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Crossing limbs

Posted by wannabeGardnr 7 Maryland (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 7:47

These two young branches are considered crossing limbs, right? The top one already has damaged bark from rubbing on top of the think branch under it. This is a Japanese maple tree. I wanted to know if it is okay to remove them. My only concern is, I had trimmed some branches 3 years ago because they were in the way then, but since the tree has grown, those branches, I think would no longer have been in the way. So I was hesitating thinking if they would grow out of their rubbing phase.

If I prune, do I prune out just these two where they start, or remove their parent branch as well?. The second, I am a little afraid to do because it is a thicker branch. Also note that the parent branch is one that has been previously cut back to a side branch. The remaining branches on it are very thin, but do point away from the center of the tree.

This post was edited by wannabeGardnr on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 11:17


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Crossing limbs

Overall picture of tree. Crossing branches are on the right side.

This post was edited by wannabeGardnr on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 11:17


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RE: Crossing limbs

i have never seen a JM of that size.. anywhere ... you might want to verify that ID ... unless you are saying there is a smaller tree under the giant ...

regardless.. tree pruning rules dont rely on an ID ... they are the same.. regardless of the tree..

and i cant really ID which branches you are talking about..

regardless.. rubbers have to go ... i do not wait.. on a hope and a prayer.. that the tree will solve the dilemma on its own ...

if we are talking about the thinnest trunk.. just past the fence in pic 2 ... there might be much more drastic pruning.. that could make this a nice small, renovated tree... but i just cant tell with these pix...

ken


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RE: Crossing limbs

Is this pic better?
They grow large here. Bottom left corner of pic, same tree in neighbor's house.


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RE: Crossing limbs

I'd remove the crossing branch where it branches off from the main trunk.
Japanese Maples get large here too.
Mike
 photo IMG_3755.jpg


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RE: Crossing limbs

Mike you meant I should remove their parent branch which I had previously pruned, right, and not just the two branches that cross?

Is now a good time for this, or should I wait until the tree is fully leafed out?


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RE: Crossing limbs

If you remove the two thin branches you indicate, you still have a stub where you pruned off the tip of the branch they are coming from. It will always be prone to sprouting awkward side shoots because you tip-pruned it.

I'd prune it all the way back to its origin (where the red arrow is pointing) at the trunk or larger branch.

If you could show a better picture of the way the tree branches are structured we could maybe give better advice.

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In general, prune ALL branches headed towards the center of the tree as soon as you see them headed that way, and all crossing and rubbing ones too.

I prune young trees several times a year until their "scaffold" is well established.


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RE: Crossing limbs

Thank you.
It's hard to get the depth in still photos. I tried from top too. The second posting has all the tree trunks and shows the shape of the tree best.

Should I prune now, or wait?


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RE: Crossing limbs

I would prune now, all the way down to where the branch originates from the trunk. It should have been done years ago. Any trunks or branches that don't support a good canopy should be removed.
Mike


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