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Topping Silver Maple [Archive] - Arbor Day Forum

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vduffy
03-07-2005, 08:18 PM
I have a silver maple that is very tall and getting old. I had it wired a few years ago. It is close to my house and I am afraid a big limb might break off from the top and fall on my roof. I understand you shouldn't top a tree, is there any way to decrease the height by about 1/3. Is this topping if I try to trim limbs at different heights?? I hate to loose this tree, even though it has been referred to as a "junk Tree"
Thanks,

saccharum
03-07-2005, 08:51 PM
There are ways to do a "crown reduction" properly, without resorting to topping. However, doing so in a way that minimizes the damage to the tree is something that requires skill, experience, and a trained eye - not to mention the tools and equipment. It's not something that can easily be summarized on a forum, especially since every tree will be different.

I would recommend hiring a reputable certified arborist to evaluate the tree and do any reduction work that's called for. Any time heavy pruning of live canopy branches is done it will stress the tree and create entry points for rot, but a good arborist will be able to limit the damage and keep long-term structural effects to a minimum.

Silver maple does have a reputation for splitting and dropping large branches when mature, but it's still a nice tree, IMO.