We plant Japanese Maples with the intention most of the time that they will be relatively small and pretty and compliment our gardens. No Way. Do not be surprised after 5 years or more if your pretty petite Japanese Maple has become the monster in your ornamental garden taking over everything in it’s path (with you the captain not knowing which way to turn the ship). Something has to be sacrificed; where to begin you all think.
I have performed many ornamental reductions on Japanese maples over the last 10 years and I can tell you it is a very thought out process and even for the trained ornamental pruner a challenging task. All I will say is if you don’t know and you can’t trust anyone else to touch your baby. Transplant it to a place where it will have room to grow. If this is not an option because you will not be able to transplant enough root zone along with your specimen, better come up with a plan before you loose the entire walk-way and or other plants that you have invested in.
Unfortunately I can’t guide you on this one without physically showing you myself. There are just too many variables involved with the diversity of this group of plants. I can say there are a few good times of year to perform this restoration prune and a guide to how much you should prune out at any one time (mid winter or Mid Spring-now, and no more than 25% of the plant should be removed at any one prune).
I will go now, because there is already too much info for you.
Good Luck and let me know if you need any help.
Michael Rosenberg, a NYS Certified Arborist, is the Owner of Plant With Me, Inc., a 10 year old landscape restoration and design company located in Huntington, NY. Michael is the publisher ofwww.plantwithme.com, a gardening resource for homeowners and gardeners. For more information about Plant With Me, please call 516-860-5131, email email@example.com. I also encourage you to continue your journey through this gardeners mind @ www.plantwithme.com.