Web Links & Media


Provides the standard for aesthetic pruning and defines the philosophy.

This educational website provides the general public with quality tree care information.

A pathway to learning more about proper pruning of trees and shrubs in the urban landscape.

A great magazine for insight into the many facets of a Japanese garden and home.

A wealth of gardening information from A to Z.


Printed Media 

A look at Dennis Makishima founder of the aesthetic pruning style. 

The right cuts reveal a branch pattern that looks good with leaves or without.

Two experts pick their favorites based on color, shape and size.

An excellent perspective on how to aesthetically prune a Japanese maple. 

A very well written primer on the science of pruning. 


Video Media

Provides insight into the Merritt College Pruning Program with interviews of key people including Dennis Makishima.

Michael Alliger demonstrates a few basic pruning cuts that are essential when properly maintaining the growth of a Japanese maple.

Fundamentally this video is correct, however, a laceleaf Japanese maple does not want to be an umbrella. That is not the true essence of the tree.

California Master Gardener, Pam Bone, discusses the planting and care of trees with an excellent overview of tree science. She also provides valuable insight into common mistakes and misconceptions that can greatly reduce the success of a newly planted tree.

This is the continuation of California Master Gardener, Pam Bone’s, presentation above.

Tricia discusses and demonstrates basic pruning concepts, including tools required and their proper use.

This is a continuation of Tricia’s discussion and demonstration above.

**How (not) to Prune a Red Laceleaf Japanese Maple
To borrow a movie title Gone in 60 Seconds, this laceleaf Japanese maple's true essence has unfortunately been taken away with aggressive pruning.
**How (not) to Limb-up a Laceleaf Japanese Maple
Though it is necessary to sometimes lightly and aesthetically limb-up a laceleaf Japanese maple, excessive limbing to accommodate neighboring plants is not recommended. Instead, moving plants to allow proper space for desired growth is a better alternative. Additionally, better planning would have eliminated the need for such dramatic pruning. Also, hand pruners and a saw are the preferred tools for pruning Japanese maples. Loppers can cause more damage than good and should be avoided.

** These videos are included only to show that everything on the internet is not necessarily correct and that unfortunately, in some cases, the results may cause irreparable damage.  Caution: Do not try these pruning practices on your Japanese maples. 



A leader in the horticultural tool business, with a selection of over 7,000 tools for nursery workers, landscapers, arborists, contractors and gardeners, readily available at competitive prices.

Featuring exceptional tools from Japan; a great source of woodworking, garden and bamboo tools.

Offering the very best bonsai, ikebana and Japanese gardening tools available.



A small, family run nursery, growing Japanese Maples and a selection of conifers and ginkgos in their hometown in the mountains of Virginia.

This nursery located in Potter Valley, California has a diverse inventory of maples and is constantly seeking out the newest additions worthy of introduction.

This wonderful nursery near Athens, GA has a very good selection of trees best adapted for southern gardens. There are also new selections being observed for possible future release. Visits to this nursery are by appointment only, so please call ahead.

An Atlanta nursery offering one of the largest collections of Japanese Maples in the Southeast as well as a large selection of Conifers.

A family owned nursery specializing exclusively in Japanese maples. Their trees are allowed to grow naturally which promotes strong healthy roots and normal upper growth. They currently offer a selection of more than 250 cultivars.


Japanese Gardens

One of Japan's greatest treasures with beautiful gardens and a highly regarded contemporary collection of Japanese paintings.

A multi-functional website that provides a lot of good information relating to Japanese gardens and gardening.

Promotes the sustainability and development of North American Japanese gardens. It is devoted to connecting people within the network of Japanese gardens. The organization achieves this through public education, professional development and research.

A wonderful site devoted to the Portland Japanese Garden, one of America’s most authentic with several garden styles on display.

This museum and Japanese garden is a center for Japanese arts and culture in south Florida.