How To Prune A Japanese Maple Tree

How To Prune A Japanese Maple Tree

This article will teach you how to prune a Japanese Maple tree so that it stays manageable and doesn’t take over your space. Due to their large canopies, they tend to be very invasive and need special attention.

What is a Japanese maple tree?

Japanese maples are one of the most popular trees in the world, and for good reason! They are beautiful, long-lived, and easy to care for. Japanese maples are often called “snowflakes” because their leaves are so intricately detailed.

In order to keep your Japanese maple tree healthy and attractive, you will want to regularly prune it. Here is guide on how to do it:

1) Make a preliminary assessment of the health of the tree. Look at the overall shape of the trunk, branches, and leaves. Are they all uniformly shaped? Are there any signs of disease or injury? If so, address those issues now before they become more serious.

2) Identify which branches need to be trimmed back. Start by looking at larger branches that extend beyond the desired reach of your hand. These can usually be trimmed back without damaging the tree too much. If a branch is too small or brittle to trim without damaging it, then you’ll need to use a saw or pruning shear.

3) Cut off the damaged or overgrown branch with a saw or pruning shear. Be careful not to cut into healthy tissue or into another branch below; this will cause damage and possibly lead to regrowth. Try not to leave any debris behind; this will help prevent diseases from developing in the tree later on.

The different types of Japanese maples

Japanese maples are a popular tree for homeowners in the United States, but they can also be grown as landscape trees in cooler climates. There are three main types of Japanese maple: the sugar maple, the shingled maple, and the green maple. Each has its own unique features that make it a good choice for different applications. Here is a breakdown of the different types of Japanese maples:

Sugar Maple: The sugar maple is probably the most common type of Japanese maple in North America. It’s medium-sized with a fair degree of spread, making it a good candidate for larger gardens or parks. However, it is not particularly tall and doesn’t produce a lot of leaves, so it may not be ideal if you’re looking for a tall tree. The sugar maple is mostly known for its beautiful red sapwood which turns purple or black with age.

Shingled Maple: The shingled maple is similar to the sugar maple in terms of size and spread, but it’s much taller and has a denser canopy. This makes it great for smaller gardens or city spaces where space isn’t an issue. The shingled maple also has fairly narrow leaves that are arranged in alternating rows along its trunk. This type of leaf arrangement give the tree its name – shingle means ” overlapping row .”

Green Maple: The green maple is definitely one of the more unique Japanese maples out there. It’s relatively small compared to other types of

How to prune a Japanese maple tree

Japanese maples are some of the most popular trees for gardeners in the United States. They require a little more care than other types of maples, but with a bit of knowledge and practice, you can prune them to keep them healthy and looking their best.

The first step is to decide what you want to prune. You may want to remove dead or damaged branches, thin out crowded branches, or adjust the shapes of branches to make them look nicer. There are also several different techniques you can use when pruning Japanese maples.

The first type of pruning is called shearing. This is when you cut off the tips of branches that are thicker than your hand at the base. It’s important not to leave any part of a branch sticking out more than two inches from the tree trunk; otherwise, it will become prone to decay.

The second type of Japanese maple pruning is called pinching. This is when you take away just a little bit of tissue from the end of a branch so it will grow back thicker and stronger next time. Pinching also makes the branch narrower so it will look neater and less bulky.

The third type of pruning is called sweeping. This involves taking down whole branches by cutting off their tips and then pulling them away from the trunk until they break off at ground level. This technique makes your tree look tidier and helps reduce stress on the remaining limbs

After pruning your Japanese maple tree

First and foremost, when pruning a Japanese maple tree, always wear gloves to protect your hands.

 Second, identify the type of pruning that needs to be done on your Japanese maple tree.

Third, carefully measure and mark the branch you want to prune.

Fourth, make a cut just below the branch you marked with a sharp knife.

 Fifth, remove the branch by pulling it out of the tree.

Sixth, make another cut 3-4 inches above the first cut and below the branch you just removed.

Seventh, pull out the newly cut branch by gently pushing it away from the trunk of the tree.

Eighth, make a final cut 3-4 inches below the second cut and above where you removed the first branch.

 Ninth, repeat steps four through eight on remaining branches in order of height (from bottom to top).

Note: For shoshone or mountain ash trees – whose leaves are opposite those of other maples – hold an opposite leaf against bark when making cuts across it so that foliage doesn’t drop onto ground; for this reason only one side at a time should be marked for cutting.


Pruning a Japanese maple tree is an important step in maintaining the health of your tree. By following these tips, you can ensure that your Japanese maple receives the care it needs to thrive. Remember to take note of the height and width of your tree as you are pruning, so that you don’t cut into branches that are too weak or too thick. After completing this task, be sure to water your Japanese maple regularly to ensure its roots receive the necessary moisture.

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