What You Should Know about Pruning Trees

Posted on: 29 May 2015

If you have trees in your backyard, whether they are meant for decoration, shade, or harvesting, you should learn how to trim trees. Part of trimming trees includes pruning, which helps to improve the healthy and vitality of your trees. Here are some tips for pruning your trees.

Reasons to Prune Your Trees

It can first help to know exactly why you need to prune your trees. Here are the most important reasons for pruning trees:

Personal safety – The first reason you might want to prune your trees is for safety reasons. Some branches might be at risk of falling on their own and injuring someone, so you should remove these branches before that happens. You also need to trim branches that might affect someone's line of sight in your driveway, which can also affect someone's safety.

Tree health – Pruning your trees will also help the tree itself. When you remove diseased parts of the tree, you allow the rest of the tree to get healthy and thrive. Pruning when you are thinning the top of the tree, called the crown, also helps increase airflow to the tree.

Appearance – Lastly, you might want to trim the trees for aesthetic reasons. This includes keeping the trees at a reasonable size and allowing the stimulation of flower production.

Thin the Crown

You should start pruning the tree by thinning the crown. This is necessary if the tree you are trimming is a hardwood trimming. With crown thinning, you are removing certain branches and stems around the top of the tree to provide better air circulation and light penetration from the sun. Find any stems that have a narrow or V-shaped angle and remove those first. You want the branches that have a U-shaped angle unless they look diseased. Remove any inner lateral branches or foliage that might cause tufts of branches.

Raise the Crown

Once the crown of the tree has been thinned out, it is time to raise it. Crown raising is the process of removing branches from the bottom portion of the crown where you are able to provide better clearance for the line of suite, vehicles, and pedestrians. This is done most often with trees on the street or along driveways.

Looking at the bottom crown of the tree, find any branches that seem to be sticking out or creating an obstruction of someone's line of sight. These are the ones that should be removed. However, if it looks too tangled up or like you would need to remove a large portion of the tree, you would be better of hiring a professional tree trimming company.

Remove Diseased or Infested Branches

Te last step to pruning a tree is removing anything that looks diseased or at risk of dying. You should be able to tell the dead branches from the healthy ones. They are often darker in appearance when they start rotting and dying, sometimes having a soot-like or dry quality to them. You may notice little holes or cracks in the branches or leaves, which show signs of pest infestation. If they look diseased or dying, make sure they are removed.

These simple methods of pruning a tree will help you get the tree to its approximate size and remove branches that are not healthy for the tree. For assistance, consult a professional like Trees Unlimited.