The Basics of Tree Pruning

tree in field - tree pruning basics

Tree pruning is the process of removing particular branches from a tree. It is done for several reasons, and it could be considered an art form because pruning is more complicated than one would think.

Cutting random branches or leaves here and there isn’t enough. A lot of thought goes into making the right decision for the tree. Helping a tree to grow strong and healthy is the end goal of any pruning effort.

It is up to us to help our gardens flourish and bloom, and thus we need to know everything about pruning before we start.

Precisely What Is Pruning?

Tree pruning is the act of removing specific parts of the tree that may have become overgrown, damaged or diseased.  

Pruning is essential for maintaining any healthy tree or plant. Plants in a garden that is well kept will grow stronger and healthier than plants simply left to themselves.

Should You Leave It to the Professionals?

Professional tree pruning services could just be the best option for a healthy tree. A reliable professional will have enough knowledge, experience and skills to take care good of your trees’ health. Some trees are too big to safely handle alone, and require a professional with the right safety equipment and experience to make sure the job is done without injury to people or property.

Professionals also have the appropriate tools to provide an efficient and effective pruning service, which means that the tree will be safe from any pruning errors.

Spending hours in the hot sun and still running the risk of a botched pruning job could be a recipe for disaster. Instead, the homeowner should get help from a professional to have peace of mind that their trees will be healthy and look good in every way. With professional know-how, arborists prevent damage, infections and infestations.

What Are the Benefits?

cherry blossom branch - tree pruning basics

It can be easy for plants and trees to become unruly, with branches growing in all directions. This unruliness can cause a myriad of problems if left unchecked. Listed here are some of the benefits of pruning for trees and the rest of the garden:

  • Branches that grow too close to the home, to fences or other structures and to powerlines could eventually get tangled and damage them. By trimming branches away, it could save a lot of hassle and money down the line.
  • Trees that grow too dense can prevent grass, plants and shrubbery from growing optimally, keeping them away from the sun and preventing them from getting enough air. Spacing trees out by cutting or trimming can help the other plants in your garden grow better.
  • A nicely trimmed and neat garden could improve visibility around the home. It could, in fact, boost the house’s curb appeal for potential buyers too.

Can Trees Be Harmed When They’re Pruned?

In short, the answer is yes. Although pruning is a necessity, there are ways of doing it that may damage the tree and its structures:

  • Steer clear of the tree’s trunk, as it is the vital lifeline of the tree and the primary carrier of its water and nutrients. Damage to this part of the tree could be fatal to it.
  • Cutting the top part of the branches could cause the tree to stop growing. These are the areas where new leaves form and growth takes place.
  • The collar of the branches helps to protect the tree by forming a boundary. If the collar is removed, the tree may be more likely to get infected or rot.

Having a specific reason for trimming the tree can help prevent too many cuts and damage. Additionally, sharp tools make a cleaner cut and are less likely to cause damage to the vital structures.

When Should Pruning Be Done?

Getting rid of dead branches or decaying parts should be done sooner rather than later. Pruning these parts away could save the tree from further damage or disease.

Tree pruning should be done in the winter. Pruning trees during cooler temperatures can stimulate new growth when the weather warms. Ultimately, when the trees are pruned should depend on the type of tree, as there are early blooming and later blooming trees.

It may be best for early bloomers like the apricot tree to prune them right after they flower and produce fruit. Later blooming trees like the Hawthorne should be pruned during the winter months.

Find out about the different trees you have around your property, as well as their blooming times, before tackling their pruning.

Cutting Above the Rest

Whether you want to prune your tree because it needs a trim to be healthier or because you have specific landscaping reasons for doing so, pruning ensures that the garden will remain in top condition. Before rushing to find tools, however, get familiar with the correct way to prune so you don’t unintentionally do damage. 

When in doubt, call in the professionals; they should know best after all. When trees are properly pruned, they are sure to provide much joy to anyone who appreciates them.

Feature image: Alexander Kovalev; Image 1: Kristina Paukshtite

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