Alan Titchmarsh explains how to prune an Acer tree
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Japanese maples, also called acers, are known for their stunning leaves and dramatic autumn colours. The plant’s leaves turn a beautiful shade of orange, red and yellow before the leaves fall. The trees look great either in pots or planted directly into gardens.
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Once mature, the plants look incredible but it can take years for the tree to actually reach its maximum growth.
Pruning acers will allow gardeners to shape them and stop them looking untidy.
A gardening expert from wikiHow has shared exactly how to prune Japanese maples and when gardeners should “avoid” pruning them all together.
She said: “The best time to prune a Japanese maple tree is either winter or summer.
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“Avoid pruning your Japanese maple if it’s less than 15 years old.
“It will cause the tree to put out more skinny, unattractive branches.
“Use clean, sharp pruning sheers and loopers to clean your tree.
“For an upright Japanese maple, move throughout the tree and thin some of the small, lateral branches.
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“You want to leave enough branches that all of the spaces are filled in but not so many that the tree is overcrowded.
“Prune any branches that extend into the scaffold and above and below them too.”
Dead branches at the bottom of the tree should also be removed as well as any branches that are getting in the way of other plants and foot traffic.
Lace-leaf Japanese maples have more intricate leaves but also produce incredible foliage.
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The foliage is purple-red throughout spring and summer.
The branches of lace-leaf Japanese maples, need to be thinned out in the same way.
Branches that touch the ground should also be pruned.
The gardening expert also suggested removing any dead or unattractive branches as well.
They added: “Leave a veil at the top of tree to protect it from the sun.
“Whichever variety you’re working with, never prune more than one-fifth of tree’s crown at a time.
“And avoid removing any branch that is half of the diameter of the stem it branches off of.
“This will help keep your tree healthy and avoid unattractive growth.”
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