Tree Pruning Guide
Tree maintenance is, especially pruning and trimming, can be done with no hassle if you are familiar with the ins and outs of the process. If you know how to make the cuts and what signs to look out for, you are good to go.
Different trees call for a different approach when it comes to pruning them. The size and health of your tree directly affect the process of pruning, so you have to make sure that you consider these things before you begin cutting your tree.
Have a Good Reason to Prune
Prune with a clear objective in mind. Just because your tree is in the dormant state doesn’t mean you have to perform it on your tree. When pruning trees, we look into these three purposes: health, safety, and aesthetics.
Health- Pruning can save most trees that suffer from fungal infection, infestation, or die back. When you want to restore the health of your tree, there is no best time to do it, but right away. It will not do your tree any good if you leave it in a stressed state due to health issues.
Safety- if you see crossing branches, be sure to trim them back to prevent scarring. It can result in one of the rubbing branches falling and create damages to your property. Dead, weak, and broken branches are equally hazardous when they suddenly drop from the tree. Another point of concern is limbs and branches that obstruct your view of the way ahead. Trees like these should be pruned to raise the canopy.
Aesthetics- Regular pruning is like a haircut for trees. It gives them a good and neat look. Be careful not to provide your tree an unnatural shape because it will not only affect the tree’s looks but can significantly affect its health.
Raising the Crown
Crown raising is a pruning method where the branches at the lower half of the tree are cut away.
- This approach is very practical when performed on younger trees as it promotes the growth of the branches in the upper half of the tree.
- Carry out this method with the utmost care with older trees because pruning can leave more extensive wounds that can result in infection or infestation.
- Crown raising is typically done to give clearance for vehicles, pedestrians, and enhance the line of sight for sidewalks.
Crown thinning is the careful removal of branches in the tree’s crown. This pruning method helps relieve the tree from the stress caused by intense winds or the weight of snow and ice.
- Remove branches that rub against other branches.
- This method allows the crown of the tree to have evenly spaced branches.
- Be careful in performing this task because it can leave your tree vulnerable to diseases and decay.
Take note that extensive crown thinning should be performed at an interval. Do not overly prune your tree or remove more than ¼ of its crown in one session, or it may cause the tree’s death.
Cleaning the Crown
This is a proactive tree maintenance effort to remove dead or dying branches and improves the overall health of the tree. Crown cleaning aid in stopping decay in a tree and takes away unnecessary weight on the tree’s crown.
If you need to remove more than a quarter of the crown because of excessive damage, you need to get in touch with a professional arborist to inspect the tree in question and determine the root cause of the issue.
- Precision pruning is required in reducing the height of a tree. If done improperly, it can lead to grave damage that will lead to your tree’s sudden decline.
- You need to know the type and growth pattern of your tree. Some species are not meant to be reduced in height because it can lead to their death. It is crucial to determine the tree’s species.
- Never perform “topping” on your tree. Topping is an obsolete pruning practice that should never be done because of its adverse effects on the tree. It will not only make your tree look weird with its shape but result in your tree’s decline. When your tree’s height is in question, you can either relocate or remove it altogether.
- As much as possible, height reduction should be made only by a skilled professional. If not done correctly, it can do more harm than good to your tree.
If you are performing DIY pruning, start with making sure that your tools are clean and sharp. Take proper precautionary measures when operating these tools, especially if you are not well-adept in using them.
- Make clean cuts.
- Wound paints are not recommended because trees have their own natural way of healing themselves.
- Cut outside the branch collar and ridge, avoiding leaving a stub.
- If you are pruning a small branch, look for a developed lateral branch growing outwardly. Cut the branch slightly outside the branch.
Pruning Safety Measures
Now that you know how to perform pruning properly, it is time to talk about your safety while doing the job.
- Never perform the task without using protective equipment, including gloves, goggles, heavy-duty boots, and appropriate clothing.
- Keep your pets or your loved ones away from the tree’s crown because even the smallest branch can hurt them when they haphazardly drop on the ground.
- Don’t make cuts that will put you in the “drop zone.”
- If you are not sure about cutting a branch, don’t.
- Call a professional tree care company if you think that the task is too dangerous or too extensive to be performed by an amateur.
Tree pruning is not merely cutting random branches of your tree. The objective of pruning is to shape, remove dead, decayed, and diseased branches in a tree and provide clearance for vehicles and people.
You should begin the pruning process by planning your course of action. Envision the result you want to see once pruning is completed, make the right cuts, and learn when to call the professionals.
If done correctly, pruning can benefit your tree in many ways. This is the reason why you should perform pruning with the right knowledge, tools, and intention to get the best results you want.