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Has a maple boldly taken up residence in the garden, wreaking havoc with its shallow, far-reaching roots? This guide will inform you about a method that is as gentle as it is effective on how to successfully combat the intruder.

A permit is required to remove large trees

Ringing destroys every tree - functional principle in a nutshell

If clearing away the unwanted maple isn't an option, a forestry best practice can help you solve the problem. Ringing interrupts the flow of sap in the tree. The substances formed during photosynthesis are no longer transported from the crown to the roots. As the flow of water and nutrients continues in return, it can take up to 3 years for the maple tree to die.

This approach has various advantages:

  • No use of heavy machinery
  • No risk of stick rash, like after clearing a tree
  • No impairment of masonry, stone slabs or neighboring plants

Please note tree protection regulations

If you fight a maple by ringing, the tree must not have grown to a size worthy of protection. Therefore, please consult the tree protection statutes in advance, which can differ significantly from region to region. As a rule, a special permit is required to destroy a maple tree with a trunk diameter of 50 cm or more.

Ringing instructions - how to do it professionally

To destroy a maple by ringing, you need a drawknife (two-handled), a wire brush, a ripper, and work gloves. The best time to do this is in the summer when the tree is full of sap. Here’s how to do it competently, step by step:

  • Set the draw knife in the lower trunk area and peel off a 5 cm wide strip of the bark
  • Use the plucking hook to remove inward-curving bark parts
  • Scrape off the now visible cambium with the wire brush
  • Important: do not damage the wood under the cambium layer

The procedure was successful if the leaves subsequently become smaller, and first the small and later the larger branches fall off. Within 12 to 36 months, the entire maple tree collapses.


If maple seedlings are not consistently pulled out between stone slabs and wall joints, strong roots will form in no time at all. Regular pruning only keeps the plague in check, but cannot permanently combat the maple stumps. Covered extensively with black weed film, you prevent photosynthesis in the trees, so that they die within 2 to 3 years.

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