Pruning advice for most ornamental trees indicates that it's best to do so in late-winter - for us, that would be around February/March. The problem is, the last thing I'm thinking about at that point in time is pruning so I either end up doing a bit of tree maintenance at the wrong time of year or it doesn't get done at all.
This type of thing happens all the time - I look at a plant in the garden and think "I want to prune / divide / move that plant next winter / spring / fall, and then I completely forget. This year I decided to start a monthly list of things that need get done the following year, which includes pruning trees that require a bit of tidying up in late winter.
There are a couple of trees on our property, however, that do best when pruned in early to mid-summer: Maple and birch. The fact that maples "bleed" if injured in early spring (maple syrup!) didn't even occur to me until just this week. Sort of a 'duh!' moment 😉. This, of course prompted me to do a bit more research which lead me to find out that maintenance on birch trees was also best done during the summer. So both of these trees were removed from my winter list & added to my July list. And since we are still in July, I tackled the maple trees that have been a right pain (literally) for years now.
|Mowing underneath the maples was not easy|
All of our maples are planted in the lawn, and I am constantly accosted by their lower branches when I mow. I prefer to mow as close as I can to the trunk and then trim next to the trunk with a pair of shears rather than let hubby loose with the weed wacker. I'm really not sure why I had not thought to limb up these trees - for years I simply put up with it. Well, not anymore.
Certain sections of the tree had gaps that were much more apparent once a low hanging branch was removed. In a few cases, instead of eliminating the branch entirely, I simply heading it back in the hopes that it would branch and the gaps would start to fill in a bit. Since this was the first time I had pruned the tree, I erred on the side of taking less off.
So the end result is not completely even but it's a good start.
|The plants beyond the tree clutter up the photo,|
but you get the idea...
I also limbed up a couple of other maples that had branches that hung down to within a foot of the ground. The one pictured below was the worst of the bunch and I actually needed a chainsaw. I pruned this one first but unfortunately didn't think to take a before photo.
|First tree to get a trim...|
so much better than before!
I'm looking forward to mowing this week. I'll still have to bend down a bit when mowing, but compared to before, it will be a pleasure 😊