More Winter Pruning

Unpruned Japanese Maple

On Monday I showed some photos of my weeping Snow Fountain cherry after it had been pruned. Unfortunately I had no photos of it before it had been pruned, but I think the photo of this Japanese maple, above, will give you some idea of what it might have been like–except the cherry was in worse shape!

I can still handle pruning the Japanese maple and do prune it every couple of years. The unfortunate thing about this maple is that it sweeps out over our driveway–and so it is more susceptible to the Spoiler’s “hacking” every time it comes too close to his car. I just learn to park a little further from it, and therefore to enjoy its leaves. He has to hack it back. You can see where he has “chopped” the ends that hang over the driveway.

Branches in need of pruning

This year it’s definitely a little overdue for some pruning. You can see all the deadwood–evident by the light color. Only the vibrant red twigs are alive.

Part of the problem is that our weather the last couple of years has been a bit topsy turvy. I don’t want to prune too early and spark growth. And then we have no “spring” when there should be spring–say in March. There’s just nothing but terrible weather during the time when I should prune. And then it’s leafing out in the snows of April and I’m saying to myself, “oops, I screwed up again.” But it’s tough to get out and prune in February.

Maybe I will call the lovely ornamental pruner back who did the cherry tree after all. If this year gets away from us again like that, I am going to have to!

2 thoughts on “More Winter Pruning

  1. tonytomeo January 30, 2021 / 12:19 pm

    We need to prune ours early so that they do not bleed. I suppose the bleeding is harmless; but it is disconcerting. It continues for a long time. There are not many Japanese maples here, which is fine with me. I am none too keen on them. Most of my work had been in chaparral climates, where there are more appropriate things to grow.

  2. gardendaze January 30, 2021 / 12:26 pm

    Yes, we normally prune ours in February or March when they are dormant. But if it gets too late into March–if they’re tapping sugar maples–I know that I have missed it again.

    I have pruned these in late August without issue but it’s so much easier–as I said with the cherry–to do it when there are no leaves. It’s so much easier to see what I am doing.


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