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Storm damage to Japanese Maple tree

I have a beautiful Japanese Maple that bloomed beautifully in the summer. This winter the heavy snow snapped the top off and I am wondering if there is anything I can do to save this tree? Will new branches grow or is it hopeless? Do I need to prune it? It happened about 2 months ago and the snow is finally melting enough for me to see it/access it. I am attaching two photos. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Storm damage to Japanese Maple tree

As far as I can tell from the photo, your sad Japanese maple will be fine if you take a sharp saw and prune/cut below the break just above the cluster of branches.

If you are careful, I *think* you can get a clean cut without any serious splits going down below the cut, and if there are any, they might be minor enough to not cause a problem and heal over. If you are experiencing freeze/thaw temps, don't cut frozen wood -- be sure to do it in the late morning-early afternoon when the temps are above freezing and the branch has had time to warm up.

Be careful not to rub against or scratch up the bark of the intact branches when you cut, especially right now, if the sap is running, the maple will have loose bark that will slip easily and be damaged or worse, peel off -- which can kill the branch.

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