Easy Trees

I love Japanese Maple trees. I grew up with one I always admired, and our front and back yard now are stocked with five(!!) - It was even a selling point of the house for me. But do I know how to care for 'em? Nope. They grow like nobody's business in this climate, so I've taken a if-it-ain't-broke approach thus far.

But lately I've been noticing they're looking pretty scruffy. So I hopped online and watched a few videos (namely, this one and this one) and found that not only are they supposed to be wrangled in winter when dormant (that's now, score!), but it's a pretty duh-inducing program.

Clear out dead wood: Duh. Let light hit all the branches: Duh. Don't let a lot of branches cross over each other: Duh.

And so I began.
And after (and...SUN!!...creating terrible lighting!)
Another B&A - Tough to see, but the after is laden with new branches & buds.
The results were so encouraging I cleaned up a bunch of rogue branches of other trees and rhododendrons too.
Three SEPARATE trees - When we moved in they were a single wall.
Rhodie work - Finally starting to look bushier instead of gangly and tall.
Then to the front yard for the last two maples, one that was even more overgrown than I anticipated:
Check out that dead wood pile. Yikes!
Per usual, I was so engrossed I lost track of time (almost four hours, whoops) and quitting time was enforced by a chock full yard waste bin.
I plan to keep up on the maintenance of my five guys from now on, especially now that I know how simple it really is. And it is nerdily satisfying to see some previous work paying off. Trees that look like trees! Bushes shaped like bushes! No more grass-to-sky wall of green! It's the little things.

Extra bonus: Added some solar lights in the front yard too. At under $20 for six, they add a little extra flare and curb appeal. I'm in love!
We grabbed these at Home Depot for $18.
A little more impactful in real life, but you get the idea.

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