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Pruning Maple Tree

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 23rd, 2017 10:02 pm
Deal Addict
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Oct 9, 2010
3128 posts

Pruning Maple Tree

So, a maple tree has started growing itself in a spot where I already wanted to grow another tree; I like maples, it somehow seeded itself despite there being no maple trees anywhere closeby, so I'm letting it grow.

Now, the tree presently looks like a ~8' tall stick with leaves all over it (flash is jacked on my phone, so I can't take a pic now). When I go to a nursery, the trees that are approximately this tall look a lot more "tree-like", as in the trunk has no leaves for the bottom 4', and the top is a "ball" shape. I fear, without pruning, that my tree will be a 15ft tall stick, and look a bit silly, before it starts filling out, but maybe this is how it's supposed to be ... I don't actually recall seeing any standard maples @ the nursery, now that I think about it.

Googling seems to show how to prune a tree that looks a lot like a tree, but needs to be groomed for whatever reason (this I know how to do), not how to make a tree fill out when it looks like a leafy stick. Should I be doing something, or just let it be?

Edit: My tree looks something like this (not my tree, this is from Google), but imagine the "body" part being like 1/3 the diameter ... if not smaller.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
1 reply
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
12130 posts
I literally trimmed off every branch below the top 2' of my maple every year until I could no longer reach it with an 8' step ladder. I called it "my stick". I encouraged all upward growth and trimmed everything else. The tree in the picture I would take off the bottom 75% to make it look like a little kid drew it as a lollipop. Branches down low discourage upward growth. Its now about 25' tall or more and has an amazing ball up top which is very full. There are still no branches below 8' or more.