Chop/Cut/Top Amur Japanese Maple (Acer ginnala)

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Chop/Cut/Top Amur Japanese Maple (Acer ginnala)

Post  gax on Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:41 pm

I have an Amur Maple that I've been holding onto for a few years. It has been growing fine lately, so I think that it's probably time for it's first styling soon. (I've been taking my time because it has a great shape and I want it to be established.)

My question has to do with "topping." This tree is a multi-trunk with a unique shape, but some of the main branches were a little long, almost leggy on one of them. If I could bring grown further in on the lower branches, that would be great. Can I "top" or just cut it back and expect budding around that site in the spring? Will it backbud along the entire branch? I've just been caring for it and am not so sure how best to cause budding further back on the branches. I find multiple articles that are contradictory about the best time to make such a cut.

Thanks for your help!


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Re: Chop/Cut/Top Amur Japanese Maple (Acer ginnala)

Post  DreadyKGB on Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:25 am

I have a few Amur maples which are still in the works and found that they readily back bud. Hard pruning the branches or even the trunk will produce buds from around or very near the cut site as well as back along the branch and trunk. They seem to be quite forgiving as far as pruning is concerned. The best time to make the cuts depends on the cuts you want to make. They can be cut in either mid to late winter or in the spring after the first flush of leaves have hardened off. Like other maple they have heavy sap flow in early spring so a cut to soon in the season will cause the tree to bleed heavily. Cuts made in the later spring will heal much faster than those made in the winter.

I have one that needs a heavy cutting and plan to cut all the branches back to form the primary trunk line. The majority of the chopping will be done in the winter so in the spring the energy won't be pushed into useless branches. I plan to leave some of the branches as 2-3" stubs and then make the final cuts on them late next spring so they heal better. This link has some good viable information.

Others with more info will hopefully jump in here, but Amur maples seem to be a lesser used variety for bonsai. I have not found as much info on them as I would like so I am going on trial and error to some extent. Also I believe they actually originated in Siberia , the Amur river region.


P.S. Pictures would be both helpful for advice and interesting for me.

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