Deciduous Early Development Part I: Japanese Maple

Michael Hagedorn

The first part of this development series covers a few gangly specimens of Japanese Maple.

Japanese Maple is one of the most challenging early development deciduous trees because of its propensity to make long internodes. It’s also one of the best examples of a theme that runs throughout the next few posts on early development, and that is:

  • Leave some unwanted shoots and branches to shorten the internodes of everything else 

This is really counterintuitive. But it also really works.

And, naturally, to thwart us from easy riches, the concept is not the easiest to apply. For if we leave everything, then we get big problems down the road.

The idea is, thin selectively. Take out some of the overly thick branches or those in danger of becoming so, and some of the long internode ones. For example, if there are four shoots arising from one place, two of…

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