Multi-Stemmed Red Maples ... Safe to prune smaller stem?

PJPJ

New Member
Hi guys,

So got a good look at these today (which are all over the place). They are multi stemmed red maples. I want to remove two stems (4" & 6" stems) as they are ugly and not doing much for the bunch as a whole. One of them looks like it may even have die back up top...

I am probably over thinking this but obviously don't want to do more damage than if I were to leave them.

I cannot tell 100% of they are connected to the main dominant trunk down below so my concern is that if I were to prune them out and they did not close up / compartmentalize quick enough then obviously we have decay in the main trunk which is no good (If they are connected).

If I leave them then they grow larger and we have weak attachment points all over with included bark etc. Pruning them up top is not really an option. They have maybe 1-3 branches with little foliage and are not in the best of shape. It would also look way better if they were just gone.

Probably making this a huge deal in my head but Id rather be safe than sorry.

What would you all do? I am tempted to just cut them out and call it a day but concerned about decay down the road. They're not co-dom as they are substantially smaller than the main stem.

What do you do in situations like this? There is also pictured another 3.5" lead off of a main trunk that I want to cut out as well.
 

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oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Looks like stump sprouts gone wild. Get rid of them and plan for a shortened life of the remaining trunk.
 
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KevinS

Well-Known Member
Yup pick the best lose the rest no need for a clump. As a soft maple it will get bigger and lead to codom structural issues when it’s a worse time
 

Jzack605

Active Member
If the tree with die back up top is images 1 or 4 you might want to recommend root collar excavation. There could be a girdling root under there. Maples are notorious for pretty messy root systems especially when buried.
 

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