|Dont' Be Afraid to Prune Those Japanese Maples|
…they are not nearly as fragile as you think!
These dainty looking little trees are tough as nails, really. These little pieces of sculpture are so cute and small that when placed in the landscape they often outgrow their allotted space and become monsters, and you know what happens then; we end up pruning them out of the way rather than pruning them the way they want to be.
The emphasized part of that last sentence is biological and a truism. The way any tree wants to be is nothing more that genetic hardwiring that must be respected. If not, our new, cute little tree is going to take us to task and win every time. So what can we do to help these gorgeous Picasso’s on their way to adulthood? Let’s take a look.
Let’s sum everything up like this:
Artful, botanically correct pruning is always positive. Listen to what the plant is asking for. Know the species you are pruning and then work with the individual to bring out everything it has to offer. Pruning is art and art comes from inside each of us, and—as Dr. Shigo said so many times—there is no way to show it unless we touch our trees!
Happy Pruning, Peter!
P.S. If you are not sure what to do or become confused, just call your favorite arborist. I will guarantee they will come running to help you with your masterpiece. If not, call me!
Copyright 2008 by Peter Deahl. All rights reserved.
The Pruning School 16 Berkeley Court Sterling, Virginia 20165