Pruning and trimming are landscaping techniques used to make yards look well maintained and beautiful. These methods also help gardening enthusiasts from picking up the leaves shed during the dormant seasons. Pruning ensures that the trees have lesser chances to decay, die, and be removed.
Regular trimming guarantees health and promotes the growth of your trees. Yearly pruning is equally efficient. Consulting an arborist is the best way to do landscaping but if you are up to undertaking this task on your own, here’s a complete guide to prune and trim your trees.
Need for Pruning Trees
All trees grow well enough without pruning, but being pruned results in better looking and healthier trees. The benefits of pruning are:
- Pruning ensures plant health. The chances of pest infestation, decay, and risks of diseases are lowered. The tree also gets better light after pruning which in turn boosts growth.
- Specific trimming and pruning methods promote fruition, flowering, and also help in controlling the size of the trees.
- It is not uncommon to prune trees because they pose threats to the safety of humans and structures. When the branches get too high and close to power lines, the branches should be pruned. Low growing branches also pose risks to safety.
- In certain regions, plants are pruned in preparation for hurricane season as well.
- Often trees are also pruned because they obstruct the view.
Ideal Time for Pruning and Trimming
Most people prefer pruning from mid-winter to the end of it. This period of dormancy encourages growth when the temperature rises. Trimming after fall makes it easy to determine the damaged limbs, whereas summertime is not ideal for pruning in the case of most trees.
Ideal Way to Prune a Tree
According to East Amherst tree pruning experts, proper pruning ensures a strong tree structure. If a strong primary branch is established while the tree is young, the need for corrective measures reduces with time.
For smaller branches:
- While reducing and shaping the smaller branches and limbs, cut ¼ inch above the bud at a 45-degree angle.
- This will be the direction of the new growths and prevents water damage and disease.
- It is not necessary to always use power tools for pruning.
For larger branches:
Larger branches are cut in three steps. This prevents damages to the bark.
- The first cut removes the weight from the branch. The best location for making this cut is approximately 18 inches towards the lower side of the selected branch. Cut halfway through this limb.
- The second cut is made on the top side of the same branch. Make the cut an inch away from the first cut. Chop carefully until it breaks free.
- The third and final step is to locate the branch collar. It is the swollen and rough part at the base of the branch. Make a 45-degree angle cut going away from the tree. Make sure to not leave stumps.
Recommended Pruning Tools
Good quality equipment makes the task of pruning a breeze. A few tools that come handy are:
- PowerGear2 Pruner is ideal for cutting branches with a thickness of ¾ inches. It has large handles that give a better grip.
- Power Tooth Softgrip Saw makes removing large branches easier with its patented teeth designs.
- PowerGear2 Lopper gives leverage while you are cutting branches of moderate size. It is optimal for branches with a diameter of 2 inches.
Popular Pruning Methods
Different types of pruning techniques are used to achieve various levels of health, aesthetics, and safety.
- Removal of dead, dying, or decaying parts to avoid the spread of infection to the healthier parts of the tree is called cleaning.
- Thinning is a method employed to reduce the amount of foliage on a branch. This lowers the weight on the branch and increases the light and airflow through the plant.
- Removing the lower branches to provide space for buildings, driveways, and pedestrians is called raising.
- The reduction of large portions of the treetops for power lines is called topping. It is a harmful method and damages the tree.
Tips and Tricks
- Pruning is a large task to take up on your own. Make sure you know what you are doing so that you don’t harm your trees.
- Ensure that you have proper equipment before you start the project. Most of the trimming and pruning tools are easily available.
- Trees that pruned from an early age yield better results.
- If you are new to this gardening technique, start with fruit trees and ornamental plants.
- Get an arborist to prune and trim your large trees.
Pruning and trimming, when done properly, enhances the strength and attractiveness of the trees. When these techniques are implemented incorrectly, they leave everlasting damage to the trees and even lead to their death.
Thank you for pointing us that pruning a tree can help reduce the likelihood of decay, disease, and pests. We’re attempting to determine the best ways to care for the several trees in the backyard of the house my husband and I recently moved into. To ensure that it is done effectively and prevent accidentally making matters worse by attempting to prune them ourselves, we will need to look into hiring specialists to do it for us.
It’s almost springtime soon, so I was thinking of getting my trees pruned to keep them looking healthy. I’m grateful you highlighted that pruning helps trees get better light and prevent risks of infestations and diseases, which helps boost their growth. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for professional tree pruning services to hire for my backyard garden soon.
I’m grateful that you informed us how most people prefer pruning during midwinter to the end of it since this time of dormancy promotes growth when the temperature rises. It’s almost winter soon, and since I’m taking care of grandpa’s apple tree farm for him temporarily while he’s in the hospital, I need a tree service company to contact soon. I’ll be sure to take note of this and call a well-reputed tree pruning service when the time comes.
I love that you talked about how when trees are trimmed in the fall, it is simple to identify the limbs that are injured, but most trees do not respond well to trimming in the summer. I own a garden café as a business and I noticed how the trees in my garden are out of shape that’s why I want to find a commercial tree trimming who will help me make the trees in my garden look pleasant for my customers. I’ll make sure to do this right after summer, thanks to your article.
Thank you for explaining that cleaning the tree involves removing dead, dying, and diseased parts to protect the rest of the tree. I’ve been wondering what kind of work may need to be done on our trees that have branches that aren’t producing leaves. I’ll be sure to get them cleaned soon to hopefully keep the rest of the trees in good condition.
Thanks for listing the different types of pruning methods. Knowing the different types and reasons for them is super helpful. I have this large tree in my backyard that needs some care. I’m looking into finding some professionals to come to help me and teach me a bit about their work.
Thanks for explaining that having a tree pruned can help lower the chances of decay, disease, and infestations. My husband and I just moved into a home that has a lot of trees in the backyard, and we’re trying to figure out how to best take care of them. We’ll have to look into professionals that could prune them for us so that we can make sure it will be done correctly and we won’t accidentally make things worse by trying to do it ourselves.
proper tree trimming can also help improve the look of your landscape. Trimming can help promote a more uniform shape, which can make your yard look neater. thank you for this great article. looking forward for your new article soon.
We have a willow tree that is getting too large for our yard. It has not been pruned in its entire life. Thank you for letting us know that mid-winter to the end is the best time to prune because it is the period of being dormant. We will probably hire a professional because of safety.
Hi there! Oh wow, I really like it when you said that it’s better to prune our shrubs when the growth level are slow. My aunt has a mini garden in her backyard and she’s been thinking of beautifying it lately. I’ll forward this tip to her so her garden will look splendid later.
I just want to add, cut at the correct distance. Always make cuts just above a bud, but not so close that you risk damaging the bud. Don’t cut too far above it, as water can get trapped in the stub and lead to rotting. As a general rule, cut above the bud at a distance of about a quarter of the thickness of the stem.
Pruning and trimming can help the health of the trees improve and can make the yard attractive.
“Pruning and trimming, when done properly, enhances the strength and attractiveness of the trees.” Focus on ‘when done properly’. You have a better chance at getting that done right with an arborist by your side. Rather than doing it by yourself.
It gets so hot here in Texas that finding time in the off season to prune a tree is difficult. But worth it.
Always good to trim and prune in the winter to avoid further injury. It gets hot so quick here in Texas that it’s hard to find the time!