Trimming an Aspen tree

Asked March 24, 2019, 5:34 PM EDT

We would like to cut off the lowest branches on our tall Aspen tree in order to place a bench under the tree. Is now a good time to do this (late March into April)? I was also wondering ... Should we cut a branch off flush with the trunk or leave a little stub? Should we apply some kind of protective coating on the wound(s)? A Google search revealed conflicting answers. We'll trust your expert answer. Thanks in advance.

Arapahoe County Colorado

1 Response

Hello there,

Aspens (Populus tremuloides) will produce a lot of sap so you may want to wait until the spring flush of growth has happened. That means wait until mid-summer. Pruning now won't hurt an aspen, but it may become unsightly.

With regards to adding a protective coating to the stub, we don't recommend that.

Here is some general information about pruning.
http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/trees-shrubs-vines/1724-pruning-shade-trees/

And if you want to read even more about pruning, here is an extensive document that will tell you all you want to know about pruning and more. http://cmg.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/612.pdf

Good luck.