Maple Trees

Cutting Trunk of Tree


JHelm added on July 5, 2011 | Answered

I bought a tree, came about four feet. I plan to let it grow a few more but want to stop its growth then. Should I cut the top of the trunk or what? It's in Zone 5, probably a sugar maple.


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ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 11, 2011

You can do a process called topping, which will encourage a tree to grow out rather than up. It is not normally recommended because it shortens the life of the tree. This article has more information on the pros and cons: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/sul7.pdf

Sugar maples want to grow rather large. You may not be able to contain its growth to under 10 feet, even if you top it. You may want to look for another variety of tree to go there, such as a small ornamental.

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