Maple tree health


Mar 24, 2006
I have a very neglected Maple tree (silver) and a Locust that are crowding each other. I love the shade of the big Maple (18" at the base) but I have neglected it badly and it probably needs 30% reduction in the crown to withstand the winds. I am loosing branches with every wind storm now, 2-4" dia. The Losust is three co-doms that I have pruned and cleaned up and is almost the same height as the Maple with about 30ft between stumps.
My main question is I know Maples are hearty trees, but will it withstand this much reduction? Am I better off just removing it and leaving the Losust? I can get pics if we need them, but I geuss I need reassurance that I am doing the right thing.
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  • #2
And pics finally!! First is both, then the Maple then the Locust.


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  • #4
Really? Even with the Maple loosing branches regularly to wind damage?:?
I'm not being a smartazz, just trying to learn.
It's TOO TALL! You gotta TOP it to keep it from getting TOO TALL. :P

Cutting off all the strong limbs will prevent the weak limbs from breaking. ;)
Trees look great.

Shouldn't top them, after they sucker
you're gonna get alot of maintenance and broken watersprouts.

The wind makes strong trees.
If it breaks out the tops with the winds, less work for you.

Auto prune.

It doesn't look to be over the house.
Wind direction looks to be away from the house.
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  • #7
Neither tree is close to the house, or pose a threat of any kind to property damage.
i just thought they might be crowding each other a bit too much, and thought a crown reduction on the Maple might help with wind damage, OR remove it and let the Locust fill in.
It sounds like I was wrong all the way around.
The trees look good. How about a closer look at the base of the locust? When trees are young like that the most important thing to do is remove crossing branches. Oh and your silver maple will always lose branches even with regular pruning.
If you wanted to go crazy you could remove the grass and lay a thick layer of mulch, but I would probably leave it like it is.

Wow, a 100 letter sentence. :drink:
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  • #12
I have a lot of cross branching on the Locust that I still need to clean up Darin. But all in all it's a very healthy tree.
I'm sorry Butch, my body is still in shock and fatigued. I need some sleep.
Id get rid of the maple now while its small. Fromthe background looks in the pic, there is some sort of elec line. If its close enough, in time the elect co will start hacking on it and 1) make it ugly 2) weaken the tree further. Besides, silver maples suck anyway.
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  • #14
Id get rid of the maple now while its small. Fromthe background looks in the pic, there is some sort of elec line. If its close enough, in time the elect co will start hacking on it and 1) make it ugly 2) weaken the tree further. Besides, silver maples suck anyway.

How do you really feel about Maples?:lol: (12 hours of sleep makes a person chipper:))
Yes there is an electric line in the background, it has already gotten into the cable line.
I share Okie's opinion on silver maples. Get many ice storms there? If it was mine I would can the silver maple, leave the locust, and plant an oak.

I agree on the removal of the silver maple. I am not a big fan of loucst either,lesser of two evils.

Definately plant one of those fast growing oaks like a Red Oak. No Pin Oaks.

It is getting to the point where I am not a fan of some of the common Maple tree species. Pretty as they are in fall they can also be weed trees in some respects as they get older.
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  • #17
Lots of ice, lots of wind.
Pin Oaks seem to do very well here, but the other Oaks don't fair as well. I'd love to have a big White or Red Oak back there! I may bring one back from eastern KS next time I am out there and see how it fairs!
Taking the Maple out in one shot may have a drastic effect on the Loucust and losing the shade you value. If the Maple shades the Loucust the exposure to a full sun enviroment might put the Loucust into decline.

Is it possible to do this in stages with the end goal being the Maple removed from the landscape.

Do you have room to get your Oak established before the Maple is razed??

If you do. Top the Maple and force it into decline so it isn't he dominate tree in the landscape. If you need to cut the Maple back so your new Oak has it's own growing space. The goal here is to have the Loucust become the next dominate tree followed by the new Oak with the Maple slowly being eliminated from the landscape.

It might be easier to just get it over and done with in one shot. The results will be the same.

If you don't have a iron chlorosis problem with your soils then a Pin Oak would be a good choice.
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  • #19
I have lots of room for a couple of Oaks. I will try planting a couple of the White or Post Oaks and see how they do beore I do anything.
Oaks grow very slow. If they are not grown where they have to fight for sunlight they branch out real close to the ground . I'll snap a few pics of the ones I have in the lane that are most likely about 30 years old .

Silver maples are fast growers but have not much strength in the limbs,self pruners . Sugar maple is a much hardier stronger tree but slower growing .

The problem with pruning back hard a silver maple is the fact the off shoots don't have much strength .If I were to guess ,most likely 60 percent of the local tree service peoples work are with silver maples . Those trees were introduced here as a replacement for elm trees that died by the millions in the late 50's early 60's .

Beech could be an alternative .Slow growing but very strong .

Digital cameras ,luv-em .

A few pics of a few oaks that most likely were planted around 1973-75 I suppose as well as the sugar maples .The last picture is a beech.

Beech by the way are the last to leaf out in the spring .


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Andy, Think Burr Oak. Not only is it the most bestestest looking Oak and strong as 44 bulls it also grows fairly quickly and thrives in soils that aren't worth a plugged nickle.
--Besides that burr oaks have huge acorns . They tell me you can roast and eat them,although I've never tried it .

For what it's worth the burr oaks around here were left in the fields years ago to provide a place to rest the horses back in the day .They are still there for the most part . They grow a huge canopy if they have no competion .Of course it takes about 150 years but your great grandchildren will be delighted .:)