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Pruning Trees 101: How and When To Prune Your Trees

Tree pruning has a proper technique. You shouldn’t simply whip out your clippers and get going. Here’s what you need to know about when and how to prune your trees.

tree removal

What time of year is best for tree p1 a tree is during December or January. For the best results, keep your clippers in your garage until at least late February or March. Why would you want to be out in the coldest part of winter pruning trees anyway? Flowery garden trees can be pruned when they start flowering. It’s actually best to prune smaller flowery trees right after they bloom because it’s easier to see what branches are dead and need cutting. Despite all these guidelines though, minor pruning can really be done during any time of year, just as long as you’re sure to save the major work until the recommended time.

What kind of equipment will you need in order to carry out optimum pruning? For starters, you’ll definite want to consider investing in a pole pruner. This will help you reach high into trees with minimal effort and also maintain maximum results. The higher quality pole pruner you choose to buy, the thicker the branch it will cut. You can stay safely on the ground with this handy tool, just remember to wear protective goggles, and you’ll be all set!

Which types of trees should you prune? All trees, right? Wrong. As a general rule of thumb, you should never prune large trees on your own. This is because larger trees rarely require yearly trimming and are better off if pruned by a tree trimming service — both for your safety and for the safety of the tree. Smaller, more decorative trees are an entirely different story however. These trees should be pruned for the health of your tree and also in order to improve the appearance and natural shape of the tree. Pruning creates further growth and allows for more oxygen circulation. When deciding if you need to prune, think about why you want to prune it. If it’s either to improve the tree’s look, shape or overall health, get trimming!

When pruning a tree for health, the first step you should take is to remove any dead or wilting branches. Just be sure not to cut too close to the end of the branch! There should be about an inch of branch left. You don’t want to leave it completely flat because this is unhealthy for the tree, but also there should not be a large stub protruding out. If branches overlap each other, then that’s a good sign that area needs your attention. Also, understand that the vast majority of people who choose to trim trees are not nearly aggressive enough when it comes to tree trimming.

When it comes to actually cutting the tree, make sure to cut a small undercut on the underside of branches, preferably with a chainsaw. This should work to prevent breakage later on. After you make the undercut, begin cutting the top of the branch at the same point as the undercut. This method creates an even cut and allows the tree to regrow the fastest and healthiest.

When pruning for a tree’s natural shape, look carefully at your tree. Envision its natural shape. If you don’t know it’s natural shape, look it up online. Keep this shape in mind when trimming, and strive for the end result to resemble what you want. This can be achieved by trimming a single branch, then stepping back to re-evaluate the shape and to determine your next move. When cutting, try your best to cut each branch near the trunk, if that’s not possible however, cut it less than an inch above a bud. Never cut a tree branch exactly in the middle.

Now that you’ve gone some pointers for tree trimming, there is nothing stopping you from getting out there and improving the look and health of your trees, and in turn, your whole yard! Remember, not all trees need trimming, and not all trees that need trimming need it every year. Above all, use your best judgment and never let trees overtake your yard.

Stewart Scott is a certified arborist and is the owner of Cevet Tree Care, where he offers the best tree service Columbia MO has to offer. Cevet has provided tree trimming and other tree care services to mid-Missouri for almost 20 years.

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