pruning top off of japanese maple
I understand that the top of my Japanese ornamental tree should not be cutback,is this true?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Only very light shaping or crown reduction should be done. There could be serious consequences for heavy pruning.
1. Japanese maples are very sensitive to sunburn of the bark and underlying growing layer of woody stems if exposed to afternoon sun, so removing the foliar canopy that shades the inner structure and creates a moist microclimate is not good. Sunburn is followed by wood decay and possible branch dieback or breakage.
2. Heavy pruning will create a reaction of rampant regrowth and distortion of the natural form and beauty of the tree.