Whether you had a Landscaper build your Japanese garden or you did it yourself, you are probably aware that it is not all it can be. One reason for this may be the lack of one element that is critical for your Japanese style garden to look it’s best.
This element is expert quality tree and shrub pruning.
With close to a decade of experience as a pruner at the highly regarded Anderson Japanese Gardens, I have an idea of how proper pruning can raise the quality of your garden greatly.
So where is a garden owner supposed to learn how to prune their Japanese style garden?
Read these pruning posts:
To get clear on what your goals for pruning should be read Aesthetic pruning goals for your garden sanctuary.
There are three basic types of pruning cuts you should be making, read about them in Three aesthetic pruning cuts.
Since keeping your trees and shrubs smaller then they want to genetically by, my post on Pruning to reduce regrowth which discusses the three types of cuts and how the plants respond should not be missed.
Perhaps your garden is already overgrown and you are confused about how to start. If this is the case you may want to take a look at my 3 part series on Crabapple Pruning in 4 Easy Steps: Overgrown Mess No More and How to prune cane type shrubs simply.
Of course, there are other resources that can help you learn how to prune your Japanese style garden.
The only real book on Japanese Garden pruning readily available to the US reader is Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Trees the Japanese Way.
The best book on tree pruning is an expensive one aimed more at the professional arborist, An Illustrated Guide to Pruning. This book does not specifically cover Japanese style pruning, but contains so much useful information, I could not include it here.
A good alternative book on general pruning that cheaper and is more suited for the homeowner gardener is Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning, 3rd Edition: What, When, Where, and How to Prune for a More Beautiful Garden.
And in case you forgot you can for free also: