Trimming your landscape trees should be a normal part of your late winter or early spring landscape care routine. There are four reasons why pruning and trimming are important.
The main reason to prune a tree is to keep it healthy or to help it regain health. Dead and damaged wood, for example, can become a magnet for pests and disease organisms. By trimming out the damaged branches, the tree can maintain its health. You may also need to have diseased or insect-infested branches pruned out occasionally to prevent problems from spreading.
Another consideration is that some wood is weak, which can damage a tree. Twiggy growth along the trunk, below the main canopy, is best removed. The same for any branches that rub together, as friction wounds can form and cause problems for the tree.
Sometimes a tree simply needs to be pruned to help it look nice. Trees like most pyramidal conifers don't require this type of pruning because they have a naturally neat shape, but many deciduous trees and hedge conifers benefit from pruning to help them maintain their shape.
The general rule when trimming for appearance is to remove no more than a quarter of a branch's length. It's also important to work as much with the natural shape of the tree as possible and to avoid giving the tree a flat top, as this can weaken it and prevent future new growth.
Safety issues can't be ignored. If a tree is growing into overhead lines, then it must be trimmed back to prevent damage to the lines or possible electrical hazards. A professional should attend to this type of pruning, as it can be dangerous.
Other safety issues aren't as obvious. If the branches are scraping against your siding or roof, for example, they could tear off shingles or break a window. Trimming the branches back prevents damage. It's also important to remove any branches that could cause injury if they break off.
Size is a tricky subject when it comes to tree trimming. By pruning annually from the time a tree is planted you can help maintain it at the proper size for the space and the tree species. Trees only become overgrown when they aren't trimmed regularly, and by that time it may be too late for drastic pruning.
If you must trim a mature tree in an attempt to make it smaller, be aware that the process can take three years or more. The size of the tree crown will be reduced by a small amount each year to reduce size with the least amount of stress to the tree.
Contact a tree trimming service like Pete & Ron's Tree Service, Inc. to learn more.
I have always been one of those people who isn't afraid to get their hands dirty, which is why I started trimming my own trees. However, after doing it by myself for a few years, I realized that my yard was starting to look a little DIY, which wasn't the look that I was going for. To make things right, I decided to invest in a professional tree service who could come out and fix up my yard. They were amazing to work with, and they even came with all of their own equipment. This blog is all about the benefits of professional tree care, versus doing things on your own.