Planted from a seed
Q: We planted a maple seed--and now have a 6 foot tree. It's very exciting to see it grow. It is growing straight up with leaves covering the whole "trunk" except for the first 3 inches or so.
Should we cut the leaves at all--will the tree get to heavy and fall over?
Should we stake it or just let it get strong on its own??
A: The leaves growing out of the trunk will eventually become branches, and you probably don't want the tree to be branched too low. I would advise snipping off the leaves for the first few feet up from the ground, leaving any small branches that have developed to continue developing for the time being.
After the tree has grown more, probably next year and later, you may want to continue "raising" the crown by snipping off low leaves and branches.
You eventually would want the lowest branches on the tree to be above head height, but you need to wait for the tree to grow high enough to do this, so that it doesn't look too top-heavy.
As for staking, unless the tree is in an extremely windy area, staking is not needed. If the tree is in a very windy area, you can put a stake on it but only for one year, after which it should be taken off.
Do not stake so tightly that the tree cannot sway. Research has shown that trees too tightly staked develop less of a root system that ones that are loosely staked.
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