Can And Should You Trim A Maple Tree?

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Can And Should You Trim A Maple Tree?

17 July 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Maple trees are different. In the late winter when most trees' sap is flowing slowly, maple trees are letting their sap flow to the max. That's why maple trees are usually tapped at this time. Their sap is collected and used to make maple syrup. So, how does this difference affect how maple trees should be trimmed? Take a look.

When to Trim Maple Trees

Most trees are best off being trimmed in late winter or early spring since their sap flow is low and they'll lose less sap from the cuts at this time. Maple trees, however, should typically be trimmed in the late summer or early fall. This is when their sap flow tends to be the slowest. Trimming them at this stage minimizes sap loss. If you tap your maple trees, trimming in fall will help retain more of that sap for the spring when you tap – which will allow you to yield more maple syrup from each tree.

Reducing sap loss with a fall trim can also help prevent insect infestations. The more sap a tree leaks, the more insects you'll see around it.

How Often Maple Trees Should Be Trimmed

When they are young, maple trees should be trimmed every year. This will help ensure the tree develops a healthy and attractive shape. The trimmer will remove weak branches when they are still small so they don't become a hazard, later on, when they are larger.

Once your tree is larger and mature, it won't need yearly trimming. You should only need to call the tree trimmer every few years. They'll primarily be removing dead, deteriorating, and diseased branches. They may also remove some crossed or overgrown branches to help maintain the shady canopy that maple trees often have.

Tips for Trimming Maple Trees

It's usually best to have pros trim your maple trees. However, if you choose to trim your own trees, make sure you do it with clean, sanitized shears. This will help prevent the spread of infection, which is important with maple trees since they're prone to fungal leaf spots and similar diseases. Also, make sure you leave a little nub behind when cutting each branch off; this reduces sap loss.

Maple trees are different from other trees, and they have a different sap flow cycle. That does not mean they don't need trimming – just that you need to approach their trimming a little differently.

Contact a professional tree service near you to learn more.