How to Prune in Summer: Laceleaf Japanese Maple

(upbeat country music) – [Host] Today we’re going
to focus on the steps of pruning a Laceleaf
Japanese Maple. In summer we focus
more on thinning and opening up the tree. It’s easy to see dead
wood versus live wood. Wintertime is more for
big structural pruning. We represent the pruning
team here at In Harmony. We have three Certified
Arborists on staff right now, and we take great pride in
the pruning work that we do. We prune ornamental trees,
we prune fruit trees, shrubs, and we take the
time to do it right. – Hi, I’m Alan. I’ve been with In Harmony
for five and a half years. – Hi, my name’s Graham. I’ve been with In
Harmony for 12 years. – I’m Jason, I’ve been with
In Harmony for seven years. – And I’m Ben, and I’ve
also been with In Harmony for seven years. Overall we’re pruning for
the health of the tree. A tree that is allowed to
grow into its natural form is a beautiful tree. Often we come into trees
that have been malpruned for many years, and we
will take an approach to get it back into
its natural form. We follow pruning
guidelines set up by ISA which is the International
Society of Arboriculture and PlantAmnesty which
is a local nonprofit dedicated to plant health. Your trees are in good
hands with In Harmony. Today we’re gonna focus on
the initial steps of pruning which is looking for dead,
diseased and broken branches. So when I approach
a Japanese Maple the first thing I’m looking
for is the dead wood, and I’m gonna remove all the
dead wood from this tree. (clippers snapping) So one of the diseases
that we look for on a Japanese Maple
is verticillium. And one of the signs of
verticillium is a black stain on the branch and also how this leaf here is losing chlorophyll. So we’re gonna go ahead
and remove this branch. Here we have a crossing branch. And when I come to
a crossing branch I’ll evaluate whether or
not we want to remove it. You don’t remove every
single crossing branch on a tree like this
because you may end up with some big holes
that you don’t want. This one, as I look to
where the branches go, it will make too big of a
hole in the canopy of the tree so I’m gonna go ahead and
leave this for a couple years. Here we’ve got some
smaller crossing branches and we’re gonna
open this area up. When branches cross their
foliage becomes tangled. The tree will eventually shut
off energy to these branches. (clippers snapping) Finally we’ll look at
pruning the overall shape of the tree
for aesthetics. So some of the areas in
this tree are pretty dense. And when you get
density like this, you’ll get dead foliage
and dead branches. And so one of the techniques
that we use is called layering and what we’re gonna do is
open it up so that light can reach in and fill in
live foliage back here in the inside of the canopy. So I’m gonna remove
a few key branches. (branches rustling) And then this little guy
that’s hanging off over here. So what that’s done is it’s
opened up a little window. So again I’m gonna talk
a little bit about this layering that we do. And what I want to do is
open up some air between these two layers of tree. And the reason we do
that is to allow more light and air to
enter the canopy and encourage more
foliage to develop inside. (clipping and branches rustling) (energetic music) And with just a few cuts
you can see the branch structure inside the
tree start to develop and more light penetrating
the inside of the canopy. A lot of times when
I approach a tree I think about it with at
least a five-year plan. Like what’s this gonna
do in five years? And while we’ve been maintaining
the size of this branch, it still is running out of
room in the back of the canopy as far as light coming
in from the top. So part of developing this
tree is we want to encourage more interior branching
so that it can still fit in place for another
20, 30 years. We have this small
branch here that we are developing to eventually
become a bigger branch that’s gonna fill in
this space right here. So eventually we can
remove this branch. (bubbly piano music) (leaf blower running) Sometimes homeowners
need their tree to fit in a particular space, and
we’ll work with their needs to get it to fit, but we
will talk to the homeowner about the best way to
keep the tree healthy and fit in the space. A healthy tree is
a beautiful tree. (happy, energetic music)

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