How to Keep Maple Trees Small

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Tip

When planting the tree, make sure it is not under any power lines, or next to building's foundations that can be disturbed by an extensive root system.

Warning

Never "top" a tree, which is cutting off the top branches to give the tree a flat appearance. Besides looking unnatural and unattractive, it can kill the tree.

Maple trees come in a variety of colors and varieties, and can reach heights of 25 feet to 90 feet tall, depending on the species. When planting a tree, many people do not take into consideration that a "baby tree" will be that large 20 or 30 years later. And if the tree is planted in a yard that cannot support that size, something will need to be done to contain or move the tree.

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While there are no commercial products available to inhibit growth, there are several ways to keep a maple tree's height under control as it matures.

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Step 1

Research the variety of maple you wish to control. How tall does it get? Is it growing in the proper soil to reach this height? How fast does it grow? If the tree only grows 2 inches to 3 inches per year, you may have less work than if it grows 12 inches during the summer months.

Step 2

Prune the tree every year until it reaches the desired height. You will now have to continue cutting the tree back below that mark each fall or early spring, allowing for new growth over the warmer months.

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Step 3

Restrict the tree to a pot or container on your porch, patio or deck. The tree's growth will be limited to the root system that the container can support, keeping it from reaching its usual heights.

Step 4

Hire an arborist--someone who specializes in treating trees--to determine how the tree should be pruned to keep it healthy, yet contain its size to the desired height.

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references & resources

Lori Lapierre

Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."