JP Maple (Burgandy Lace) Should I trim off this branch? (pic)

gardenbug(8b)March 16, 2010

I planted my Burgundy Lace maple about 2 years ago. My idea was to have it grow with a nice canopy. How do I train it to get there? I notice there is a wishbone shape branch growing out of the side of it. Should I cut it off, if so, where do I make the cut? I also noticed the top branches seem to be growing in one direction. What's up with that? Should I put weights on the branches so they'll bend down? Does the tree need to be staked? Please help me as I love this tree. It's got lots of buds right now.

Thank you.

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ASAP I would prune off the lower left branch and then stake the tree to true vertical.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:56PM
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aethetic_pruner ~ Just a little to confused. I know you said lower left branch but which one? Do you mean the one nearest to the soil so that the entire wishbone branch is removed or the branch that is part of the wishbone branch. Can you please tell me where/how to make my cut? I'm really new at this pruning.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Follow the tree trunk from the ground up. The first branch that you get to on the left is going into a wishbone form.
Take it all off at the trunk so you end up with just the two major co-leader branches on top. Do not prune and leave a stub. Cut the branch off flush with the trunk for this small branch. It may bleed sap a little at this time of year if the tree is active but it should heal off OK. Then stake the tree up so it is true vertical. Use two stakes, one on each side but take them off next year. Connect the stake with rubber materials and never with wire. The two stakes should be around 6 to 8 inches from the trunk, 180 degrees appart. OK?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 5:23PM
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Perfect!! Thank you very much for taking the time to explain this to me step-by-step. I understand everything you said. If you like, I can show you a pic when I am all finished staking it. Do you think the branches at the top will eventually bend down or are they always going to grow in one direction straight up like in the picture. Maybe by pruning this wishbone branch off, it will put more energy into the tree. Thanks again for all your wonderful help.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 12:22AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

The branches will not bend down. You bought an upright grower, not a weeper. Nevertheless, a nice tree.
I agree that the lowest limb should be pruned.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 11:20AM
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