Light pruning on a Japanese Maple

This tree has been developed over the last 12 or so years, so at this point, the goal is to refine the tree; improve the nebari, soften the rough edges, and develop the fine ramification of twiggy growth.

Last year I thread-grafted seedlings into the base to improve the nebari. In a few weeks, I’ll eagerly repot and check on the progress.

Some of the rough edges include primary branches that I didn’t adequately shorten from the jump. They’ll be replaced gradually over time. The upright above the first left branch will be the first to go, and I’m moving new, finer branches into that space. More on that another day.

The twiggy growth comes through pinching new growth early in the spring, and removing heavy, stronger shoots during the winter, when it’s easier to see.

Here are a few shoots that have grown strong, and need to be reduced, and replaced with finer growth:







Here is a before:

And after:

It’s subtle, but a little softer. Maybe a night shot helps…before:

And after:



5 thoughts on “Light pruning on a Japanese Maple

  1. Looking good! I have a cut to make on my JM that we talked about, I have not been able to “pull the tirgger” or should it be “squeeze the handle”. Maybe this will inspire me to do it today ….. maybe. 🙂

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