Tree Trimming Advice from the Tree Trimming Service Professionals
With healthy trees and basic knowledge of tree trimming and tree pruning, you may not need to hire a tree trimming service. If you know the basics, you may be able to handle some of the tree work yourself, leaving larger tasks for the pros. It is pretty easy to maintain a tree’s health and appearance with the right knowledge and a bit of equipment. Common issues can be avoided with minimal but routine maintenance. Now there are a lot of tree trimming techniques out there, but you don’t need to concern yourself with them all. You just need to know the basics, but if you really don't want to do any of the yardwork yourself, or if your property has an extensive landscape, you may want to hire a professional tree trimming service like Evergreen Tree Services.
Why You Should Trim or Prune Your Trees
There are three main purposes for trimming trees:
- Safety - If your tree has died or has broken branches hanging off, this is a very serious safety hazard. These can fall at any time and should be removed as soon as possible. While you don’t want to impose an unnatural shape on your tree, if branches are dying, it is best to get rid of them before they become a hazard. The same is true if your tree branches are growing close to utility lines. In such a case, you should contact the utility company, so they can take care of the issue. 1 in 4 power outages is caused by tree limbs and branches. You shouldn't assume responsibility for trimming tasks like these when branches are too close to power lines. You could disrupt power and harm yourself or others. You can trim your tree so it doesn't get too close, but outside of that, you should contact professionals.
- Health - Trimming a tree can often save it from infection. You just need to start pruning away branches and limbs that are affected. By thinning out a tree’s crown, you can improve airflow, and this can be very beneficial to the tree. You also want to trim any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other, as these can unexpectedly fall.
- Aesthetics - When you prune a tree, you can manage its appearance and shape. But you don’t want to go overboard with this type of trimming, as you can seriously damage a tree by over-trimming and pruning to get an unnatural shape or size.
General Tips for Trimming Trees
- The best time to trim a tree is in its dormant season. The only exceptions to this rule are pine trees, which can be trimmed at any time, and any tree when there is an existing hazard.
- When removing a branch, pay attention to its size. Branches with diameters larger than 10 centimeters should be left for the professionals to handle. If you choose to do it yourself, it must be because it poses an immediate hazard.
- Trim branches that have/are:
- Narrow angles
- V-shaped angles
- Prune branches when they are young. This makes it a lot easier, and you have a lower risk of scarring. Don’t remove the branch collar and don’t leave a large stub behind either.
Tree Pruning Tips
Here are some tips and techniques to guide you through tree pruning.
Thinning a Tree Crown
- Keep even spacing between lateral branches, especially for younger trees.
- Prune crossing branches or branches that run against each other.
- Don’t remove more than ¼ of a living crown.
Raising a Tree Crown
Raising the crown of a tree can be useful for providing pedestrians with clearance.
- Live branches should be maintained to at least ⅔ of the tree’s height.
- Don’t remove too many branches near the bottom half of the tree, as this can reduce the tree’s ability to develop a strong stem.
Reducing a Tree Crown
- If a branch requires more than half of its foliage removed, go ahead and remove the entire branch.
- Reduce a tree crown only when necessary.
- Prune any lateral branches that are at least ⅓ of the stem’s diameter.
Tree Trimming Techniques
Keep these tree trimming techniques in mind.
- Start by looking for the branch collar. This is at the base of the branch.
- Look for the branch ridge. This is parallel to the branch angle and is on the upper surface.
- Cut outside the branch bar ridge.
- Angle your cut down and away from the stem.
- Do not injure the branch collar.
- This technique should be used for both live and dead branches.
- Use the three-cut technique for longer stems:
- Make a notch on the side of the stem facing away from the branch.
- Make a second cut inside the branch crotch and above the branch ridge
- Make the third cut parallel to the branch bark ridge through the stem. This will remove the stub.
Do’s and Don’ts of Tree Pruning
- Ask your arborist if they follow the American National Standards Institute - ANSI A300 standards. This standard will dictate pruning methods and techniques to be followed, and standards of definition to be used in your estimates.
- Assess trees after storms to see where pruning is needed.
- Prune if there is no good reason to do so.
- Remove more than 25% of foliage while it is growing season.
- Prune a new tree in its first year, unless removing broken or dead branches.
- Prune branches that are within 10 feet of a utility line - this should be left for the pros.
- Do pruning jobs that require the use of a ladder or chain saw. Leave it to the experts.
- Cut off the branch collar.
- Leave branch stubs.
- Use spikes when climbing a tree.
- Apply wound paint.
- Strip inner branches and foliage.
Consider tree trimming and pruning to keep your landscape attractive. These tree care tasks will remove broken or dead limbs and will keep your tree healthy. When in doubt, hire aprofessional tree trimming servic. This of course comes at a cost but it could work out more expensive for you in the long run if you trim or prune your trees yourself and don’t do it the right way.