Maple trees question - training.

Discussion in 'Trees, Shrubs and Roses' started by Melody Mc., Jun 18, 2022.

  1. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    Twenty years ago a friend gave me some suckers from some East Coast Maples. She had visited her family in Quebec where her father had a maple syrup farm.

    I put them in the ground, and two have survived and are beginning to look like trees. Two years ago, I began to remove the tiny little branch shoots up the sides of the tree, to try and develop a trunk and fuller branches.

    It seems to be working and they seem to be beginning to form a canopy.

    My question is if I should continue to do this - to remove the little side branches up to the main ones? Or if I should now leave those so that perhaps they may form branches?

    It is very unusual to have the east coast Canadian Maple surviving here, and it would be lovely if they began to be more tree like. I believe they are slow growing, so may not be adult trees in my lifetime.

    They are a good twenty feet tall now.

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  3. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Seedling

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    Take out the bottom new leafs and open the middle for air circulation. That’s it. These tree will add beautiful fall color.
     
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  4. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Young Pine

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    You can train most trees if you take your time.
    I always use the example of a "leaky hose" to explain growth.
    If you've two leaks in a hose one near near the tap end and one near the nozzle. More water will leak from the first hole than the second.
    Removing the lower branches will encourge the tree to put more energy into the top.

    You can shape the top if you wish.

    We have a very small front garden. This tree was about 6ft tall when we bought it 35 years ago. Over the years I trained it to this shape. Each year I take up to a foot off it all the way round, to keep it to this shape. It stays as tall as the eaves of the roof of our house, as I don't want it to get any taller or wider.

    Despite my best efforts in the dormant season, the growth in the spring isn't always exactly regular all round, but that's nature for you.


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  5. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    I'm afraid the leaves never live long enough to turn red here in the fall. They get hit with frost too early. It is still lovely to have a maple :)
     



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  6. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    Thank you so much for this. You do an amazing job with your trees and shrubs. Your analogy made perfect sense and helped me understand how the trimming works. My ladder days are done ( I like the ground too much) so I'm really happy leaving the top. I trimmed them both up today and they look so so so much better. I went as high as I could with the long pruners - they are a little taller than I thought.

    Photos to follow when the rain stops. :)

    Thanks again!
     
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  7. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    My 2¢ which is probably all it's worth o_O - I think those trees are just lovely as is. I would only remove branches that seem hazardous or in the way of mowing.

    10 years ago I bought four unwanted end-of-year European Lindens for rock bottom prices, in September. They were heavily root bound and mis-shapen. I pruned off all of the winding roots, pruned crazy shaped branches, and planted them. Now they are beautiful, nicely shaped trees. They must be 30 feet tall. Honeybees love the blossoms - the trees sing when in bloom.

    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb
     
  8. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley Young Pine

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    My wife doesn't like me using a ladder now I'm 82. But I need to use one to prune the wisterias on the pergolas.
    However, for the big tree in the front garden I have a Barnel telescopic pruner for the smaller branches.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/112026328427?hash=item1a154a1d6b:g:CJ4AAMXQPW5SEko5

    For the thicker branches I have a Fiscars lopper.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/353522754716?hash=item524f99249c:g:dTQAAOSwoV9ijjPQ

    I've made mine twice as long by attaching a handle made of polypipe with a thick piece of dowel inside to strengthen it and added more cord to the original one.
    So no ladder required.
     
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  9. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    '
    I like this :) You're 2 cents are priceless so thank you for sharing. I love this garden stewing. My "maple tree stew" is to clean up as high as I can reach ( not terribly high), and keep it trimmed to there. That is about where the larger branches start so it works. All of these little leaf clusters try to come along the trunk and I think that slows it down ( it's hose is leaking DR), but other than that I am going to let the maples form their own canopy. All of it's new growth is red, so there is a lot going on up there.

    I love these trees. It's pretty exciting so see them shift from being sticks in the ground to this. The next twenty years will be equally exciting.

    Oh... "be able to mow under"....my husband enjoys the lawn tractor but not when he has to go under one of the yellow willows that I planted about 15 years ago. I saw him silently cursing and ducking the other day, but he still lost his hat....so when the rain stops tomorrow she will be pruned up as well. I'm sure he thanks you. :)
     
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  10. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    After photos in the rain. :) The apple tree is in one to show how much bigger it was than I thought. Little hard to make the out with the forest behind.


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  11. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    This is a very clever idea!

    Our big issue is the natural trees - branches can become in the way, block light, and sometimes with snow weight can get too close to the lines to the house. We usually wait until my son or son in law come up and send them up a ladder hahaha. Back in the day my husband also used his climbing spurs. The lopper we have is just too short.

    He did attach a really long pole to a pruning saw, but that was quite labourious. ( And I feel like I'm in a three stooges movie when I try to pack it around). Great idea DR :) I will definitely be exploring it this fall when I have to prune before snow comes.
     
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  12. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Seedling

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    I use battery op chain saw on pole to prune trees.this is light weight 7.5 lbs. and gets the job done in no time.
    The trick is do it yearly before the job gets too big . Sometimes I’ll call in a pro tree crew comes with two guys and cherry picker to clear all the 80-100’ trees away from tricky spaces and cross limbs. It’s well worth it takes them a day every 8-10 years. Depending on the growth cycle of trees in the area.
     

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  13. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    @Pacnorwest - thank for sharing this. I have seen these at the logging shop where we get our new chains for the saws. It is good to know that they work well for you and aren't heavy. The one's I've seen are a little short for the heights we need.

    Due to the long distance they would have to travel and the narrow rough gravel road, we wouldn't hire someone with a high up. It would be very expensive. ( delivery for a load of soil for example would be just under $400). The hydro crews do come and check for danger trees around the power lines out this way every 8 years or so. Our power goes out a lot from trees on lines. Sometimes they ask to part their rigs here so that they don't have to drive them back and forth for three hours every day. In the past, in exchange, they offer to fall a few trees or do a little clean up away from the power lines. ( and I volunteer a space for them to dump their woodchips :) )
     
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