Tree Trimming & Pruning: Tips & Techniques

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Tree Trimming & Pruning: Tips & Techniques

When the basics of tree pruning and trimming are known, it will be easy for you to handle majority of such work all by yourself. There are quite a number of handy tips and techniques that will help your trees remain in great shape. Being well equipped with the right equipment and adequate knowledge is all you may need to get your trees pruned, which would help their appearance and health, protecting them from dead branches which could mar their appearance and could also be a threat to their health.

Why should you prune or trim a tree?

Although there are countless trimming tips, however it is better you get concerned with the very basic tips which is all you need to get the job done. You could also hire an expert to get the job done, so you don’t stress over it.

Trees are generally trimmed for one of three purposes: aesthetics, safety or health. For example: On general basis, tress are majorly trimmed either for Health, safety or aesthetics reasons

  • Health – Cutting off affected branches and limbs from a tree can be helpful to the health of an infected tree. When the crown of the tree is thinned, it helps for easy flow of air which is strongly needed by the plant. Crossed branches should be trimmed to avoid them falling unexpectedly.
  • Safety – broken or dead branches can cause great hazard to the environment. These limbs or branches can cause accidents in the surroundings. Sometimes these branches and limbs grow so close to utility lines. If this is noticed, the utility company should be informed to handle it.
  • Aesthetics – Regular and effective pruning helps to beautify the tree. However, care should be taken so as not to try to give the tree a shape or size different from its natural shape or size as this could cause serious damage to your tree.

General Tree Trimming Tips

  • Except when there is a hazard, the most appropriate time to prune or trim a tree is in its inactive season. Although pine trees can be tactically pruned at any time, but it’s always safer to do such when its dormant.
  • Carefully consider the size of the branch you are taking off. If it’s smaller than a 5cm in diameter branch, it’s ok cutting it off, between 5cm to 10cm you may need to have a rethink. If it’s bigger than 10cm in diameter, then you need to be extra sure you just have to do it, before you do it.
  • Branches with weak, narrow and v-shaped angles should be just what is trimmed, while those that are U-shaped should be retained.

The branch growing out from the side of the stem should be between one-half and three quarter of the stem’s diameter at the point the branch attaches to the stem, if not they should be cut-off.

After pruning, living crown to tree height ratio should be 2 to 3

  • Branches are better pruned when they are still young. It is easily managed at this age and it reduces the risk of giving the trees scars.
  • Neither trim a branch too long nor too close – Don’t either cut off the branch collar or leave a big stub.

Cost of trimming

Trimming and pruning keeps your landscape beautiful and attractive, as it removes dead and broken branches which help to keep the tree in great health. There are different factors that determine the cost of pruning, but most on whether you are doing it yourself or hiring an expert.

Get Tree Trimming Cost & Prices from your local experts, our local experts are great. We use them a lot.

Tree Pruning Tips

The following are techniques and tips that are handy in pruning, or just in case you need to learn more about typical tree pruning care and maintenance technique.

Crown Thinning

In thinning the crown of a tree, take note of the following tips:

  • Lateral branches should be properly spaced, especially on young trees.
  • Cut off branches crossing other branches or running against them.
  • If you must remove more than one-fourth of a living crown, it must not be done at a time. If it must be removed, then it should be evenly spread over some years.

Crown Raising

For easy flow of pedestrian movement and some other reasons, the crown can be raised by technically pruning the tree. Live branches can be kept at two-third of the tree’s height. Removing too many branches around the bottom half may cause the tree to be unable to build up a strong stem.

Crown Reduction

  • If you must take anything more than half of the foliage off the branch, just take-off the entire branch.
  • The crown should be pruned only when it is really necessary to do so. Branches that should be cut off are those that are at-least one-third of the stems’ diameter.

Techniques for Tree Trimming

These are helpful techniques to note

  • Always search for the branch collar at the branch’s base before making a cut. Also, find the branch ridge-this is at the top surface which is parallel to the branch angle at the stem.
  • Ensure you always cut from outside the bark ridge of the branch and position your cut down and far from the stem. Be careful enough not to get the branch collar injured.

Apply same measure in pruning both dead and living branches

  • If in a situation where the stem is very long, apply the three-cut technique: Have a notch made beside the branch that hangs away from the direction of the branch that is to be retained;  the second cut should be made over the ridge of the branch, inside the branch crotch; the third cuts parallel to the bark ridge of the branch, cutting  through the stem to remove the stub
  • Have these tactics and techniques from this guide handy before going ahead to trim and prune your trees.