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How to Prune a Norway Maple

The Norway maple, Acer platanoides, is a medium-sized deciduous tree with a dense, rounded crown. A mature Norway maple can reach 75 feet tall, with a crown width of 30 to 50 feet. It is hardy to USDA zone 3. Norway maples require pruning to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches, to control their size, and to thin out the crown to allow for more sunlight and air circulation. The tools required are determined by the size of the limb or branch that you need to prune.

Prune any dead, damaged or diseased branches as soon as possible by making a clean cut at the breaking point or by cutting off the entire branch. Clean cuts allow the plant to heal correctly.

Examine your tree from all angles and decide which branches to prune to maintain size or to ensure safety. Locate the branch collar (it is under the branch where it connects to the trunk) and the branch bark ridge (it is on the top of the branch where it connects to the trunk). Make your cut right in front of the branch bark ridge and the branch collar, and do not leave a stub.

Prune smaller branches and twigs by making the cut at a node. A node is where the branch or twig attaches to another.

Prune any crossover branches or limbs from the crown of the tree. On mature trees this is often done by a professional tree service due to the height involved.


Disinfect your pruning tools after removing diseased plant material by dipping the blades in either bleach or alcohol.


Do not to cut into the branch collar or the branch bark ridge; they must be maintained for the health of the tree. This pruning should be done in winter or early spring.

Do not put diseased plant material in your compost bin.

Do not prune branches that are close to electrical wires. Call the electric company to do the pruning.

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