A lot of homeowners do their own yard work, but when it comes to trees, they seek professional help. Anytime a cut is not reachable, is near power lines, or when the work is storm related and possibly dangerous, the job should be completed by qualified personnel. There is often a specific intent for trees and shrubs in the landscape, appearance being one, but caring for them properly ensures their overall health, which is of greater concern. Pruning can help maintain this purpose and keep things lively and looking fresh. The size and form of trees and shrubs are reliant on pruning; requiring routine maintenance when they are used as a border. Along with enhanced safety, tree vitality is dependent on the removal of diseased, dead, or dying branches. Special attention should be given to tree limbs that overhang buildings, homes, walkways, and parking spaces, being that these extremities could pose a threat and cause the most harm. If trees are pruned when they’re young, structural deficiencies can be almost completely avoidable later in life. It’s important to keep in mind the overall health of the tree while pruning. As a rule of thumb, no more than 25 % of the tree should be crowned; meaning that no more than 25 % of the top of the tree should be removed at any one time. Older trees should not be pruned as aggressively as younger ones, so even less should be removed from them.
What’s the Best Season to Prune?
It’s common to prune trees in the winter so that when springtime comes they’ll be ready for fresh growth and full blossom. Tree growth tends to surge even more in the spring, when pruned in this timing, because trees do not create sugar in the winter, so there is no disturbance in the developmental cycle of the tree, and the wounds inflicted during the pruning process are not exposed for long before the spring expansion begins. Pruning in the winter also decreases the spread of some diseases, depending on what area you live in. Insects are known to spread diseases and there are generally no insects in the winter. Understanding the specific diseases of the trees in your location, along with their related insects, is important to keep in mind when considering the best time to prune.
Timing Does Matter
When looking to improve the health of your trees, it’s important to know “why” certain cuts should be made so that it’s clear as to “what” needs to be cut. In the winter trees are bare so it’s the perfect time to analyze the situation and determine the necessary action to take in order to correct any potential problems. That makes this the ideal time for a basic estimate.