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Novice gardener, here.

I have a small grove of trees next to my driveway that has been growing wild for years (new home). I want to help this grove flourish in the long term.

One tree in particular is especially imbalanced, which I believe is not good for long term health (see image). imbalanced tree

Based on Google Lens, I believe it’s a mulberry tree (see images of bark and leaves). It definitely produces lots of berries. bark leaves

As imbalanced as it is, there’s only so much I can do, but there’s one particular (and semi-large) branch I think should be cut. It’s the lowest branch on the tree, and while it grows at a nice vertical 45 degree angle from the trunk, the branch has been weighs down over the years by a bunch of additional branches (that also grow towards the ground), so it bows and points towards the ground about halfway through (see image: red arrow shows curve of branch of interest and yellow indicates some of the branches weighing it down). bowed branch

I guess that one branch isn’t a major portion of the tree’s mass, so it shouldn’t be a major problem to cut it, but would appreciate some more expert advice.

Let me know if the pictures aren’t good enough. It was hard to find a good angle with all of the other branches.

Also, I’m supposed to wait until early spring to cut it?

Really appreciate your help!

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  • Is that a maple ?- I can't make out the leaves in these pictures clearly. If so, early spring is a very bad time to cut it. You could get away with it now, maybe, or wait until mid-summer.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 10, 2023 at 16:44
  • If you don't want it, cut it. I have always followed U of IL advice ; " prune when the shears are sharp" Sep 10, 2023 at 18:39
  • @Ecnerwal: Looks like it’s a Mulberry. I’ve added photos of the bark and leaves. Thanks! Sep 10, 2023 at 18:48
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    It definitely is weighted heavy on one side. If you get an early snow or heavy wind, you might wind up with a downed tree. The trunk is already leaning slightly towards the heavy side (no surprise). Sep 11, 2023 at 7:56

2 Answers 2

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<disclaimer: keyboard warrior here>

The low-pass filtered angle of the branch looks nothing like 45°. The pushing branches can be or not be the reason for that - it doesn't matter. I would cut it down this autumn or right now. Applying substances to prevent fungi on the wound is widely advised but in my limited experience is not required.

But we don't live in vacuum thus a tree is a tool to an end instead of an end to a tool. If You require shade there or see any other purpose of the low branch do discard my advise. If there's lots of snow or wind around there You should seriously consider it.

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This is called crown shyness when it happens to pines. It has happened because the other tree is too close.

To me it's natural for the trees to be misshapen, otherwise I would get a plastic one.

You can prune a few limbs without problems. But you should consider pruning the other tree at the crown level, if possible.

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