Pruning Norway Maple Trees

Pruning a Norwegian maple tree takes care and specific knowledge. For more facts & information on pruning maples read our guide…

There are three types of Norway maple trees common to the United States; the Norway maple, the Norway King Crimson maple and the Norway Sentry maple. While all three types of trees have different characteristics, the rules for pruning the trees are the same. Since the Norway and King Crimson varieties can reach heights of over 60 feet at maturity, a professional tree service may be necessary to reach the upper branches of the trees.

When to Prune Norway Maples

All the Norway maple varieties should be pruned in the late fall or early winter after the leaves have dropped and the trees have become dormant. Pruning during the growing season can stress trees and leave them open to insect infestation. Trees can be pruned for ornamental or practical purposes. It is recommended that branches growing below the six foot mark on the trunk of the two larger varieties be removed to create denser canopy growth.

Removing Dead Branches

It is best to remove dead or damaged branches during the pruning process. This will enable the tree to produce healthy new growth for the next season. Branches should be cut just above the swelling where they grow from the tree trunk and stems should be cut just above a healthy bud or shoot. Low hanging branches may also be removed at the swelling near the trunk if desired. Branches which touch other branches should also be removed to prevent damage from rubbing and increase sunlight to other branches.

Pruning for Aesthetic Reasons

The Norway sentry maple is most often pruned for aesthetic reasons. Smaller than the King Crimson or Norway maple, this ornamental tree has dark red leaves and a naturally oval shape to its canopy. Branches which grow out from the dense oval should be trimmed in order to retain the attractive narrow shape of the tree. The sentry maple usually has a mature height of about 20 ft. and can be trimmed by property owners.

Extensive pruning can shock Norway maples so it is best to extend this type of pruning over a two year period. It is unnecessary to coat the exposed cuts with paint or tar since there is no evidence that the coatings have any benefit to the tree. Light pruning may be done just after the tree has leaved out in early summer, but more extensive trimming should be postponed until early winter.

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