of the compost. After pruning, pruning shears and pruning shears are disinfected. The risk is too great that the pathogens will be transmitted to other plants in the event of further cutting measures.

Japanese maples rarely overgrow in growth and the natural growth behavior of the shrubs is generally appreciated. Therefore, pruning measures are rather the exception and in no way dependent on the maple variety. The need for cutting results much more from the desired growth behavior. Some gardening enthusiasts have a preference for growing Japanese maples as bonsai. These dwarf trees require special pruning measures due to their desired growth form. This cutting is subject to the principles of bonsai cutting.