How much root reduction is safe for A.ginalla?


Reaction score
Chicago western burbs

I've got an Acer ginalla (Amur maple) I got it at a club function 2 years ago as our club president was culling the herd. It has execellent root spread a 3" thick stubby trunk that branches out into three main branches within the first 4 inches (the branches need a bit of work anyway since I had to reduce it's height to fit it in the car). my plans for it are to make it a shohin. But here's where it gets a little tricky, it was still in a 5 gallon nursery container until I placed it in the ground last spring because I had no where else to put it until I could work on it. Now this spring I would like to start doing some root work on it and am curious to know if anyone here has experience as to how much these trees can tolerate as far as rough root reduction/ pruning?

(the branches need a bit of work anyway since I had to reduce it's height to fit it in the car). my plans for it are to make it a shohin.
You want this tree that won't fit in your car to become a shohin? Then offer no pictures? That is just a down right tease :)

Can you give us an idea what your rootball looked like when it went in the ground? Did you check or do you know if club president incorporated a flat plate in the pot, that you possibly didn't see when you dropped it in the ground?
The short answer is that amur maples will take a great deal of root reduction. The long answer is that it depends on the tree itself. No way to make that determination without a lot of pics, or better yet, being there.
That depends on many factors, including but not limited to:

  • The foliage to root ratio as it exists now.
  • The overall health of the tree.
  • What, if any, foliage reduction will be done at the same time.
  • The ultimate goal of the tree.

Post some pictures, they will help those with actual experience with this species to help you.

Well I can take some pictures. I have a fairly nice hp camera. I simply have no idea how to up load pictures to this site. Is it pretty basic? Is there an ideal setting I should have it on as far as MP size? I'll gladly post some pictures.

As far as the root mass is concerned it filled the 5 gallon nursery pot to the bottom but it has a nice set of radial roots from the soil surface. And I'm not sure If there is a tile sitting somewhere inside under the tree. I though it would be better not to disturb anything I didn't have to until I was ready to do something with it.

My only real dislike about it is the three branches are nearly in line with one another and when I cut it back to about 24" one of the branches didn't bud back all too well. This past year back in the ground it shoot back up to five feet and I trimmed it back to around three or so.

Any tutorial on up loading pictures?
I suggest you take the best photos you can with a plain backdrop, from as many angles as you can. Use compression software to get them down to size, and the sizes allowed will show up when you clikc the "manage Attachments" button.

I recommend It's free and even Irene learned to use it for resizing photos!;)
Thanks Chris,

I'll try to take the time today. It's 46 degrees and it's so wonderfull here right now. With a new born, wife, and working the night shift might be too uch for today but I'll give it the old college try. Thanks.
Sorry to say no pictures today. Apparently one day at 46 degrees doesn't make up for the past month at near or below 0 F. All the mulch is frozen around the base of the tree an is immovable. I promise I'll be posting pics when it thaws. It'll be fun to post the process of digging it up pruning and such this spring.

I gotta say I'm really getting that couped up feeling and having a day to go out without the threat of frost bite is wonderful. I'm especially getting ansy over the recent posts about collecting season starting. Arghhh. Just a walk in the woods would do me a world of good. Just another month or so. I can make it.
I butchered two pretty heavily last summer and they didn't seem to miss a beat. Whether that's due to them responding better to being root pruned in the heat because of summer dormancy like A. palmatum are supposed to do or simply due to them being tough little buggers I have no idea. They are supposed to be "little mules" after all.

Edit: Possibly a useful link specific to Amur maple.
Last edited:
Thanks Grog.

I'm a sucker for "Little Mule" type info. Not to mention the location this species name is derived from. It helps to put things into perspective. For instance why some of these Amurs are cold hardy to zone 2. Again thanks for the nugget.
Top Bottom