Trident maple spring pruning

Things are slowing down a bit now, except for the tridents and black pines. It’s a bit too early to candle-cut the pines (I do this 100 days before our average first frost).

This trident was wired over the winter, secondary branches mostly, and allowed to grow in March. I want good movement, good taper, and no bulges at the cuts. Here is a shot before leafing out this spring.

First round of pruning in April.

Second round in May, as wires were biting in, they were located with the help of a leafless photo, and removed. I also went branch by branch, eliminating strong shoots, clusters, and those growing from the bottom sides of branches. This will help keep those secondary to tertiary branch transitions smoother.

Third cut back in June was another rounding out, which really just slows down the strong shoots and gives weaker ones a chance.

In July, I’ll go back and prune hard again, reducing shoots down to evenly-sized pairs, wire out some new growth, and let it grow again.

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