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How To Trim A Red Maple Tree

The red maple tree, native to North America, is a tree of traditional beauty with lush green leaves in the spring and summer, and a stunning display of yellow, orange, and red leaves in the fall. Growing more than one to two feet per year, it can reach a height of 60 feet tall, making it a fast-growing tree that requires regular trimming and pruning to maintain its desirable oval shape. While the ISA-certified arborists at Life's Tree Doctor are always available to provide expert trimming and shaping services, for those who prefer to tackle this task on their own, we have also put together an article to guide you. However, should you need any assistance, do not hesitate to contact Life's Tree Doctor.

Items You Will Need

  • Goggles

  • Lawn & Gardening Gloves

  • Ladder

  • Trash Bags

  • Pruning Shears

  • Tree Saw

When is the best time to trim your red maple tree?

If you're looking to prune or trim your red maple tree, it's recommended that you do so in the late spring, between May and early June. This is when the tree's new leaves are fully developed and it produces much less sap. Pruning during this time period is ideal as it will prevent any difficulties that may arise from heavy sap flow which tends to occur later in the year and can make the process of pruning messy and sticky.

Let's Begin

When preparing to trim or prune your tree, it's important to prioritize safety. Put on safety goggles and work gloves to protect yourself. After inspecting your tree, decide which branches to remove in order to achieve the desired oval shape. Be mindful of the age of your tree as lighter pruning is recommended for younger trees and heavier pruning is acceptable for older trees. Aim to have a single main center branch with competing branches trimmed back.

DIY Tree Pruning

Prior to starting, familiarize yourself with the proper pruning techniques. There are many videos and tutorials available online as resources. Begin by eliminating any dead or leafless branches, cutting them as close to the trunk as possible. On mature trees, aim to retain between five to eight main branches, while younger trees (under five years old) should only have three to four. Cut back new shoots growing in the center of existing branches or near the trunk and instead encourage them to grow from the end of the branches.

Ensuring Your Safety

For safety and convenience, consider removing any branches that block walkways, driveways, or roads, as well as branches that hang over homes, buildings, or utility lines. These branches can be dangerous and cause damage during windy conditions. When pruning, it is important to always put safety first by wearing protective goggles and gloves, and having a helper hold the ladder for added stability when working on taller branches.

We're Here To Help

If you would like a certified arborist to handle the trimming, pruning, and shaping of your magnificent red maple tree, then reach out to Life's Tree Doctor by giving us a call. Our friendly team will assist you in scheduling a convenient appointment or promptly dispatching in case of an emergency. We are always here to help.

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