Understanding Good Proper Tree Trimming Methods
When it comes to getting your trees trimmed and pruned all methods are not considered the same in fact many people doing there own trimming/pruning cause major health problems and ay even kill the tree without ever realizing it. In fact a recent study says that more then 70% of home owners doing there own tree trimming/pruning do more harm then good to there trees health and long term longevity.
Mistake #1 – Pruning at the wrong time of year.
Although there are a few instances when pruning can (and should) be done at any time (for example when removing dead, damaged, or overlapping branches), most plants benefit from pruning at specific times of the year.
Prune plants that flower during the summer, such as Rose of Sharon, barberry, and gardenia, while they are still dormant in late winter or early spring. Without foliage, the woody structure of the plant is more visible making it easier to determine where cuts should be made. The rush of spring-induced growth will also allow the plant to heal itself faster. Arborvitae, cedar, hemlock, and juniper trees should also be pruned during this time.
Hire a tree trimming expert to insure your getting the right service at the right time.
Mistake #2 – Bad placement of the cut(s).
Pruning back small- to medium-sized trees and shrubs isn’t necessarily a difficult task. However, it does require some forethought and attention to detail. Ironically, the best pruning jobs are least likely to be noticed – at least to the untrained eye.
It’s advisable to avoid pruning a young, newly planted tree for at least the first few growing seasons. These young trees need as many leaves as possible to capture sunlight and create enough stored energy to withstand dormancy.
Another good practice is to always prune back to a healthy limb or stem to avoid leaving a stubbed end. Remove branches that cross or rub against each other as well as those that hang down low to the ground. Other ‘must go’ candidates include any dead or diseased limbs, suckers growing from the base of the tree, and branches that grow parallel or too closely to the trunk. Additionally, to encourage upward growth of the crown of the tree remove the branches below and periodically remove new growth forming from the cut as it occurs.
Mistake #3 – Using the wrong tool for the job.
The key to making a good, clean cut when pruning is using clean, sharp, and right-sized tools. Homeowners should begin each season by making a careful inspection of their pruning saw blades, loppers, and shears. Blades should be sharpened and free of rust and debris so as not to infect the tree with a disease from another plant. As a rule, loppers are best used to remove difficult to reach limbs that are no wider than 1”. Being able to use two hands to cut with loppers gives the pruner twice the cutting power with half the effort. However, for branches greater than 1”, tree service pros suggest that a pruning saw is a much safer choice.
For large limbs, follow the 3-Cut Method of removal by making a preliminary undercut about 12”-15” from the ideal pruning location, followed by a secondary cut to remove the branch from the trunk. A good pruning cut will heal quickly and naturally.
Mistake #4 – Not Pruning/ Trimming often enough
The reality is that every plant on your property will grow, and continue to do so season after season. Rather than falsely believing that cutting back trees and shrubs is somehow ‘hurting’ the plant. Strategically pruning back small trees and shrubs will actually produce healthier, longer-lasting, and more vibrant plants for many years to come.
Mistake #5 – Cutting off more at once to save time or work effort
While there are many pruning tasks that homeowners can often handle on their own, there are times when the job should be handled by a trained professional. This includes removing limbs that overhang structures such as a house, shed, or fence as well as anything near – or potentially near – electric power lines.
Not only do tree service professionals have the specialized tools and equipment to get the job done faster and cleaner, they also have many years of tree pruning experience to help them better anticipate what could go wrong, and modify the work plan accordingly so that it doesn’t. Gravity dictates that what goes up, must come down.
1000s of trees are killed in our area all the time by not cutting properly. Most trees take a while to die from improper trimming and in many cases it makes other limbs fall of and create damage to homes cars and other trees. It might take years for the tree to fully show its dead but it will have major health issues from not being properly trimmed and start the dying.