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How to Trim & Shape a Red Maple Tree

06 JAN 2019

How to Trim & Shape a Red Maple Tree

Native to North America, the red maple tree is a traditional tree with vibrant green leaves during the spring and summer and bright yellow, orange, and red leaves in the fall. It is a fast-growing tree, growing more than one to two feet per year, and can grow up to 60 feet tall. Due to its rapid growth, trimming and pruning is crucial if you want to maintain its wonderful oval outline. The ISA-certified arborists at Sesmas Tree Service are always ready to deliver top-quality trimming and shaping, but we have also put together this article to help you tackle this task on your own if you prefer to. Do not hesitate to call Sesmas Tree Service when you need assistance.

What You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Tree saw
  • Goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Ladder
  • Trash bags

When to Start

We recommend that you trim or prune during the late spring, between May and early June whenever the new leaves on the tree are fully developed. This is also when the tree produces much less sap. Heavy sap flow, common later in the year, can turn your tree pruning experience into a nightmare as sap is sticky and messy.

Getting Started

Bring your tools together and make sure to put safety first by gearing up with safety goggles and work gloves. Take a good look at your tree and determine which branches to prune in order to get the idea oval shape. Young trees should not be pruned too aggressively while older trees can be tackled more freely. There should only be one main center branch. Competing branches should be pruned back.

Get to Work

If you do not know proper pruning techniques, then consider reading or watching a tutorial before beginning. Start by removing all dead branches and branches that do not have leaves as close to the trunk as possible. You only want between five and eight main branches on mature trees, and only three or four on trees younger than five years of age. Cut away new shoots that are growing from the middle of existing branches as well as ones sprouting too close to the trunk. You want new shoots to sprout from the end of branches.

Remove Safety Hazards

Consider removing branches that obstruct pedestrian walkways, driveways, or roads. Similarly, remove precarious branches that overarch your home, structures, or utility lines. Gusts of wind can tear such branches and cause damage to your property or, worse, harm pedestrians and passersby. Remember to always wear goggles and gloves when pruning and get a friend to hold the ladder for you while you work on high branches.

Call the Professionals

If you prefer to have an ISA-certified arborist take care of the trimming, pruning, and shaping of your beautiful maple tree, then call Sesmas Tree Service to get in touch with a friendly representative. We can schedule a flexible appointment or arrange an emergency dispatch to your location. We are ready when you are.