If you have some neglected trees in your yard, it's a good idea to prune them into shape before they get too big to do the job yourself. Once the trees are mature, and you need to climb up on a ladder with a chainsaw to prune them, it's probably best to call in a pro. Another reason you don't want to delay pruning is because your tree may grow wild limbs that affect its strength and appearance. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you're ready to tackle your trees.
When To Prune
You can never start pruning too early. In fact, it's a good idea to guide the growth of your trees from the time they are very young. Give them a season or two to firmly establish their roots, and then prune limbs as necessary. It's much easier to prune your trees when they're small. On the other hand, it's never too late to start pruning either. If the trees are mature, you may need to hire an arborist to do the job, but even if they're fully grown, pruning will improve the health of your trees and improve their appearance.
It doesn't matter if your trees are young or mature, you want to prune them when they are dormant, prior to the growing season. Late winter or early spring is a good time. Prune them when the limbs are still bare, so you can see the branches better. This allows you to identify the limbs and branches that need to go.
How To Prune
Resist the urge to start pruning at the top or outside of a tree. Instead, start by cutting off wild or diseased branches where they join the trunk. Once those are removed, you can thin the branches by cutting away some on the inside rather than ones on the outside. It is better to err on the side of removing less than you need to rather than overdoing it. Branches won't grow back, and your tree may have an odd appearance if you remove too many. If you're not happy with the way the tree looks once the branches are covered with leaves, you can always remove more branches the next spring until your tree has the perfect shape.
Protect The Health Of Your Trees
Never cut off branches in the middle. Always remove them at a joint or where they attach to the tree. This is important for the sake of appearance, and it helps keep your tree healthy too. One of the dangers of pruning a tree is that the cut removes the outer bark, and this gives insects and tree diseases an opening to infect your tree. For that reason, you want to avoid making cuts unless they're absolutely necessary.
When you prune your trees, you want to be conscious about how the weight is distributed among the branches. This is especially important if your trees are still fairly small. A tree should be cut in such a way that it grows straight and strong. If big limbs are allowed to grow on one side, the tree is at a higher risk of toppling over when the ground is saturated with water during a bad storm.
Pruning a tree is part science and part art. It's hard to come back from making a mistake if you remove limbs you shouldn't. That's one reason it's a good idea to get advice from a professional before you start cutting on your trees. Another reason it's a good idea to hire professional tree services is for safety's sake. You could harm yourself or damage your home if you try cutting off heavy limbs by yourself. For more information, contact Tree Sculptors or a similar company.