Trees are one of the most beautiful parts of nature. They contribute to both the health and beauty of every outdoor environment.
When it comes to landscaping your home, trees are one of the best elements you can add to your property in order to maximize privacy while enhancing the overall physical aesthetic.
No matter if you already have trees on your property or are considering adding them, there are some things you’ll need to know. This includes pruning trees so that they always look great and you won’t have branches falling off and causing damage.
This article takes a look at tree trimming tips that will make the process as easy as possible. Keep reading for insight that will help you prune your trees like a pro.
Table of Contents
First, you need to focus on safety.
After all, pruning the trees that stand on your property can be dangerous work. Especially if you don’t use the right tools and take the necessary precautions to keep you and those around you out of harm’s way.
As far as equipment is concerned, you’ll need gloves, a pruning saw, protective eyewear, and pruning shears. You’ll also need to use a 10% bleach solution to dip your saw blade in. This solution will help to prevent spreading diseases from tree to tree.
Another safety precaution to be aware of is trimming around powerlines. It’s no secret that powerlines can be deadly if touched or severed. So you’ll need to contact your local power company before trimming branches that might come into contact with lines near your property.
You’d also be wise to park your cars in the garage while pruning so that branches won’t fall cause damage.
Taking the time to be as safe as possible will help ensure that both you and your property will complete the pruning process without injury.
When to Prune
It’s also important to understand the best time to trim trees. Keep in mind that there are different reasons to prune during the various seasons of the year.
For example, removing unwanted wood is easiest during the summer because the leaves will be on the ground, making it a breeze to remove the dead branches. Whereas leafless branches should be removed during the summer when they are easy to spot.
If you’ve been considering pruning away branches during the spring, this definitely isn’t the best idea. You’d actually be wise to wait until summer due to the fact that trees that have just leafed out in spring might become weakened by pruning so early in the year.
You also definitely don’t want to prune from January to March, because this is the season of the year when trees will be producing maple sure, thus you’ll just end up making a mess.
If you’re pruning strictly for greater clearance around the sides of your home or driveway, always trim while the branches are sagging to their lowest point for maximum results.
Proper Trimming Technique
Now let’s discuss some important information regarding how and where to cut branches.
For starters, always make the first cut 4 to 5 inches above the union of two branches. Then make the final cut about a quarter-inch above that union. When working on larger branches, be sure to cut one side back to a lateral branch in order to allow the other side to grow in a more dominate structure.
Make your first cut very shallow, just to get started. Then cut the branch off about 3 inches from that initial cut. The initial cut is important for keeping the bark from peel down the side of the trunk once the weight of the branch causes is to fall.
Keep in mind when cutting stems that it’s never a good idea to make the cut halfway between buds. Because this can cause stems to wither and die, and will also lead to an infestation of insects or disease.
Dealing With Forked Trunks
If you’ve noticed that any of your trees have grown with forked trunks, this requires special attention. That’s due to the fact that forked trunks are typically less stable than a tree with a single trunk.
Forked trunks often split away, or one of them will simply break off, which is unhealthy to the life of the tree.
The key to preventing your trees from growing this way is to remove one of the trunks as soon as possible, preferably when the tree is still very young.
When cutting away one of the trunks, make the cut as close to ground level as possible, and cut at an angle so that rainwater can easily drain rather than pooling on the stump.
Just be very careful not to damage the bark on the remainder of the tree when removing the unwanted trunk.
Removing Clusters of Branches
It’s not unusual for branches to cluster together in an unsightly formation. When this happens, you’ll need to think the smaller, lateral shoots so that they don’t interfere with the development of the healthy, larger branches.
Removing these unstable and unsightly clusters will help your trees grow stronger because it reduces the formation of weak zones.
Dealing With Stubs
Often when branches break off due to weather, the break will leave a stub. Keep in mind when cutting off a stub to not cut into the callus tissue at the base.
Healing a Tree Wound
Finally, let’s discuss tree wounds for a moment. These are areas where the bark has been damaged, allowing further damage to be caused by insects and disease.
There are various products on the market that can be applied to tree wounds. The key is to apply a product that will discourage beetles and other insects from making a home and to allow the bark to heal in a healthy way.
Important Tips for Pruning Trees
Pruning trees can seem overwhelming and complicated. Fortunately, the tips listed here can help make the process as stress-free as possible.
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