If you are fortunate enough to have trees on your property, you have some of nature’s great gifts surrounding you. As you care for your home, your trees need care and attention as well, and tree pruning should be a part of your tree maintenance. There are several variations of pruning a tree:
- shortening a tree
- removing damaged or “sick” branches
- thinning the top to allow for new growth
- reshaping a tree for aesthetic reasons
- clearing away obstructive branches
When to Prune
Pruning during a tree’s dormant period is always the most advantageous time to prune, as the tree is less likely to bleed, which is quite stressful to a tree. It also means that diseases, insects and fungi are probably dormant as well, so the trees will be less vulnerable. If you are dealing with deciduous trees, pruning after the leaves have fallen means that you will get a better idea of how you wish to shape the trees.
How much Pruning to Do
With tree pruning, less is always more, so only cut off as much as is truly necessary. Often your mind will be decided for you, as cities will want their utility lines clear of tree branches and, in the case of storm damage, you will have to cope with downed branches and the “holes’” left by lost growth. A good rule of thumb is to never prune more than 25% of the tree’s crown and make sure that at least 2/3 of the tree is composed of living growth.
How to Prune
Remember that pruning is stressful to a tree, and you always want to minimize stress. Also you need to keep in mind that you must protect the tree trunk and branch stems. Always cut above the branch node after first making a wedge-like cut on the underside of the branch. This will keep you from tearing the bark. Then cut on the top of the branch all the way through.
If you are pruning large trees, it could be best to call in the pros and here at Big Foot Tree Service, as we can provide you with a free estimate. Remember that your safety and the safety of others are foremost and when in doubt you should have a trained professional do the work.
Trees not only provide shade, but they harbor wildlife and give us so much joy. Show your trees a little love and they will stay healthy and happy.