While you may enjoy the shade the silver maple tree in your yard provides, you may decide you need to trim it back to keep its rapid growth from taking over. If so, use the following three tips for trimming the silver maple tree on your property without damaging it.
Trim When Dormant To Prevent Bleeding
When you cut branches off of a silver maple tree while it is actively growing, the sap rises to the area where you cut and spills out onto the trunk. Referred to as bleeding, the leaking sap does not necessarily harm the tree, but it does leave a sticky mess that can attract insects.
To prevent your tree from bleeding, try cutting it back while it is still dormant during the winter months. Since the sap is not circulating inside the tree, it will not leak out after you make the cut.
Cut A Branch Back To The Collar
If you need to cut back an entire branch, avoid leaving a stub sticking out from the trunk. Since your maple tree cannot regenerate old wood, the stub is subject to rotting and insect infestation.
Instead, find the crown of the branch, which is the mound of wood located at the junction between the trunk and the branch. Cut the branch off flush with the crown, trying not to cut into the mound. Since the crown serves as a natural defense for the trunk against invading water and bugs, the damage to the tree should be minimal.
Try Not To Remove Too Much To Avoid Water Sprouts
While removing branches from your silver maple, try not to remove too many at one time. Whenever a branch is cut off from the tree, this removal signals to the tree to replace it. The tree does this by growing tiny replacement branches called water sprouts.
When the tree grows these water sprouts, it does not sprout only one. For each branch you cut off, you will see several water sprouts grow. This can lead to a bushier tree than before. By only removing a few main branches at one time, it is easier to keep up with trimming back the sprouts as they appear.
Using the tips above can help you trim your silver maple without causing too much trauma to the tree. However, if you are uncomfortable with trying to cut it back yourself, you may want to contact a tree trimming service, such as Robert Jefferies Logging & Tree Service, to discuss the possibility of having them do the job for you.