Defoliating maple

I picked up this big tooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) as a 1 gallon nursery tree a year and a half ago, at which time I chopped the primary trunk. I repotted in bonsai soil last spring and it grew very vigorously.

It has leafed out very strong this spring. I am considering building the tree from the bottom 3 small branches and strengthening them by defoliating the dense upper canopy in another month or so. Does this seem like a reasonable approach, or should I just wait and chop the leader this winter? Has anyone defoliated this species? Thanks

Am not familiar with the species. I think you’re right to try something to balance the vigor if you want to work with the lower branches. Thinning the upper branches could also do the trick.

Did a combo of reducing upper branches and defoliating what was left on them. The new leaves were much reduced and I think the lower branches will be stronger next spring, will update then. Thanks for the advice!


Looking good brad​:+1::+1: that’s a definite Improvement :+1::+1::palm_tree::palm_tree: