Q: I planted a one-inch high Japanese maple seedling in May. It has now grown to thirty inches tall, heading straight up with no branching. Should I clip the top off to get it to branch out?
A: Not unless you’re creating a bonsai. The leaves on top are feeding the buds and roots below. The stem buds will sprout branches eventually or new limbs will emerge where the top leaves are growing now. The tree will not continue to grow tall without making side branches on its own. Nature will provide.