Question From: J. Robinson - Canal Fulton, Ohio, United States
Q: We have a 20 foot Autumn Blaze Maple that was planted 3 years ago and is now taking off. I'm ready to trim the lowest branch from the trunk, 4.5 ft. up, and want know if I can do this in the fall or is there a better time of year, such as very early spring, before it leafs out, that would promote healing or reduce any stress? Thank you.
A: Maples are bleeders, that is they produce a lot of sap, so don't freak out. The best time to prune is just prior to budding out in spring. Watch for the buds beginning to swell. Be sure to sharpen and clean your tools ahead of time. You may need loppers and a tree saw as well as a hand pruner, depending on the size of the branch. Pass on any kind of pruning paint. Tests show the tree heals best if left to its own devices. Keeping the tree watered going in to winter and mulching with 3 to 4 inches of organic mulch helps to hold moisture. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.