Front Yard Tree #798455

Asked June 29, 2022, 10:07 AM EDT

Hi, I have a very healthy tree in my front yard, I am very proud honestly of the way it has grown.  It is roughly 11 years old. I have been told it is a red maple or possibly red oak.   My question though is will I harm the tree significantly if I trim some lower branches?  We are starting to get a visibility problem when backing out of the driveway. Very much appreciate the assistance and insight. 

Thank You,


Cumberland County Pennsylvania

Expert Response

Hey Jeff, I'm happy to hear you have a happy healthy tree in your front yard.  May it live long and prosper!

Since you sound a bit uncertain as to the type of tree, please send us pictures of your leaves and maybe the overall tree and we can help identify it and give you more "species specific" information.

Whether red maple or red oak, don't be afraid to prune out those lower branches as they grow.  With a mature tree you should have approximately six feet of clearance underneath.  However NEVER prune off more than 25% of the leafing branches at any one time.  The stress on the tree can be just too much.

Having said that, summer is definitely NOT the time to prune either maples or oaks.  It's best to wait until late October or early November.  The sap will have stopped running in the maples, and the possible occurrence of oak wilt disease is much reduced.

Here's a couple of articles that might be of additional help:

Good luck and happy pruning, Jeff.  

Bill Kewley Replied June 29, 2022, 6:03 PM EDT
Much appreciated.  Attached are two pictures one of the overall tree, and one of the leaves. 

Thank you, 


Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 29, 2022, at 6:04 PM, Ask Extension <> wrote:

Jeffrey Josselyn Replied June 30, 2022, 9:00 AM EDT
Morning Jeffrey,
Thanks for the pictures.  You have a beautiful Red Maple tree there!
Bill Kewley Replied June 30, 2022, 10:32 AM EDT

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