Defoliating Japanese Maple

What is the proper technique and time to defoliate a Japanese Maple to generate smaller leaves and shorter internodes?

Thank you!

Can you post a photo of the tree you’re thinking about defoliating? May/June is the time, but how much to defoliate depends on the tree and the goals.

Here you go Jonas. It was repotted last year.

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Peter Tea has a great article here that I re-read before doing any maple work:


Fully defoliating is pretty stressful but can help if you want to stimulate new buds. It looks like this tree needs to grow more to thicken up the lower branches. Limited partial defoliation (removing the largest leaves) might help near the top of the tree to encourage growth on the lower branches.