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catherinehines
Pruning young tree
catherinehines

I have a 7 year old Japanese Maple that is growing more to the west and appearing lopsided. How do I prune correctly to encourage growth on the other side, or can I encourage it, or will it always reach for the late sun, which is what it gets the most of? Also, there were flowers planted around the base of it, with a retaining ring of bricks, but they will not bloom and I keep pulling tons of grass out every year, and now the soil is low. What should I fill it back in with, to encourage it's growth and maybe get my bulbs to bloom again?

keith3267
Re: Pruning young tree
keith3267

Japanese Maples look better when they are asymmetrical like yours. What you want to do is adjust your landscape to enhance the shape of the tree. In your case, a large rock on the west side will balance the tree.

Get rid of the circular retaining ring and the bulbs. Fill in with good soil to the proper level but do not go high, it will hurt the tree if you do. The soil should not cover the crown of the tree and should barely cover the surface roots. Some Maples prefer to have the tops of their surface roots exposed.

Anything you plant under the tree needs to be shade tolerant. Flowers that don't enough sun will not flower. Shade tolerant plants like Hostas and Azaleas look good under a taller type Japanese Maple. Early spring bulbs like Daffodils and Crocus may work if just allowed to naturalize. When they are done flowering, wait a couple of weeks and then just mow over them. Let the grass grow under the tree where it will and don't fight it. Its easier to mow it that pull it up all the time.

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