3 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Pruning Your Trees
Tree pruning usually takes place when the tree is dormant. Before you start pruning your trees, you need to understand how to correctly prune your trees in order to keep them healthy and how to protect yourself when pruning.
When to Prune
The best time to prune your trees is in the winter or early spring, when the trees are dormant. Proper pruning when your trees are dormant will encourage new growth when your trees start to grow again in the spring. You should wait until the coldest part of winter has passed before you prune your trees. Tree pruning is more of a late winter task.
Summer is not a good time to prune your tree as it can slow down the growth of your tree. Pruning should only be done in the summer to get rid of branches that present a safety issue or if you have a tree that you really want to limit the growth on.
Fall is the worst time of year to prune your tree. In the fall, there is a much greater presence of fungi in the air that can get into the wounds from your pruning and damage the long-term health of your trees.
Why You Should Prune
You should not just prune your tree to prune it. You should have a reason and a purpose to guide your pruning efforts. The three top reasons to prune your tree is for aesthetics, safety and health.
When pruning a tree for health, you want to focus on removing dead and damaged branches that can make the rest of the tree unhealthy. You also want to focus on cutting back areas where the branches are crowded and thus are not able to thrive.
When pruning a tree for aesthetical reasons, you want to focus on removing branches that are both unwieldy and look overgrown. You want to remove branches that make the tree look crowded or detract from the look of your property. Proper pruning will help your tree bear more flowers and fruit, and look more appealing.
When trimming for safety reasons, you want to focus on removing damaged branches. You also want to focus on removing large branches that have the potential to crack and cause damage or injury.
How to Prune
When you prune, make sure that you make the proper cuts. You never want to prune more than 25% of the foliage on a tree; cutting more than that could stun and damage the tree. You should avoid pruning trees in their first years of growth expect for safety reasons, as once again you could stun the growth of the tree.
You should then make clean, flush cuts against the trunk of the tree. Don't make rough cuts and leave branch stubs behind. You want the tree to be able to heal itself properly.
Avoid using climbing spikes on a tree, as that can really damage a tree. If the tree is really tall and requires a chain saw and a ladder in order to prune it, call in landscape design services for assistance with pruning.