How to Prune a Maple Tree How to Prune a Maple Tree
One of the more handsome trees that can be grown in your landscape is a maple tree. A long time favorite, the maple tree can produce tremendous foliage in the autumn season, and large canopy of shade in the summer. Not only are they great trees for shade, but they also produce a wonderful tasting sap.
A very common sight in the Northeastern part of the U.S., the maple tree is a long time favorite. Being mostly easy to take care of maintain, the maple tree is seen in many landscapes and communities. One of the methods of caring that the maple tree does need is regular pruning.
Why Prune Maple Trees?
When you prune your maple tree, or any tree, shrub, or plant for that matter, you are giving it several different things at once. First, you are training the tree to grow in the direction you want it to. Next, your pruning is shaping the tree and keeping it clean, neat and attractive. Another huge reason is that it always energizes the tree for more blooms, fruits, or rejuvenated growth.
Pruning trees is more than just taking your sheers, or your chain saw, and lopping off branches. There has to be some sort of reason, and plant to pruning your maple tree. Following the three reasons will give you a lot of guidance.
Prune After Leaves Develop
For most trees you should prune the trees when the spring thaw is coming and you start to see a little life in your trees. Pruning them before the buds come out will help the tree produce the blooms and fruit. However, maple trees have sap that many people will tap for making syrup. This sap can be a nuisance for saws and tools. Wait until the leaves completely develop before pruning a maple tree. There will be much less sap.
Remove Dead Branches First
When you start pruning the maple tree you should always start with the dead and weak branches first. Do a quick inspection of the tree and take note of any limbs that are dead, in the process of dying, or are very weak and are drooping sharply. Once these branches are removed you will have a better looks at what live branches should be taken.
Remove Large Branches First
Once you have the branches picked out that you are going to prune off, cut them off about a foot away from the main trunk. Cut it cleanly with one cut coming from the bottom up and another cut meeting it from the top. Once the weight from this branch is gone, you can cut off the remainder of the stub. Cut cleanly so as not to remove too much bark.
Once the larger branches are gone you can begin to thin out the remaining smaller branches. Shape the tree to be pleasant looking and healthy, instead of large and unruly. Your main goal in getting rid of some of the smaller branches is to let more light, and air, in through the foliage. This will help with the photosynthesis of the leaves and overall health of the tree.