Defoliate The Japanese Maple

Since I trunk chopped the Japanese Maple late winter, the tree has filled in nicely. I noticed the leaves are much larger than last year’s. It could be due the heavy fertilizing. I can also see many of the branches extending quickly. There were so much foliage, little to no light were reaching the inner parts of the tree.

Japanese Maple Filled in Nicely

In order to promote back budding, and to enhance ramification, I’ve decided to partially defoliate the tree. I didn’t want to fully defoliate the tree, because I believe I’ve done enough abuse to it for one year. I don’t want to risk killing the tree. I’ve cut off all but the tips of the tree. When cutting off the leaves, it is crucial to keep the leave stalk in tact. The base of the stalk is where the new leaves will emerge.

Japanese Maple Defoliated

Here are all the leaves that were cut off.

Defoliated LeavesAfter being defoliated, the tree goes right back to where it was sitting. The sun should promote it to push out new leaves. Hopefully the new leaves will be smaller in size. Since it’s just the beginning of June, there are plenty of time for the tree to recover and get ready for winter.


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