Japanese Maple Spring Cleaning

A couple weeks ago, readers saw the last year of struggle for this Japanese Maple. Fortunately, it is on the road to recovery, and it’s time to remove wires and handle some light pruning and perform a partial defoliation.

Here’s where we left off with the last post, and start the work:

Wires dig in quickly this time of year, and scars can remain nearly forever, so it’s important to stay vigilant. Removed…

And back on the workbench for round 2…light pruning.

And finally, partial defoliation.

Remove one leaf from each pair.
A close-up of the apex showing plenty of space for light and air circulation.

Partial defoliation allows sunlight to reach the interior of the tree, encouraging bud development closer to the trunk. This is important, as it is necessary to always have new branches growing to replace older branches. Older branches slow down in vigor, get fat and set in their ways. Replacing them gradually over time keeps the tree young and vigorous.

After unwiring and partial defoliation, the tree looks a bit wind blown, but it will settle down in a few days.

A few days later, and it’s settled down a bit.

2 thoughts on “Japanese Maple Spring Cleaning

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