5 Reasons To Lightly Trim Trees In Late Summer
Major tree trimming is best reserved for late winter and spring before the trees put on their first flush of growth for the year. Fall pruning can be damaging since trimming can encourage tender new shoots to emerge that won't be able to survive the winter cold. You can trim a tree a second time in late summer, but the main focus should be on light trimming for aesthetics and ongoing health rather than making major cuts to control the form of the tree.
1. Light Shaping
One of the primary reasons to prune a tree in late summer is to maintain its form. This is especially necessary for trees trained to grow in a more formal hedge. Cutting back overgrown branch tips to retain the desired form won't stress the tree, but save heavy pruning of a young tree to shape for the first time until the spring pruning session. A light shearing with hedge clippers can also be done in late summer.
2. Deadwood Removal
There's no good reason to leave deadwood in a residential tree. The dead branch can cause injury to a person below or damage to your property if it were to fall. Deadwood can also provide a breeding ground for certain insect pests. Removal also won't harm or stress the tree, since the branch is already dead. Deadwood should be trimmed out to the nearest healthy wood, with the pruning cut made either flush to where it joins a larger branch or right in front of a leaf node if only the branch tip is being removed.
3. Disease Management
Pests and pathogens may begin the invasion of a tree by first taking over a weak branch or two. Spread is often slow during the first year of a problem, only accelerating after the pest or disease has a chance to reproduce. If you notice withered, weak, or otherwise diseased branch tips, consider having them trimmed off and removed from your property. In some cases, this can help prevent problems or at least help keep them manageable.
4. Fruit Control
Trees that produce a lot of fruit may shed, but unused fruits can be a nuisance. Not only is the falling fruit messy, it may also bring animal pests to the yard like raccoons and rodents. You can minimize unwanted fruit from dropping by having the tree trimmed before the fruits begin to ripen. Your trimming service will cut out the fruiting tips of the tree, followed by raking and carting away the trimmings afterward for a cleaner yard.
5. Structure Protection
Protecting your home from tree damage is a priority, so it makes sense to trim back dangerous branches no matter the season. Any branch that grows long enough over the summer to touch the house or scrape against the roof in windy weather needs to be cut back or removed. Heavy branches that overhand the roof are also good candidates for removal, as they can cause major damage if they break off in a storm.
Contact a tree trimming service if your landscape trees could use a late summer sprucing up.