Whether your trees are purely for yard decorations or commercial purposes, they need to be properly pruned. Do you want to know why it is important to prune trees? Keep reading!
Below are some of the advantages of pruning trees –
- It helps young trees grow
- It helps prevent decay
- It gives your tree a nice looking structure
Why Pruning Is Important: Benefits
The advantages I’ve listed above may not seem enticing enough for you to go through the stress of tree pruning.
Maybe not, so I think I’d list out some of the major advantages that come with pruning your tree.
Here we go!
Pruning Improves The Over All Health Of Your Trees
Just in case you don’t know, pruning involves cutting off any dead, decayed, or infested branches you find on your tree.
If this is not done, the rest of the tree will become infected and this could ultimately kill your tree!
Also, do you realize your trees need adequate air and sunlight? Oh yes, they do, and pruning will create the spaces for air and sunlight to penetrate deep into the center of the tree.
Remember, sunlight is vital to photosynthesis!
Your Safety And The Safety Of Those Around You
In my first point, I mentioned dead and decayed branches. Do you realize that these weakened branches can easily be blown off by wind or rain?
This can be hazardous to you, and those around you.
Broken off branches can also damage your property, your home, or car windows for instance.
It doesn’t stop there, unpruned branches can eventually grow into electric cables, and you know how hazardous that can be!
Pruning means the removal of hazardous branches, which will reduce the risk of such terrible occurrences.
Need I say more?
Pruning Promotes Fruit Production
When you prune your trees late in the winter (this is the dormant period where the tree reserves its energy), fruit production will be enhanced during the spring and summer.
It’s a no-brainer when the tree has less volume to cater for (excess branches and leaves), it can channel saved energy into fruit-bearing.
Well Pruned Trees Increases The Value Of Your Property
If you were to sell or rent out your property, think about how turned off potential buyers would be when they see your yard looking like a scene from a horror movie!
Unkempt, decayed, loose hanging branches are an eyesore to anyone willing to invest in your property. Even if they proceed to negotiate, they wouldn’t be willing to pay what the property is worth.
On the other hand, a yard with well-pruned trees will attract buyers with their beauty, and potentially increase the market value of your property.
It’s a psychological thing, the better an item looks, the more interested people will be in buying it. In the same context, the more money they will be willing to pay for it.
Access To Sunlight
Humans need sunlight just like other living things. Unpruned trees can block out sunlight from getting into your home via the windows.
Natural sunlight is one of the best natural sources of Vitamin D, so you wouldn’t want to be deprived of that.
Also, when the sunlight is blocked out from getting into your home, it means you have to spend more on electricity bills.
Prune out any part of the tree that denies your home access to sunlight.
As every living thing would do, trees also grow. If you leave your hair uncut, it would keep growing right? Well, it’s the same with trees.
The major difference is that long hair isn’t dangerous, but an overgrown tree can have its branches reach into your windows and crack the glasses. Think of it as a poke in the eye!
The most effective way to control the growth of your trees is to prune them.
Also, you wouldn’t want your trees to grow into your neighbor’s yard, which could cause problems for you, especially if your tree damages their property.
Prune your trees to fit into your landscaping limits.
You have A Better View With Pruned Trees
Imagine having trees blocking out your view from your windows, to the point where you may not be able to see your gate or your fences!
What Parts Of The Tree Should Be Pruned?
When pruning, you’re not supposed to randomly cut off pieces of the tree. That would be a big mistake.
Certain parts of the tree should stay, and some parts just have to go.
So, what are the parts of a tree that should go?
They are listed below –
Dead, decayed, and infested wood
Any branches or limbs that are dead or decayed should be cut off when pruning.
First of all, they no longer have any value, so it’s pointless keeping them.
Secondly, dead and decayed branches are bad for the overall health of the tree, being that the decay can spread to other parts of the tree.
Any crossing branches
When you notice branches that grow inwards to the canopy instead of outwards, then you should cut them off when pruning.
This is because they rub against the other branches during the winds, and peel off their barks in the process. This will leave them open to pest and fungal attacks.
This area is known as the “canopy lift”.
If you’re looking to create more passages for sunlight and air to reach the center of the tree, then this is an area you should prune.
When To Prune Trees
Generally, trees stand their best chance of withstanding the injuries sustained from pruning during the late winter period.
At this point, the winter cold keeps them dormant. Also, they have sufficient energy reserves and can heal faster from the cuts.
It would be a terrible idea to prune your trees during the fall season. During this time, they will not be able to recover quickly from cuts. This means there will be sap flow, and insects along with other pests will attack the open wounds.
If you’re pruning a fruit tree, the summer isn’t the best time to do so, unless you plan to reduce the tree’s fruit production.
Fruit trees are best pruned during the late winter so they can maximize fruit production in the summer.
As for spring-blooming trees, you can prune them as soon as they bloom.
The type of tree you’re pruning and the extent to which you want them pruned are important factors that are directly related to the time of the year you want to prune.
Dead branches, for instance, can be pruned at any time of the year. You can also give your canopies minor trims and cut off tiny branches regardless of the time of the year.
How Often Should I Prune My Tree?
This all depends on the species, health status, and size of the tree. Having this information will let you know how often your tree needs to be pruned.
For fruit trees, pruning them once a year is ideal, as this will help them maximize fruit production.
For trees like evergreens, they don’t have to be pruned that often. Evergreens can thrive for 7 to 8 years without being pruned.
Below are general rules of thumb for pruning –
- Young trees need to be pruned at least once in a maximum of 3 years
- For mature trees, they need to be pruned at least once in a maximum of 5 years
Common Pruning Methods
Trees are pruned for different reasons, therefore pruning is broken into sub-categories
Here are the different types of pruning-
Deadwooding is the act of cutting off dead or decayed branches. It is one of the most common types of pruning, and it helps the tree maintain sound health.
This is another type of pruning that’s vital to the tree. It involves cutting off extra branches so that air and sunlight can reach the center of the tree.
This type of pruning is important because it reduces the risk of the tree falling during storms. It also reduces the risk of branches falling off in the same event.
Thinning creates spaces around the trees, so in the event of heavy wind, the air can pass through the tree instead of pushing the tree.
This type of pruning is done to cut branches at the lower parts of the canopy. This is done in cases where the lower branches are obstructing a walkway or driveway.
Raise canopy pruning is also done to ensure sunlight gets to the grass beneath the tree.
This is considered the most thorough type of pruning.
It involves removing dead branches, decaying wood, as well as sucker and sprout growths.
Proper pruning is a guaranteed way to get the best out of your trees. The importance cannot be overstated.
I trust this article has enlightened you on why it is important to prune trees.