krugjr

help with pruning a "rescued" maple

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First timer to this very good site.....
situation: I transplanted a maple last fall that had just grown wild and unattended near building on neighbor's property...No 1: it survived the transplant, bare roots and all, so I'm happy about that, just dormant enough I guess No 2: approx 4-5 yrs old, about 12 ft tall, but has grown without the standard care needed to shape properly...it has one main trunk, curved from climbing up the side of a building, with 2 other limbs, 3-4 ft long, both coming out of the main trunk about 4-5 ft from the ground...the main trunk has very few other branches until the 9-10 ft height, and they're small ones No 3: I don't know which way to go with pruning.... cut the bigger, lower branches, before they get too big, and let the higher, smaller branches enentually take over.......or let the bigger, lower branches grow for now and wait a year or two before making a major "cut".....

the lower branches are on three sides of the trunk, and I can see them being balanced someday, but for a maple, Red or Norway I think, is the 4-5 ft height too low to have the secondary main branches permanent parts of this tree? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.....I kind of feel like I saved this beautiful tree (they were getting ready to chop it down last fall) and now I'd like to give it it's best opportunity to thrive!
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  1. 's Avatar
    Way to go saving a tree! I always found that branches low on a tree were a great characteristic (even branches that low). I always viewed a tree as a specimen if it split real low. Is this a red maple? I would advise you to let those low branches keep growing because they will fill out the tree much better and making it better for climbing later on. If these branches are large and comprise a good section of bark on the lower part of the tree cutting them could leave the tree prone to diseases and cause some ugly looking scars. You can buy a tree paste that will prevent disease and help heal any major cuts.