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Japanese Maple Trees

Q.Can I trim a large limb that is low to the ground?

Zone Hoschton, Georgia Zone 7B | Anonymous added on September 20, 2019 | Answered

My Tamukeyama Laceleaf is estimated to be 6 years old minimum. It was installed 3 years ago, but it was a larger tree, maybe 3.5 ft. tall then with a nice full shape. Now it is about 4.5 ft. tall. not counting the wild limbs that are sticking up high. The base of the tree is 4.5 inch diameter.There is a 1.5 inch limb at the bottom that is parallel to the ground. It probably should have been trimmed when it was younger. I am worried that as the tree grows and the limb gets heavier it will become problematic. I do not know if I should cut it off this winter or how that might affect the tree overall shape, beauty, or health. I need guidance.
Also, there are a lot of long limbs growing straight up and others sticking in all directions. Many are new growth. I am surprised since the limbs are supposed to be a graceful weeping cascading shape. I do not know how I should prune these wild limbs. Please advise.
And lastly, I am truly disappointed in the color. It is supposed to be bright red all summer and late into fall. You can see only a few limbs are red and they are wild in shape. It has been green all year long. What could be causing this lack of color?

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 22, 2019

You can trim young Japanese maples to establish good form. You can trim that low branch for clearance. As to the wild limbs and lack of red color, I would contact the nursery or garden center where you purchased the tree. It doesn't sound like you got what you paid for.


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