trunk chop timing on acers

Paulpash

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I have several acers in the ground that really need to be cut back (from around 8 feet to 2). What is the general wisdom on the timing and techniques behind heading back acer palmatum? I am in the UK and the winter here so far has been very mild.
 

Stan Kengai

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Wait until late winter/early spring to do any pruning. You would risk getting die-back by pruning this early in the winter, as wounded areas need to heal a bit and seal themselves off before being exposed to extreme winter temperatures. As a general rule: If you want explosive new growth on the trees, prune before the buds swell. If you want more tame growth, wait until after the leaves have come out (this is more of a technique used for the final chop of field grown trees, to get slower growth in the crown).

As far as technique, here is a good article from your neck of the woods. http://bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATdevelopingtrunksforbonsai.htm
 
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HotAction

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I also think you might want to cut them MUCH shorter it you are trying to develop stock. Of course, you will need to repeat the process a couple times...

Dave
 

Mike423

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I agree in order to create taper the trunk generally needs to be chopped 2-3 times or more. The first chop should be done when trunk is around what the desired diameter will be when finished and the actual chop should be made at the height you wish to be 1/3 the final height when the tree is "finished".
 

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