Maple sprouts

Asked October 19, 2020, 12:35 PM EDT

Hello, I have fronds/long stringy sprouts coming out of branches on two of my Japanese maples....should I cut these? And if so, how far down on the branch? One tree has been well-pruned so it is surprising; the other tree is bushier and needs considerable thinning in any case. Also, might there be a reason why these are appearing? Many thanks, Britta Gordon

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for your question, Britta. These are called water sprouts, and are common on maple trees, emerging after pruning, as discussed here: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/water-sprouts

Although prompt removal of the sprouts is helpful, timing is important, November to March is better, when the tree is dormant and you can see them as well as the shape of the tree. Here is an OSU Extension article that should help: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/crop-production/fruit-trees/tree-pruning-basics You might want to find a certified arborist to handle this pruning, and, if you have none, you can find one here: https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist

Good luck!