pruning a big branch

sightunseen(7)May 21, 2014

I think I should prune a large narrow-crotch branch off my maple, but I'm concerned that it is too large. It is probably between 15-20 percent of the tree and will probably look bad...initially at least. I wonder if I could get some recommendations. I attached a pic.

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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I would cut if off as soon as possible, the heck with 'balance'.
Go up on the branch about a foot and a half, make your facecut, or undercut, and then do your back cut. Then trim the last of the 1' 1/2" off at the trunk. If you cut it off at the trunk first, it will tear off the bark down the trunk below the cut.
I assume you're talking about the branch on the left.....right?
Mike

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:24PM
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gardengal48

How old is the tree? Has there been any issues with it? I might have recommended removal when the tree was younger and the branch smaller but that appears to be a significant portion to remove now. And if you haven't encountered any problems with that narrow crotch yet, I'd be inclined to leave it alone.

And is that some sort of taping I see around the trunk of the tree? what's up with that?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:33PM
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sam268

remove the left branch asap,
do you have a pic of the whole tree.
Just remove this major branch this year and than do some other fine pruning the following year to balance it

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 11:49PM
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sightunseen(7)

Yes, that left branch. I believe the tree was planted when the house was built in 2004. I've only been here since 2010. The tape was put there in an effort to keep away woodpeckers, which suddenly showed up this winter. How long do you suppose it will take for the tree to balance back out? It should balance back out, right? I'm not at home so I can't take another pic right now.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:10AM
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sam268

It will take 2-3 years to balance it self out. With some additional pruning.
have to see how the whole tree looks to determine.
But I prefer to limb up my maple to about 5-6 feet for clearance.
once they are older, the longer lower branches will have a dropping effect.
I see so many mature maples with limbs touching the ground which their lowest branch was only 3-4 feet high.
Show us a pic after you pruned

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 2:06AM
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sightunseen(7)

This is a pic of the whole tree. I'm waiting to get a proper saw. All I have now is a reciprocating.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 8:12AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

The tree looks pretty good. I just might leave it alone if I were you.
The branch doesn't stick out like I thought it might. I'm always worried about snow and ice. That's done the most damage to my trees.
I guess it just comes down to a judgement call.
Mike

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 9:25AM
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sam268

It looks pretty now but the tree won't last long without proper pruning.
remove the left branch and make some minor pruning on the right to balance it out
Pick a day which won't have rain the next couple days. Keep the fresh cut area dry for a couple days.
Now is still a good time to do it and give the tree a chance to heal before winter.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:36AM
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sam268

It looks pretty now but the tree won't last long without proper pruning.
remove the left branch and make some minor pruning on the right to balance it out
Pick a day which won't have rain the next couple days. Keep the fresh cut area dry for a couple days.
Now is still a good time to do it and give the tree a chance to heal before winter.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:04PM
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sightunseen(7)

Well, I did the deed. Please take a look at this video and help reassure me that I didn't make a terrible mistake:

http://youtu.be/f4HBjEZfnrs

Here is a link that might be useful: branch being pruned

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 6:41PM
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sam268

http://youtu.be/HoI7h70wqKI

You should of watch this video to clean up the stump with out cutting into the branch collar.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 1:51AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

If I took that much time to cut a branch, I'd get nothing done. It's not complicated surgery.
As I said above, cut the branch off in one cut, leaving about the length of firewood as a stub. Then cut the stub off with one cut leaving the branch collar. No undercut necessary and no tearing of the bark on the main trunk. Simple, quick, and even an amateur can do it.
Sam, did the cut tear the bark on the trunk?
Mike

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:15AM
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