Tree Trimming & Pruning


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There are several types of pruning and trimming methods you can use to keep your trees in top condition. You can do your own tree trimming and pruning if you have the basic knowledge about it. All it takes is the right “know-how” and the appropriate tools, and you can be well on your way to doing your own tree maintenance to keep your trees.
There’s nothing against hiring someone to do it for you. But, with the right knowledge, you won’t have to hire someone to do a job you can do with relative ease.

Why do Trees Need Pruning and Trimming?

There are three reasons why trees need to be pruned and trimmed: beauty, health and safety.

• Beauty – To help a tree keep its proper shape and look, pruning is needed. Refrain from doing unnatural shapes that may cause damage to the tree’s growth.
• Health – One may be able to save an infected tree if it is properly pruned. You can thin the crown of the tree to aid in better airflow, and any branches that rub or cross each other should be trimmed to prevent them from decaying and breaking off.
• Safety – it’s always a potential danger when a tree has died or broken branches that could fall at any moment. Any branches preventing you from seeing properly while driving should be trimmed back. Also, if there are branches dangerously close to utility poles and lines, you may want to call your local utility company to take care of trimming the trees.

General Tree Trimming Tips

• After you prune, the optimum living crown to tree ratio is two-thirds.
• Take into consideration the branch size before trimming. Branches that are 5 centimetres in diameter and less can be removed with ease. However, you may want to reconsider branches that are above 5 centimeters—especially if they are bigger than 10 centimetres. Anything bigger than 10 centimetres should not be touched unless it poses a danger.
• Don’t remove branch collars or leave branch stubs after trimming.
• Branches shaped like a ”V” and are weak need pruning. Healthy branches that are shaped like a ”U” need no trimming.
• If a lateral branch is not between ½ and ¾ the stem’s diameter at the point of attachment, trim it.
• Scarring is less noticeable and maintenance is easily done when pruning young branches.
• It is recommended to always prune trees during the dormant season unless the tree poses an immediate danger.

Tree Pruning Tips

These recommendations are for those wanting to learn about tree pruning, trimming and tree maintenance.

These recommendations are for thinning the tree’s crown:

• Lateral branches that are a minimum of a third of the stem’s diameter can be removed if you need to decrease the size of the crown.
• The lateral branches (in particular, younger trees), should be spaced as evenly as you can get them.
• Any branches crossing one another or rubbing against each other need to be pruned.
• Take off the entire branch if more than half of its foliage needs removing.
• If you are going to prune a tree to raise its crown for passerby and other purposes, make sure you keep live branches on about two-thirds of the tree’s height or else the tree’s stem will become weak.
•The most of a living crown that can be removed in one day is one-fourth. If more needs to be removed, it needs to be done over the course of a few years.

Methods for Tree Trimming

Consider these methods when trimming trees:

• The three-cut technique should be used when dealing with long stems. You do this by putting the first cut on the stem’s side that is not facing the branch you want to keep. The second cut is above the branch’s ridge and inside the crotch area. The third cut is made by cutting through the stem parallel to the branch’s ridge, which will completely take off the stub.
• Locate the branch collar prior to doing any cutting. The collar emerges from stem tissue and can be found at the bottom base. After locating the collar, locate the ridge of the branch, which can be found a parallel to the branch angle at the stem.
• Make it a goal to protect the branch collar by cutting at an angle down and away from the stem and outside the branch bark ridge.
• Dead and live branches should be pruned using the same technique.

A Final Note

Your landscape will appreciate the pruning and trimming of your trees. The trees will be much healthier since you are maintaining them and keeping dead and broken limbs off them. The cost to trim depends on whether you choose to hire someone or do it yourself.