Trim and Prune a Fast Growing Box Elder
Box elders are fast growing and are ideal as shade trees. Like many fast growing trees, the wood is not strong and is vulnerable to high winds. Life expectancy for the box elder is up to 35 years.
The Best Time to Prune
It is always best to prune any tree in a dormant period. For box elders, this is around Christmas time. If there is obvious damage to any branches at any time of the year, the branches should be removed.
Promote the Health of the Tree
Try to retain the desired shape of the tree but remove all dead or dying branches. If there are signs of infestation or damage by rubbing against other branches, remove it. Remove branches that grow across the general growth pattern – this will also help maintain the desired shape of the tree. Do not leave stumps when you remove a branch. Trim right back to the trunk or main branch using a sharp knife. Make sure the cut is near vertical and that water has nowhere to collect.
By careful tree pruning, the growth of your box elder will be controlled. This will help it have a more prolonged and useful life.