When it comes to tree care, there are two kinds of tree trimming: the kind that you commit on a tree because you’re worried that its branches are becoming a hazard, and the kind you commit on a tree because you know that some selective pruning can improve the tree’s health and longevity. Today, we’re talking about the second kind.Learn more by visiting NYC Tree Trimming Association
When To Trim
Arborists are universally united in saying that trees with damaged, diseased, pest-ridden, or dead limbs should have those limbs removed as soon as possible. They also note that if you have the option, there is decidedly a best time to prune: right at the transition from winter to spring. Before the buds begin to open, a tree experiences a ‘return to life’ surge that allows it to heal more quickly from injuries: that’s the best time to do some careful tree trimming.
It’s also worst to prune a tree during very hot periods, very cold periods, or very dry periods. The heat causes sap to flow more quickly, and a pruning injury can lead to excessive sap loss. The cold, on the other hand, causes the sap to flow more slowly and can lead to an injury remaining open without a protective sap ‘callous’ forming over it. Dry periods have the same problem, but because there’s simply not enough sap to go around.
How to Trim
When trimming a tree for health reasons, you will want to cut the branches as close to the base as you can, without leaving behind a stub, but without removing excess bark from the remaining body of the tree.
‘Topping’, or haphazardly cutting off the larger branches or the entire top of a tree, is never a good idea. If you need to remove one fork of a split tree, work from the outside in, pruning that forks’ branches down until just the fork of the trunk remains, then cut the fork off a half-inch or more away from the main trunk’s body. This will reduce the chances of creating an extremely large wound that will have trouble healing and endanger the tree in the future.
Ideally, when performing this kind of tree trimming, you don’t want to just cut branches — you want to maintain the proportion and shape of the tree while improving it’s health. Like most things in nature, a tree functions best when it’s symmetrical and balanced. That’s where the art comes in.
Hire Professionals In Tree Trimming
If you’re not confident in your ability to prune your trees correctly, hire a tree care service — they do so much more than just tree removal. They’ll have the expertise to trim your tree in a way that’s both an improvement to its overall health and to its aesthetics. And if it turns out that the damage isn’t just limited to a branch or two like you believed, well, they can always fall back on the tree removal thing.