When is the right time to prune trees?

Hello,
I have heard several different ideas about the right time to prune or trim trees. (By the way, is there a difference between pruning and trimming?) "Prune only in winter" . . . "Prune only in summer" . . . "Prune any time" . . . .
Anyway, I live in Wisconsin, so now in January it is winter here. I want to thin out the branches in my silver maples so that I have a little more sunlight on the yard below. When is the right time to do this?
In the event that someone tells me to get rid of the trees altogether, that is out of the question. We rent.
Thank you!
Ted Shoemaker
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On 15 Jan 2007 08:08:38 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

You are better off pruning silver maples a bit later in winter. In Wisconsin, that could be as early as March, late as May. Sometime before last frost and before the sugars start running in the trees.
Fruit trees should be pruned in very late winter. Here in TX, that's in February. Up there, it would be late April or early May. It all depends on the tree.
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Depends on the tree as to right time to prune. Silver maples and other large trees are best pruned in the late winter or early spring. Maples have a propensity to "bleed" sap when cut at that time. Don't let this concern you; the tree will not bleed to death. Pruning NOW should be confined to anything that could be a threat to property or bodies. Pruning cuts this late in the season will not have a chance to heal properly as they would in the early spring.
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I am in Wisconsin. Thinning (AKA pruning) maples can be done when it is warm enough in late winter/early spring. Like for fruit trees, spring pruning will stimulate growth. Summer pruning will be more permanent and no pruning should be done in fall. Ingrid

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

In general, deciduous trees (other than ornamental flowering trees) are pruned just before the leaf buds swell and open. You want to delay until then because pruning too early can promote growth with any unseasonably warm day; that growth will then be killed with the next frost. Also, you want to delay until you can tell what branches might not have survived the winter; they will need to be removed. Where I live, that means pruning right now. Where you live, wait.
For ornamental flowering trees that bloom in the spring or early summer, you prune after they flower. That's because the flowers are often on growth that was produced the previous growing season. If you prune before flowering, you remove most of the flower buds. If you prune after flowering, you promote new growth of next year's flower buds.
Some deciduous trees have a very showy display of flowers, but their purpose is to grow fruit (apples, peaches, etc). These are pruned at the same time as other deciduous trees, not with ornamental flowering trees. Pruning does reduce the crop, but the fruit that does form will generally be larger (without larger pits or more seeds). Often, you will still have to thin the fruit to optimize the size of the remaining fruit and to reduce the risk of branches breaking from the weight of the crop.
When to prune evergreen subtropical and tropical trees is an entirely different question.
Above all, prune when the shears are sharp.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Hi Ted
Prune your Silver Maple After it leafs out. It will bleed sap if you do it now.
Derryl Horticulturist snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca
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The general rule about pruning is to do it when the trees are dormant, although there may be exceptions to that with sweet cherry trees because of disease issues. If you prune when the tree is not dormant, you are just encouraging it to put out more growth, since the root structure tries to maintain a balance with the above ground part of the tree.
I think trimming vs. pruning is mainly a semantics issue. However, in my mind, trimming is done more to shape a tree, whereas pruning also includes freeing up the center portion of a tree to allow better air circulation, etc. Pruning also is used to eliminate branches which are crossing and touching eachother.
I would suggest trimming your maple in late winter when weather permits, as long as the trees are not coming out of dormancy.
Sherwin D.
" snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com" wrote:

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