Japanese Maple Trees

Pruning a Very Young Japanese Maple

Carol Becknell added on April 28, 2017 | Answered

Hi, I have a Japanese Maple that came up in a pot on it's own about 3 or so years ago. I have another larger one in a pot and I suspect it is a seedling from that one. The Maple is only approximately 4 feet tall now and the trunk is still small, maybe a half inch around. There is a Y in the trunk and a smaller side branch lower down on the trunk. It is a Greenleaf maple. My question is, should I leave the Y in the trunk or cut it off and keep the main straighter branch as the main trunk. Both of the larger stems are growing upright. I have never had to prune the other one, as it was about 5 feet when I dug it from my fathers flower bed. It was still partially in a pot as he had intended to make it a bonsai but never did. It had grown into the ground, but I dug it up and brought it to my house 7 years ago. It is doing great in a pot. I am thinking that the small young tree needs to keep the multi stems as part of the form, but do not want it to split either. Thanks for your help.Carol Becknell, Lex., KY

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 2, 2017

The shape you refer to is very normal for a Japanese Maple.
This article has information on pruning.


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