How to Prune a Dwarf Japanese Maple

Pruning your tree can result in beautifully swept branches that compliment other aspects of your grounds and garden image by Photo: stock.xchng


Pruning your dwarf Japanese maple tree will help promote new growth and help you shape your tree to better suit your landscape. Dwarf maples are often grown outdoors, but are also frequently grown inside in containers. They are ideally suited for pruning and trimming as a bonsai tree. Regardless of the type and location of your dwarf Japanese maple tree, the ideal way to prune is to work from the bottom up and from the inside of the tree outwards.

Step 1

Prune your dwarf Japanese maple tree in the late summer or early fall. Light pruning can be done in any season except spring. In spring, the tree's sap is rising and pruning is not recommended.

Step 2

Use very sharp, sterilized pruning shears. Sterilize your shears in 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Using unsterilized shears can introduce diseases into the Japanese maple tree.

Step 3

Remove any diseased or damaged branches. Leaving these branches in place can, in addition to its negative visual impact, affect tree growth.

Step 4

Remove some branches from the center of the tree if the branches are too close together. Remember to leave the branches that give the tree its overall shape.

Step 5

Seal the cuts with a good tree wound dressing to help prevent disease and keep the cuts from drying out.

Tips and Warnings

  • In general, don't cut the tips of branches as this can cause unhealthy growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Tree wound dressing


  • How to Prune a Japanese Maple
  • Japanese Maple, the Dwarf Acers

Who Can Help

  • Care and trimming for a Japanese maple?
  • How to Prune a Japanese Maple
  • How to Prune a Japanese Maple
Keywords: prune, Japanese maple, dwarf tree

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.

Photo by: Photo: stock.xchng