Proper tree pruning is essential for maintaining the health, structure, and appearance of your trees. However, it’s important to follow proper techniques and guidelines to avoid causing damage.
Here are some expert tips for pruning your trees:
- Prune for good structure: Establishing good structure in young trees can help prevent issues such as tree failure, limb breakage, and poor health in the long run. It’s easier and more cost-effective to shape the structure of a young tree while it’s still growing than to try to fix problems in an older tree. By pruning young trees to establish a strong structure, you can ensure the health and longevity of your trees..
- Pruning reduces risk: Proactive pruning can help minimize the risks associated with trees on your property. By removing weak or hazardous branches, such as those that are dead, diseased, or damaged, you can reduce the likelihood of tree failure or other issues. Additionally, removing crowded or competing branches and trimming branches with heavy end weight can help to prevent breakage and improve the overall health of the tree. By taking a proactive approach to pruning and addressing potential hazards, you can maximize the benefits of having trees on your property while minimizing any potential risks.
- Prune for clearance: As trees grow and mature, it’s important to ensure that they don’t interfere with nearby structures or obstructions. Good pruning practices can help to provide clearance and direct new growth away from buildings, signs, parking spots, and other areas. By following standard tree clearance guidelines, such as keeping a distance of 3 feet from buildings, 8 feet from roofs, 10 feet from chimneys, 8 feet over sidewalks, and 14 feet over roads, you can minimize the need for future pruning and ensure that your trees are well-maintained and safe. By regularly pruning your trees to provide proper clearance, you can maximize the benefits of having trees on your property while minimizing any potential risks or inconveniences. Proper tree pruning can help to ensure that your trees don’t interfere with nearby structures or obstructions. By following standard tree clearance guidelines, such as keeping a distance of 3 feet from buildings, 8 feet from roofs, 10 feet from chimneys, 8 feet over sidewalks, and 14 feet over roads, you can help to prevent conflicts and ensure that your trees are well-maintained and safe. In addition to providing clearance, it’s important to remove weak and competing branches to establish good structure and reduce the end weight on heavy branches to minimize the risk of branch failure. By regularly pruning your trees to provide proper clearance and maintain good structure, you can maximize the benefits of having trees on your property while minimizing any potential risks or inconveniences.
- Consult with a certified arborist or tree care company: Choose a company that follows the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 standard for tree pruning. This standard provides guidelines on the use of tools, cutting techniques, and pruning methods, and sets the standard definitions for terms that the arborist will use in your estimate. Make sure to choose a reputable and experienced professional to do the job.
- Check for needed pruning after a storm: Storms can cause damage to trees, so it’s important to assess your trees after a storm and prune any damaged or broken branches.
Here are some things to avoid when pruning your trees:
- Don’t top: Topping is the severe removal of large branches, leaving stubs or a naked tree trunk. This practice shocks trees into rapid regrowth and results in many problems, such as tree starvation, rapid regrowth, weak branches, fast-growing branches that need more pruning, large pruning wounds that invite decay, ugly trees that lower property value, and vulnerability to pests and disease. In some cities, topping is also illegal.
- Don’t lions tail: Lion’s tailing, which involves stripping away the tree’s inner branches and leaves, can create a visually unappealing and potentially hazardous situation. The resulting bald branches with tufted ends increase the likelihood of breakage due to their heavier end weight and are more prone to sunscald and bark damage, which can invite pests and diseases. It’s important to avoid this pruning technique in order to maintain the health and appearance of your trees.
- Avoid over pruning your trees to maintain their health and vitality. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid removing more than 25% of a tree’s living canopy in a single season. This is because leaves are essential for a tree’s photosynthesis, which provides the energy it needs to grow and thrive. Removing too many leaves at once can stress the tree and make it more vulnerable to pest attacks. By following this guideline and pruning responsibly, you can help your trees stay healthy and strong
- Don’t prune without a good reason: Only prune branches that are dead, damaged, diseased, or interfering with other structures.
- Don’t remove more than 25% of the tree’s foliage during a growing season: This can stress the tree and weaken it.
- Don’t prune a newly planted tree for the first year: The tree needs time to establish its root system before pruning.
- Don’t try to prune branches within 10 feet of a utility conductor yourself: Leave this task to the professionals.
- Don’t attempt to prune a tree that requires the use of a chainsaw or ladder work: These tasks can be dangerous and should be left to professionals.
- Don’t leave branch stubs or make a flush cut when pruning: These practices can damage the tree and leave it vulnerable to disease.
- Don’t climb the tree with climbing spikes: This can damage the bark and cause injury to the tree.
- Don’t use wound paint: This can interfere with the tree’s natural healing process.
Proper tree pruning requires knowledge and skills to ensure that it is done safely and effectively. Make sure to follow these dos and don’ts to ensure the health and longevity of your trees. If you’re unsure of how to prune your tree or don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, it’s always best to consult with a certified arborist or tree care company.
Check out our other blog posts for more useful tree care tips and information.
- The Cost of Tree Removal – Factors That Affect Price and Tips for Saving Money
- How to Choose a Tree Trimming Service
- How to Take Care of Trees During a Drought
- How to Kill a Tree Stump
- Tree Pruning 101: Expert Tips for Maintaining Healthy Trees
- Benefits and Reasons to Trim and Prune Trees
- Arborist’s 5 Tips for Choosing The Right Tree for Your Yard
- Most Common Native Trees in Burbank
- When is the Best Time to Trim or Cut Down Your Trees?
- Tree Trimming Tips – How to Trim Trees Safely