Have you noticed with this spring season finally coming upon us that your trees have reached a noticeable amount of growth, maybe even too much growth for your liking? Don't worry, that's where pruning comes in. Now, before we go forward it is important to know that pruning trees can be a bit difficult to know with little to no experience with it. If you'd like expert help on this task, feel free to contact us!
Why is it Important to Prune Your Trees?
There are multiple reasons for the pruning of trees and the result for each stays the same. The outcome of pruning results in a healthy tree both inside and out. While, it is normal for trees to grow well without the help of pruning, this small maintenance skill helps your tree be able to reach its full potential. But before hiring someone to come and prune your tree--it can be helpful to know why should have someone prune them.
"Pruning for plant health focuses on removing dead, dying and diseased branches, branches that rub together and any branch stubs so the entire tree continues to grow in a healthy way. Opening up the canopy to let light and air filter throughout the entire tree allows for increased foliage while decreasing the risk of disease. At the ground level, suckers and water sprouts weaken wood and steal nutrients from the main tree. By helping a tree establish one main tree and a dominant leader, you create a strong tree that's ultimately able to withstand winter storms and high winds." (Chris Lambton, Fiskars.com)
Pruning helps create a plant vision for you, you can have control over the maintenance and appearance of your tree. By pruning and trimming trees in a specific style you encourage fruiting and flowering and you can even control the size to which your plant grows.
Another reason for pruning is to create a safer environment whether that be in your home, a residing piece of land or a local park. Pruning keeps the trees growing stronger and healthier lives. Trees with dead branches, diseases and weak limbs are a danger to those surrounding them. If you would like to make sure your tree is safe to be around, take a moment to look it over and check for any branches that may be coming to close to electrical lines, blocking traffic views, or even safety lights.
Lastly, depending on where you may live it can be a safe move to have a professional come and prune your trees before hurricane season arrives. Too many dead branches or even foliage can result in it easily falling on homes or people during a storm.
Is it Okay to Prune Trees in The Spring?
Are There Trees to Never Prune in the Springtime?
When you prune your trees in the spring you heighten the chances of infection and diseases from taking over your trees. The following trees are some you won't want to prune during the spring, summer or early fall. By keeping them untouched, you help with preventing any disease and infections from wanting to appear.
- oak trees reduces chances of oak wilt (if that appears within your area)
- elm trees lessen the chance of Dutch elm disease
- sycamore trees help reduce the chance of anthracnose
- honey locust trees help reduce the sight of stem cankers
Different Types of Tree Pruning Methods
We encourage reaching out to us for any pruning services you may need. But it can be helpful to know exactly what you want your tree to look like before contacting us. Here is a list of four different pruning styles that you can ask to have your tree styled in.
Thinning the crown involves trimming a tree to remove specific live branches to reduce the overall density of a tree. Thinning is the most common pruning performed on mature trees. It increases sunlight penetration and air circulation. It can also reduce stress on selected limbs from gravity, wind, ice or snow.
Because the goal is not to change the size or shape of the tree, thinning should be consistent throughout the tree. You should only remove 10 to 20 percent of the tree branches from the edge of the canopy. Large trees benefit from removing end portions of limbs between 1 to 4 inches in diameter. Small ornamental landscape trees and fruit trees can be thinned by removing smaller limbs between ¼ to ½ inch thick. You should trim trees for crown thinning so that the tree still looks completely unpruned.
Crown raising lifts the bottom edge of tree limbs up to clear for traffic, buildings or a view. This tree pruning method should be performed gradually over a long period of time. Removing too many lower branches all at once can result in a weak tree. Remove only a few limbs less than four inches in diameter when pruning every year. I like to take a few steps back periodically and look at the overall balance of the tree. The live crown on deciduous trees should make up 60 percent of the tree. If the trunk begins to go over 40 percent, the tree could become weakened. Most conifers can be balanced at a 50 percent crown and 50 percent trunk ration and still remain strong and healthy.
Crown reduction is a tree pruning method generally used on older, more mature trees. It can help strengthen the tree and encourage new growth. Crown reduction removes a tree branch back to a growing lateral branch. When the growing season begins in the spring, this lateral branch will become part of the new tree crown. I consider this method a gentler alternative to tree topping. There are smaller cuts, less of the crown is removed and plenty of old growth remains for structure. While crown thinning is performed to reduce limbs and foliage, the goal of crown reduction is to remove old growth while encouraging new.
Crown cleaning is the removal of dead, diseased and broken branches when trimming a tree. It can be performed at any time and should be included as a part of crown thinning, raising and reduction. Cleaning the tree crown strengthens the overall tree, and prevents future damage to both the tree and surrounding property while increasing the overall safety of your landscaping.
If you would like a consultation on a tree that may need some pruning, feel free to contact us and we'll help you out!