Having properly trimmed trees can make the outside of your home more beautiful. The trees on your property can also create much-needed shade in your backyard or provide a place to build a treehouse or hang a tire swing. While the right flora can greatly enhance the atmosphere of your home, properly maintaining it is an essential step. However, effective tree trimming is not easily accomplished. Below are some tips for proper pruning.
Don’t Chop Off Tree Tops
Even if your trees are very voluminous, over-pruning or “topping” is one of the most common mistakes people make. When a tree is topped, 100% of the crown is removed. Because leaves are the plant’s main source of food, topping can cause it to starve. If a tree does not have enough stored energy to survive, topping will seriously damage its health and can even cause it to die prematurely.
Only Prune Trees at Specific Times
When it comes to trimming, timing is everything. Depending on the condition and the species of the tree, there are certain times that pruning should take place. Some species, such as maple, birch and walnut, should be trimmed in July or August. Other types, such as chestnut, beech and ash, are better off trimmed in the late fall and winter months.
You also want to consider the condition of the tree. If the plant has recently experienced a traumatic event such as a bug infestation or a fungus infection, then it should not be pruned. Wait until it has recovered from the stress. If you trim it too quickly, you could damage it even further.
Understand Correct Trimming Techniques
There are correct and incorrect ways to trim trees. Not using the proper techniques can damage the health of your tree and can even lead to disease or premature death. In general, don’t cut too close to the trunk. These cuts are too big and can delay the sealing of the wound.
Don’t cut too far from the surface of the trunk, either. This leaves an unsightly stub that can lead to an insect infestation. Make the cut right outside the branch collar. The collar is the thick area where the branch and trunk intersect. Making a cut just outside the collar helps the wound seal quicker.
Don’t Over-Prune Trees
You may be tempted to prune your trees back to a great extent to provide more growing space for the grass or other plants. However, over-pruning is very unhealthy and can actually kill a plant. As a general rule, don’t prune off more than 15% of the foliage. If you must make space for other plants, it is a better idea to remove a tree completely than to risk over-pruning it.
Take Care of Clustered Branches
A plant with too many branches tangled together is not only unsightly but can cause problems. Lots of small branches growing together can interfere with the development of larger, healthier branches. Thinning clustered branches allows the remaining branches to have better access to air, sunlight and water. Thinning clustered branches is especially important for trees that have formed multiple notches on the trunk, as this can create a weak zone.
Call an Expert
Because tree trimming can be a challenging task, calling a specialist like Martin’s Tree Service can save you time and frustration. We have been in business for many years and we know the proper trimming techniques to keep your foliage aesthetically pleasing and healthy. We employ technicians who are specially trained to prune trees to maintain their optimal health. Call us today to obtain a free estimate or to speak to an expert about your property’s particular needs.