Best time to prune maple tree (red maple)


Old 07-30-08, 01:11 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 198
Best time to prune maple tree (red maple)

Winter, spring, summer or fall? Does it matter? What are the pros/cons of doing it during the summer season. I had three local tree service company come by to give me a price on pruning 4 maple trees. Prices ranged from $425, $650 and $1200.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:30 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
When you prune which trees does matter for many of them.

Maple are best pruned in May, June, July, November or December.

From this site:

Light pruning to remove a few small branches of trees can be done at any time of year. More extensive pruning should be done in late winter to early spring. There are three advantages to pruning at this time of the year.

First, wound closure is most rapid if it's done just prior to when new shoots emerge.

Second, there are few insects and disease spores to infest pruning cuts.

Third, deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, so it's easier to see what you're pruning!

Trees such as elm, maple, walnut and birch are "bleeders" when pruned in late winter to early spring. This oozing sap is annoying when it drips on cars and sidewalks. There is disagreement as to whether the oozing is harmful to trees. It is thought that oozing might interfere with the closure of pruning cuts. Oozing is reduced if these tree species are pruned in the fall. However, fall is probably the least desirable time of year to prune most trees. Pruning cuts close more slowly in the fall than in any of the other seasons.
As to price, I would go with the certified arborist (not a guy with a chainsaw and a pickup truck), get three references, check them and ask if they were pleased how the site looked when they left. I had 5 trees removed from a very difficult site. The site was so tight that a boom was needed to lift the trunks over the house. It was like watching a ballet in the trees. It took them all day, and when they left, not a leaf was left on the ground!

Pruning is part science and part art. They should never remove more then 20% of live growth. You can read about pruning here.


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