Autumn Blaze Maple – Trimming

Q: We have an Autumn Blaze maple tree that we built a deck around. The branches at the bottom are very close to the floor of the deck. Should we prune off the bottom branches or will the branches grow up as the tree grows taller? John Shirey, email

A: The branches won’t rise as the tree grows taller. They will be right there in your face every time you visit the deck to drink lemonade and watch the sun set. As long as you won’t be removing more than a quarter of the foliage of the overall tree, you can remove any branches that are in your way. February is a fine time to do the job.