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The tree was put in the ground about 6 years ago. For the most part, I have let it grow with no interference; only trimming extra long branches. I lost a middle branch growing upwards in year 2 due to freezing weather. I would like it to eventually grow into a canopy over the grill, heat pump, and patio.

Do I let the tree grow as it does and wait until the upper canopy forms, before trimming the lower branches, or do I trim the lower branches now to encourage upwards growth?

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According to this information paper, I should begin trimming lower branches to shape the tree after 3-4 years, but no more than 25% per year.

https://www.arborday.org/trees/bulletins/documents/001-summary.pdf

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