Pruning is a key part of a tree care program. Tree pruning needs to be done for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, pruning helps a tree maintain its appearance and shape. Pruning also plays an important role in controlling tree pests as well as tree diseases. If done right, pruning helps keep trees beautiful and healthy all year round. Pruning reduces the risk of tree damage dramatically. One way or another, tree pruning always has to be done properly. That’s why you should know the basics of tree pruning. In this blog, we’ll outline 10 things to consider when pruning trees.
1) First of all, you need to inspect a tree carefully. During the inspection you’ll be able to figure out what tree branches need to be cut off.
2) Remove dead branches from a tree. Dead branches negatively affect both health and look of a tree. Dead branches may also break and fall anytime. That’s why cutting off dead tree branches has to be number one priority.
3) Remove weak branches from a tree. Weak tree branches pose a huge risk of brokerages and falls. Such tree branches need to be cut off a tree ahead of time.
4) Remove branches that cross each other. Crossing branches don’t allow light as well as air flow to go through a tree.
5) Follow 1/3 and 1/4 rules of pruning. That means that you shouldn’t remove more than 1/3 of the tree’s total height from the bottom. On the other hand, you shouldn’t remove more than 1/4 of a tree’s crown at once.
6) When pruning a tree you should do your best to keep lateral tree branches evenly spaced. This is particularly important for young trees.
7) Prepare all the necessary tools in advance. Among must-have pruning tools are: pruning shears, loppers, pruning saws, hedge shears as well as pole pruner. You should use a pole pruner to cut high branches off a tree. Pruning shears (also known as clippers, pruners and secateurs) are a good tool for branches which are up to 0.75 inches thick. This tool is good for pruning flowers, shrubs and small growth on trees. If you are planning to prune hedges, you’ll also need hedge shears. Use loppers to cut off branches which are up 2.5 inches thick. It’s a great idea to use loppers for pruning fruit trees as well as nut trees. If you need to cut off branches which are 1.5 – 5 inches thick, then you can take advantage of pruning saws.
8) Remember, you should always prune your trees with sharp tools. So, you should keep tools sharp all the time. Sharpen your tools when such a need arises.
9) The big question is – when to prune trees? Early spring is a great time for pruning summer-blooming trees. Hedges and evergreen trees need to be pruned in early summer. Birches and maples are pruned in late summer. Late winter is a great time to prune fruit trees. However, you can prune a tree at anytime of a year if it has broken, diseased or dead branches.
10) Don’t protect tree wounds after pruning. A tree will definitely look better if you paint its wounds. However, painting has no impact on decay. Painting wounds may result in tree pests and tree diseases. So, you don’t need to worry about protecting tree’s wounds.
Tree pruning is no easy job that requires special knowledge, skills, experience and tools. That’s why it would be better to trust this important task to tree care professionals. Contact us today for any of your tree pruning needs!