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Autumn Blaze Maple Choosing a Lead

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Cigarfox, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas ArboristSite King

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    You could cut that tree at the base and it would likely sprout back just fine. In trimming, less is often more. Especially with a tree you see every day and want to look nice as it sits in your landscape. A tree's leaves are its income. If you reduce its income, the whole tree has to live on less.

    My suggestions aren't for a nursery using production methods to get the stock out as fast as possible with a good central leader, I'm talking about optimal health of a tree, and keeping it looking good. If it were a one and out type trim job, then yes, go heavy handed.


    I appreciate your point about species, it's basically a silver maple planted about 20 feet from his house, maybe he wants to slow that thing down.
     
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  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Generally, I agree... but are you thinking multiple prunings in one season or correcting that over multiple seasons? My take is that you don't have 3 years to do this. Whether you do that all now or multiple times over next growing year, you are not having a big impact on the overall/total amount of photosynthate (income) the tree will produce throughout the year.
     
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  3. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas ArboristSite King

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    In a perfect world I'm talking about doing a light trim while the tree is dormant, with maples it's best late fall or early winter to minimize sap loss. As you remove small limbs the tree is still adding new growth, hopefully where you want it to. Taking too much off can cause heavy suckering (adventitious growth). You see apple growers fighting that battle all the time.

    It's also much better to take small amounts over time to help the tree set up stronger CODIT walls. Sure you could cut both sides back to the main trunk, but leaves a fairly weak protection against decay for that part of the tree. If you take small bites on the branch over time, the tree thinks it will lose the limb down the road and sets up barriers to decay at the base of that limb. This process takes time. Then in time, when its size ratio is much less than the trunk, and a nice collar has formed, its safer to remove the limb.
     
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  4. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas ArboristSite King

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    As fate has it, I have a tree that was almost exactly like this one, at least it was a few years ago. I did some very small cuts and it's doing pretty good as far as apical dominance goes. It is a sugar maple, a local variety, and a fast grower too. I'll try to get some pics up this weekend and you'll see the similarities. It's not in the best place for a clear picture, but I'll see what I can do.
     
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