Best practices for tree trimming

Nature has always looked after itself though Man has done a decent job interfering. Forests and woods covered much of the land before the population expanded needing wood for construction and land on which to build. These days many proud homeowners care for their gardens and follow the best available advice about how to look after the plants and trees in their gardens. That often involves pruning whether for shape or to remove dead wood. According to one owner of a tree service in Sarasota, it’s extremely important to do any tree trimming or pruning during appropriate times of the year to avoid harming your trees.

Pruning in the winter after the coldest weather is likely to have passed can encourage fresh new growth as soon as the weather improves even if a pruned tree might look unsightly for a short time. How you decide to prune will vary from species to species and if you are uncertain about what your particular tree or trees need then ask before doing anything. 

One or two species like maple or birch may ‘’leak’’ sap after pruning but that is purely temporary and once growth begins it will stop.

Shape or Color

If you are looking to ‘’shape’’ the tree then pruning should be done at the end of the summer. If you reduce the number of leaves then you will be reducing the nutrients that can go down to the roots. Some trees produce lovely flowers and it makes sense to encourage more and more. The variable for pruning such trees is the flowering season. Some trees produce early color in the spring and you should look to prune them as the flowers begin to fade. Those trees that flower later in the season, even late in the summer can be best pruned either in winter as early spring.

Fall is not a good time for pruning as fungi spread their spores at that time so it takes longer for the tree to recover.

The Key

Begin by looking at the tree and decide what you want to achieve. It is best to start at the top and work downwards carefully avoiding taking too much off the top. In order to get a good shape you want to encourage those branches that have a good angle coming off the trunk.

Assuming the tree has a single trunk look to the strongest branches for your growth and prune away obviously weaker ones. There is no need to try to protect any cuts because you won’t be able to stop decay by doing that.

You will need a small pair of pruning shears, probably a pruner on a pole but if you have any concerns get a professional to do the major work for you. A professional will know which buds look as though they will grow in the direction that you want to create the shape you want and which others can be discarded.

It is great to be able to look after everything in your garden properly but it is important to have some basic knowledge to do so; that applies to trees just as much as to plants and grass.

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