Tree trimming is among the many maintenance services required for trees. The health of such trees depends on the level of care provided. So, is tree trimming important?
You’ll find answers to this question and more.
We intend to help the reader get as much understanding as necessary and to know when to call for tree trimming or do so themselves.
Is Tree Trimming Necessary?
It isn’t enough to grab a saw and begin cutting down or pruning the limbs of trees. While lots of trees are trimmed to promote the health of such trees, others are shaped.
In both cases, the need for an experienced hand is necessary if you wish a thorough job to be done.
When done right, tree trimming helps get rid of diseased limbs or branches, thus containing the risk. While trimming of a diseased branch helps save the tree, it won’t amount to much if a proper job isn’t done.
Cut areas of a tree are likely to be exposed to pests and diseases among other things.
Preventing this from happening is very vital to the success of the job. It is best to seek professional help. Arborists are tree specialists skilled in the provision of expert care.
However, this doesn’t stop you from handling smaller and less complicated tree trimming tasks.
What You Need To Know About Tree Trimming
You need all the information you can get to ensure your trees are well-trimmed. It doesn’t matter if you’re trimming the trees yourself or handing it over to a professional. No knowledge is wasted as long as it helps achieve the desired aim.
There are several things to know before embarking on tree trimming. These include the following;
Understanding How Trees Heal
Understanding the healing process for trees is essential to avoiding improper cuts that may cause injuries to such trees. There’s no denying the fact that the act of trimming is a form of wound infliction on the tree.
Nevertheless, this practice is mostly aimed at improving the tree’s condition.
So, do trees heal? It might seem like they do until you ask what healing means. When trimmed, trees form new growth or cover over the cut area. The new covering protects from diseases and decay. This forms a scar that never disappears.
The protective growth over cut areas is important to its health. However, when improperly pruned or trimmed, such growth or healing is weak thus making the tree more vulnerable to decay or diseases. The growth that covers pruned areas happens gradually.
This results in a donut-shaped scar which eventually covers over with time.
Getting It Right
Tree trimming as discussed above requires having an understanding of how to proceed.
To get it right, you’ll have to have to follow a systematic process. During the trimming process, an effort is made to protect the bark of the tree. This is the protective covering that keeps the tree safe from.
The Right Way To Trim A Tree
There are three steps to follow when trimming a tree. These are safe ways and help prevent unnecessary injuries to the tree. The aim is to ensure the limbs are taken off without splitting the tree trunk.
The following steps have proven useful. Here is how to cut a tree trunk.
i. The Notch Cut
This is the first stage in pruning a tree.
Here, the limb bottom is targeted. The distance of the cut from the trunk should be about 3 feet. The cut depth also matters. Instead of cutting through the entire limb, the notch should only be cut to about a quarter of the way through.
ii. The Relief Cut
This is the next stage of trimming.
Here, you’ll be cutting straight through the branch just a little outside the notch. This helps offset the weight of the tree limb or branch. With this weight taken out, the final cut is made without the limb splitting and causing further damage to the tree.
iii. The Final Cut
How well the final cut is executed will determine the quality of the job done. Having followed the previous two steps (notch and relief cuts), all is set to carry out the final cut. You should be targeting the spot where the tree collar meets the smooth branch bark.
Knowing the angle to cut is also important. This should be done in such a way that it follows the branch collar slant.
You can work from whichever side (top or bottom) that feels more comfortable.
iv. Target The Dormant Season
There’s a time of year when most trees go dormant. The winter season is what we’re referring to. At this time, most trees go dormant with little activity happening. Plus, the leaves of such trees have been lost, allowing for greater visibility of the tree’s structure.
Trees trimmed properly during the winter have a higher rate of recovery than those which aren’t.
5 Harmful Tree Trimming Practices
How well you trim a tree will determine its development afterward.
In other words, a tree cut will either heal properly or result in lasting damage that may require the eventual removal of the entire tree. You don’t want to experience the latter.
While providing you with safe ways to trim a tree, we’ve also included harmful tree trimming practices to avoid.
Before trees are trimmed, the size of the limbs or branch is taken into consideration. For bigger branches (about an inch and half in diameter) systematic cutting will be required. For such big branches, the steps included above will suffice.
However, when standard pruning methods are not followed, it leads to bark stripping and tearing.
Although such trees will gradually grow new bark to cover such areas, it causes unnecessary strain on trees. In some cases, certain trees may not recover from such improper cuts.
Trimming At The Wrong Time
This means there’s a right and wrong time for tree trimming right? You guessed right! Springtime isn’t a great time to prune your trees. The reason is simple. That is the time of year when trees are forming new buds in readiness for new leaves.
Going ahead to trim such trees only stresses the tree. Certain trees never recover as stunted growth sets in.
Whatever the cases are, avoid trimming your trees at this time of year. Certain exceptions may be made for emergencies. Consult an arborist before going further.
This is an unsightly condition also called a Lion-tailed tree. It is caused by inexperienced trimming. Here, limbs along a branch are trimmed or stripped away with only a few bunches at the end or branch tip. This situation not only creates an unsightly condition but also weakens branches.
Branches are weakened when there aren’t sufficient limbs to distribute their weight evenly. This leads to such branches snapping or giving way under the extra weight.
When this happens, other adverse conditions such as decay, diseases, and dried branches can result.
Trimming More Than 10% Off A Tree’s Branches
One of the mistakes people make when trimming a tree is that they prune more than 10% of a tree’s branches. This situation not only makes the tree unsightly but also results in stress and weakening of the tree’s structure.
If you can’t seem to figure this out, try consulting the help of a professional. This saves you from damaging your trees.
Avoid Cutting Into The Branch Collar
How you cut your tree will determine how well it recovers.
We provided safe ways to cut your tree above. However, when you mistakenly cut into the branch collar, you effectively are creating a difficult injury. The scar tissue which emerges from the branch collar is prevented or disrupted from sprouting out.
Have you by chance seen rotten holes on tree trunks or seeping wounds? If you have, those are results of improper trimming activities. The branch collars have been severely cut into.
Care should be exercised when trimming to ensure the collar is preserved. The 3-cut method should suffice.
General Tips To Follow When Trimming Trees
Having listed some of the basic strategies for tree trimming, providing additional tips won’t be out of place. These help ensure a thorough job is done.
Consider Pruning Branches When They Are Young
Trees recover much easier when branches or limbs are trimmed young. Also, there won’t be nasty or prominent scars left on the trees.
The Bigger The Branch, The More Complicated It Gets
Bigger tree branches or limbs make tree trimming much complex. The bigger it is, the more complex it gets. If you’re dealing with a thick or big branch, only proceed with trimming when it’s necessary. Seek some professional help.
Tall trees present additional risks to the tree trimming process. Even when you consider yourself skilled enough to trim such trees, you might not have the right equipment to climb such trees.
You should call the experts. You’ll also need their services if you intend to trim a large tree.
Such experts come with equipment that fits all situations.
So, why go through the stress of trimming a tree when you’re likely to get it wrong? The benefits of tree trimming are immense as the tree condition is made better in addition to improving your surroundings.
As stated earlier, get qualified hands to help out if you can’t do a perfect job.
There you go! We’ve seen that the process for tree trimming isn’t so difficult as long as you know what to do.
Whether you’re interested in trimming such trees yourself or would rather request professional help, this article will prove useful in all situations.