The first thing to do when you have a big tree is to remove all the branches which are not needed anymore. If you want to keep some of those branches, then you need to cut them down. The best way is using a saw or other tool with sharp blade. You will need to use the right tools for the job.
If you don’t like cutting down branches, then you can just leave them as they are. But if you want to make your tree smaller, then you need to prune it.
There are different ways of doing so. Some methods may require more time than others and there are pros and cons of each method.
In this article, we share with you the most common methods of pruning a maple tree. We also explain why you should choose one over another.
So let’s get started!
Pruning A Japanese Maple Tree: The Right Way To Do It
1) Cutting Down On Branch Growth : This is probably the easiest way to reduce branch growth.
Just cut down on the branches which are growing too fast and which are reaching their limit of growth. This will allow the other branches, which you may want to keep to grow unhindered.
2) Thinning Out Branches : Instead of pruning back all the branches in one go, you can do it gradually.
By thinning out some of the branches each year, you will be able to control the growth of the tree. This is perfect if you want to keep some of the lower branches but also want to increase sunlight in your yard.
3) Right Time Of The Year: As with any other plant, pruning maple trees should be done at the right time of the year.
This is usually late winter or early spring. If you prune your tree during this time of the year, new buds should start sprouting just in time for summer.
4) Cut Clean And Sharply: Whether you are using hand tools or electric power tools, always cut clean and sharply.
This will prevent the tree from bleeding and it will also stimulate the growth of new buds.
1) Age Of The Tree: The younger the tree, the more you can prune it.
This is because the roots will quickly heal over pruning cuts, and new shoots will sprout from buds in the stem. But older trees, especially those which are more than ten years old, may not be able to handle such extensive pruning.
2) Type Of Tree: Some types of trees require less pruning than others.
For example, ornamental grasses and small flowering trees should only be lightly trimmed since they don’t have strong root systems. On the other hand, large towering trees will need extensive pruning to keep them in check.
Pruning A Maple Tree: What Tools To Use?
1) Pruning Shears : These are the best tools for small and delicate pruning jobs.
They consist of a handle with sharpened blades. This tool is perfect for pruning smaller trees where you don’t want to use power tools.
2) Brush Hook: Also called loppers, this tool consists of two long handles with a short blade attached.
They are used to cut through small branches and shrubs. But they can also be used on larger branches than hand shears.
3) Pole Pruner: This tool consists of a long pole which is connected to an axe at one end.
This tool can be used from the safety of the ground to cut smaller branches. If necessary, you can also use it to cut through the branches which are out of reach.
4) Chainsaw: This is the most powerful pruning tool and should be used very carefully.
They can prune through even the largest of branches in no time at all. But this tool is also extremely dangerous to use around other people so it should only be used if you are experienced and confident.
Which Of These Tools Should You Use?
Each one of these tools has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you are a beginner, it is probably best that you use only the hand tools. However, this doesn’t mean that the chainsaw isn’t dangerous for a professional to use.
It is still probably best that you leave the chainsaw for professionals or at least experienced woodworkers. The brush hook and pole pruner can both be used by amateurs with safety.
As long as you stay focused and pay attention or wear protective gear, you should be fine.
Where Can You Buy These Tools?
Most of these tools are pretty common and shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Almost all hardware stores and department stores will carry them. But you might have to go looking through their aisles before you find what you’re looking for.
You can also try online. There are several online stores which sell a wide selection of tools at affordable prices.
But make sure that you only buy from a reputable store.
How Much Do These Tools Cost?
There is quite a range in prices for these tools. The hand tools, such as the hand shears and brush hooks, are usually fairly cheap and affordable for anyone. Some of them even come with their own cases which you can store them in.
The power tools are much more expensive. They usually range anywhere from $400 to $900.
Plus you still have to buy the gasoline and oil for them. You can also get attachments for them which make the job easier and faster. These attachments can cost as much as the tool itself! So be prepared to spend a pretty penny if you want one of these bad boys.
How To Use These Tools Safely?
Using some tools is easy. Other tools require some practice and instruction on how to use them properly. But there are some tools which can be extremely dangerous if used improperly.
One example of such a tool is the chainsaw. In fact, most pruning shears are pretty easy to use.
But when it comes to a chainsaw, you should take special care in how you use it. You should also take classes in order to learn how to use it properly.
The best way to stay safe while using these tools is common sense. If you’re going to be operating a chainsaw from a ladder, make sure you tie the chainsaw to the ladder so it doesn’t fall.
Make sure you have sharp chains, and don’t overwork the tool.
Don’t let this scare you, but there is always a slight risk of danger when using these tools. However, most of the time these risks can be avoided by using common sense and taking the proper precautions.
So enjoy using these tools and prune those hedges safely!
Where Can You Use These Tools?
These tools can be used pretty much anywhere. Most people use them in their backyards or gardens, but you can use them pretty much anywhere as long as you’re given permission to do so.
Some people even use these tools to maintain their parks or public areas. They are also used quite frequently in nurseries and flower shops, as you might imagine.
Power Tools Or Hand Tools?
There are obvious benefits and drawbacks to both power tools and hand tools. Let’s start with the hand tools, since they are easier to explain.
One advantage of using the hand tools is that they don’t require any fuel, oil, or electricity. This makes them more cost effective than power tools.
You can get by with just hand tools and not need anything else to prune your plants.
The disadvantage is that they are much slower than power tools. If you need to prune a lot of hedges, then you’re going to be there all day.
There are hand shears that can cut through small branches, but they don’t work very quickly like a chainsaw would.
Now onto power tools. Power tools can do the job much quicker, which is a definite advantage.
However, they are much louder and cost more to maintain than hand tools. You’ll need to buy fuel for them, which can get pretty expensive. You’ll also need to make sure you have oil and other supplies ready for when they break down.
Which one you should use really depends on what you’re going to be doing and how much money you’re willing to spend. If you just need to cut one hedge, then hand tools will be enough.
If you need to cut a lot of hedges or other things, then power tools will get the job done quicker.
Which One Is Right For You?
Now that you know all about these different types of tools, it’s time to figure out what your needs are. Then you can begin to pick out the right tool for you.
Begin by asking yourself these questions: How many hedges do I need to prune? What is my budget? Do I need a portable tool, or do I have an area to store a power tool? What sort of terrain will I be working on? Will I be working on hard surfaces or plants?
After answering these questions, you’ll have a much better idea of which tool you should get. If you’re only going to be working on soft plants and don’t mind getting a little exercise, then hand tools might be right for you. If you need to cut a lot of hedges quickly, then power tools would be the way to go.
Whatever you decide, make sure you think about the future. There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a job and realizing that you don’t have the correct tool for the job!
Tips When Using These Tools
Now that you’ve read all about the different types of tools, it’s time to learn how to properly use them. We’re going to start with hand tools since they’re a little simpler.
As I mentioned above, there are hand tools that can cut through small branches or shear through hedges. For these tools, safety is pretty easy.
All you have to do is wear gloves and be careful!
Here are some other tips:
Always use the right tool for the job: If you’re going to be sawing or pruning, then you’ll need a saw or pruning shears. Using a tool that’s designed to cut branches won’t help when trying to prune a hedge.
You’ll just end up making a mess and it’ll be take longer.
Wear gloves: You wouldn’t want to get those sharp blades on your hands! It would hurt a lot and you might bleed too much to go get help.
Besides, hedge trimmers are pretty sharp without any gloves at all!
Wear protective gear: It’s always a good idea to wear protective gear when using hand tools. Things can go wrong and you don’t want to get hurt.
Like their name suggests, portable power tools can be moved from place to place. This makes them very useful for people with yards of all shapes and sizes.
These tools use electricity or gasoline and can be fairly expensive. For this reason, people usually only buy them if they have multiple yards that need frequent trimming.
It’s always a good idea to wear protective gear when operating power tools. This is especially true if you’re using gasoline-powered tools.
All it takes is one mistake to cause a fire or explosion. Here are some other tips:
Wear protective gear: This includes things like gloves, safety goggles, and ear plugs. Of course, it won’t do you any good without common sense.
For instance, wearing ear plugs won’t do you any good if you’re using a chainsaw and don’t wear any ear muffs or protective headphones.
Never refuel a power tool while it’s running: This is pretty common sense but a lot of people don’t realize that. Remember that gasoline fumes are extremely flammable so it’s best to do that outside or in a well-ventilated area.
Keep your power tools in good condition: When using power tools, it’s important to keep them in good working condition. Keep your blades sharp and clean, make sure the oil level isn’t too low, and don’t force anything.
Hiring a Professional
While these tools can save you a lot of time and energy, they can also cause accidents if you’re not careful. In some cases, it might be better to hire a professional to do the job if you’re unsure of what you’re doing or don’t have the right equipment.
Of course, this will be more expensive. It might be a good idea to look into whether it would be cheaper to buy the necessary tools or to hire someone.
You’ll also want to think about your skill level and how easy (or difficult) it would be for you to use these tools properly.
In conclusion, yard work can be a real pain in the backside. However, it doesn’t have to be so bad if you know how to do it properly and you have the right tools.
Using the right tools is especially important if you want to stay safe and not get hurt while working outside.
When buying tools, it’s best to buy the highest quality ones that you can afford. They’ll probably cost more but they’ll last longer and they’re also safer to use.
You definitely don’t want to use poor quality tools when operating power tools.
Always remember to think safety first and read the instruction manual that comes with your tools. Doing so will help ensure that you have a fun and safe experience while doing yard work.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Compartmentalization of discolored and decayed wood in red maple branch stubs by DJ Green, WC Shortle, AL Shigo – Forest Science, 1981 – academic.oup.com
Tree growth regulators reduce line clearance trimming time by MP Mann, HA Holt, WR Chaney, WL Mills… – Journal of …, 1995 – academia.edu
Effects of individual trees on the solar radiation climate of small buildings by GM Heisler – Urban ecology, 1986 – Elsevier
Carbohydrate dynamics in roots, stems, and branches after maintenance pruning in two common urban tree species of North America by JA Ramírez, IT Handa, JM Posada… – Urban Forestry & Urban …, 2018 – Elsevier
Growth, biomass, and trim/chip time reduction following application of flurprimidol tree growth regulator by KD Redding, PL Burch, KC Miller – J. Arboric, 1994 – treecarescience.com
Studies in the Physiology of Forest Trees. II. Experimental Studies of Fracture of Stretched Water Columns in Transpiring Trees by KNH Greenidge – American Journal of Botany, 1955 – JSTOR