Post pictures of your garden or share landscaping ideas.

Pruning Maple Trees: Know Why and How to Do It

Pruning Maple Trees
Removing of dead wood and leaves along with light pruning can be done anytime of the year. On the other hand, if you require proper guidelines on how to prune maple trees, here is a Gardenerdy post with all the details.
Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Maple is a type of shedding tree that is planted as an ornamental tree for outdoor landscaping. Maple trees are popular because they are cold resistant and can grow extremely fast. With about 128 species, each tree has a serene beauty of its own. They are known for the beautiful, unequally-shaped leaves that make any landscape come alive. Planting these trees can be done for pure ornamental purposes as they enhance the beauty of both outdoor as well as indoor gardens.
Why to Prune
It is a common misconception that pruning is done only to stop the trees from growing to excessive heights. In fact, almost all trees require pruning as a part of their maintenance. This helps avoid fraying of the branches on each other. You need to eliminate crossing branches in order to prevent the damage caused by them rubbing against each other. Pruning helps to remove the small unnecessary 'v' shaped crotches, making sure that the trees have a specific size and shape. Also, it is essential to clear up damaged leaves and branches. It is important to decide upon the height of the trees, and then think about the pruning. Try to keep the height of the trees to the limit where the branches can be easily reached and pruned. Trees exceeding in height may require professional pruning.
The next important thing is to get to know the 'plant psychology' of your trees. Different types of maple trees have their own tendencies to grow in a certain period of time. Knowing the tendency of your plant and applying a little bit of logical reasoning, you can easily carry out the task on your own. Pruning young trees can affect their growth as they bleed sap when they are not fully developed. The pruning should be done when the leaves are fully grown. Decide upon which branches of the trees you are going to prune, before you actually start the process.
Instructions to Follow
There are many opinions regarding how the trees should be pruned. Early winter to late fall is the ideal period to carry out the task. Here are the instructions you need to follow.
  • Cut off the branches from the lateral side of the trees near to the healthy part. Make sure that you cut at an angle just next to the bud to help the new growth.
  • Some people also prefer the process of completely thinning out the plant. Basically, what happens here is that you will remove the whole branch from its origin to make the trees grow properly. This type of pruning is blatant and not so popular.
  • Prune the larger branches that are on a verge of breaking. Make a cut to the large branch at least a foot away from the actual trunk making sure that you don't keep back any stubs of that branch.
  • Always remove the dead and dying branches and leaves before giving the desired size to the trees. This action will give you the exact idea about the look of the maple.
  • Pruning the entire tree at the same time might shock the tree. So, do it in a step-by-step manner. Also, apply a quality sealant to keep the sap from bleeding.
Use proper garden tools, such as the pruning shears, and make sure that you clean them with a strong bleach solution to avoid any kind of disease being transferred from one branch to the other.