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Identify tree and pruning advice please.

This tree was planted 17 years ago. At the time it was about 4ft tall. Now it is as tall and as wide as the house. Can this tree be shortened and slimmed down?

Leaves1 Tree1 Tree2



I 'think' it is a type of Acer... The only way you are going to shorten it is to cut it down.

24 Oct, 2011


Looks like an Acer (Maple) variety to me also. Wait till the leaves drop off and prune till you please. It should grow back.

24 Oct, 2011


You could try raising the canopy by removing all the lower branches coming out of the main trunks. This will let more light underneath and into the house windows! Try planting hardy Cyclamen underneath for extra interest.

24 Oct, 2011


I think it's a liriodendron (Google images of its leaves - they look like those of an acer but have the end point missing, just like yours). It carries yellow-green tulip shaped flowers in mid summer but typically takes 20 years or so to start flowering. It will get to 80 feet or more!
My pruning book says it doesn't need much pruning but that limbs growing outwards may need support as they age as they become heavier.
It's a rare and magnificent tree

24 Oct, 2011


I think you are right Andrew, the bark looks wrong..I can only zoom so far. I like the tree as it is, would be a shame to prune it, but that is a lot of light it is blocking in summer. I could live with it.

24 Oct, 2011


To be honest in the situation it is in I'd remove...

24 Oct, 2011


Yes it must be the Liriodendron tulipifera. For the past few years the tulip type flowers appeared in the summer.

Need to prune it as it is now covering the parking bays, road, and neighbours property.

Could I just totally remove the lower outer branches. There are four like north, east, south, west from the centre. You can see the north one on the right in the middle picture, east is closest to the camera, south to the property next door, and west close to the front of the house.

I have wondered what happens if one of the branches comes down and damages a car. Who's insurance pays for it!

Another problem is that the middle section is now close to the upper bedroom windows and is blocking views. We also seem to have a lot of wasps from late summer onwards. Only this weekend they have tucked away for the winter.

Need to trim it but I don't want it to look a mess, or for it to get damaged and diseased. I guess it I can just take a saw to it and leave nature do the rest?

24 Oct, 2011


Given the situation I would still remove the whole tree... Looks to me as if in its youth it was cut on some way so that the leader was destroyed hence you have the multiple stems. The hight and size me that just cutting back is going to look extremely ugly.

24 Oct, 2011


You may have to check with the local council that it isn't protected in any way - and you might have to apply for planning permission to even cut it back. I live in a conservation area and nothing can be done without this. Hopefully you can do what you like with it.

25 Oct, 2011


If you don't want to remove it I think it would be worth employing a competent tree surgeon to see whether he would recommend taking off the side trunks to try to make it more like a standard. (But I do mean competent...)This is a prime example of a very desirable tree in the wrong place, and as it hasn't anywhere near finished growing you may end up feeling its not realistic to keep it.

26 Oct, 2011


The tree came with the house when this development was built. This is a lovely area, where nearly every house has a different plant / tree. Contrast this with the more modern noddy house developments down the road. Most new houses do not even have pavements let alone a front area, and they have rear gardens that are only big enough for a bonsai in a thimble.

OK I get the point that getting rid of it totally may be the best in the long run. Am looking to sell next year so wanted to tidy it up a bit.

If it did go would the stump remain? Is there something I could put in it's place; make the front area more attractive? Most of the neighbours have replaced their front greenery with chippings. Some nice, some not. I like turf and plants.

What about the roots? Could this be a problem with the path walls or house if the tree keeps on growing?

27 Oct, 2011


I just want to thank you for my new favourite phrase "bonsai in a thimble." I shall be using it frequently.

27 Oct, 2011


Hi Biff if you have the tree felled it is going to have to be a professional job and I would suggest getting the stump ground out as well. This would ensure that any remaining roots would die off. You would then be in a position to turf the area or turn it into a flower bed complete with small shrubs. I agree much better to keep it as green land not gravel.

27 Oct, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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