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Japanese Maple Magic

Japanese Maple Magic

in Pruning, Trees | 3 comments

A well-pruned Japanese Maple is a marvel, perhaps at its best in autumn, with blazing leaves set against a backdrop of black, twisting branches. Japanese Maples also add striking beauty to winter landscapes, when their bold branching is most visible. You will have to prune to show this maple at its best.

Here is a well-pruned Japanese Maple. Notice the light shining through its branching structure. *

japanese maple

Without proper tending, Japanese Maples get “hairy.” Too many shoots can make this noble tree look like a giant puff ball or Cousin Itt. The Japanese Maple below needs help:

japanese maple

The best time to prune your Japanese Maple is in late winter or early spring, when the tree is still dormant. Before its leaves appear, you can see the tree’s architecture and will know which smaller branches to prune so you can highlight the Japanese Maple’s natural elegance. Prune wisely now, and enjoy your Japanese Maple in every season!

For pruning tips, keep visiting this blog and talk with your landscape professional. For information about pruning tools, one source to consider for quality, Swiss-made products is

japanese maple


  1. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. However, I will need some more details on pruning of the tree. Can you help?

    • Yes, I can give you a few pointers. The key to pruning maples is to prune only some of the interior branches. This should be just enough to let the light show through the tree. I start pruning by removing any dead or broken limbs. Then, look for any branches that are crossed. Remove one of each of the crossed branches. To check on your work, stand back often and inspect your work. Once I remove the above limbs and branches, I start looking for where the tree might need some thinning. Thinning is cutting back selective branches to let light into the center of the tree. It is always better to cut a little bit and then come back and cut more versus cutting too much. Have fun!

  2. absolutely beautiful – thanks for the great tips!

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Art of Stone Gardening is a full-service design, masonry, hardscape and landscape company. We plan, design, and install residential gardens and landscapes in North Georgia.

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