Pruning a Red Maple Tree
I would like to know how to prune an overgrown red maple tree. It has outgrown its place, but we would like to keep it, only in a smaller form. It is currently over 15 ft. tall, and its branches grow into the side of the house. I would like to know when and how much can be pruned.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
A maple’s natural form is a rounded. Since they need very little pruning, you should only "train" for developing a leading shoot, which will eventually become the dominant shoot that establishes the tree's framework. Maples should not be pruned in spring and will bleed profusely if this is done. Therefore, it is best to wait to until late summer or early autumn to prune, and only on a young tree. You would typically not prune an older, overgrown tree unless absolutely necessary, and only then take off no more than a third of its growth within a given year.