Overgrown Japanese Maple

Asked July 6, 2020, 11:30 AM EDT

Hi, I have a Japanese Maple tree growing next to my house. I think it was probably planted when the house was built around 20 years ago. I need to trim it back off of the roof, but I am unsure of the best practices for trimming this tree. What time of year is best? Where on the branch is the best place to make the cut? I have a decent amount of cuts to make, will that kill the tree? Any other instructions I should follow? One more question: does this type of tree root typically damage foundations? It's really close to my house so I'm wondering if I would be better off just removing it completely. Thank you! Stacy

Eaton County Michigan

4 Responses

It is a beautiful tree but unfortunately was planted way to close to the house. The roots should not be a problem but it is going to be a continual pruning problem and the shape that makes these kind of trees so loved will be lost.
if you decide to keep it and prune please write back and I will send you some links.

Thanks! I'd like to give pruning it a try.

Hi. There is a wonderful video on YouTube titled ‘Pruning a Japanese Maple Tree’ with Ohio State University Master Gardeners. When researching horticulture online it is always best to look at university websites because the info presented has been researched. With the heat we are currently experiencing I do not recommend pruning right now. Also, ‘topping’ a tree is not recommended. If you want to reduce height it is best to remove entire branches and twigs rather than shearing. I hope this helps!

Thanks!