Trimming and pruning trees make them have a good shape, look neat, grow strong and be attractive. It is important that you do it correctly to avoid damaging your tree. There are diverse ways of trimming and pruning your tree to keep them in the best shape. With the right information and equipment, you can prune and trim your tree to remove diseases or dead branches and have your beautiful landscape maintained.

  • Your reason for trimming will determine when you trim your tree. Trimming to remove dead or broken limbs can be done any time. However, for larger goals, you need to schedule a trimming plan.
  • A tree should be trimmed during its dormant season. Except for hazards, it is better to trim a tree during dormancy although some trees, such as pine, can be trimmed any time.
  • When trimming, only branches with diameters lesser than 4 inches should be trimmed.
  • Tree branches that have U-shaped angles and are strong should be retained. Weak branches with V-shaped narrow angles should be removed.
  • Start your pruning at the bottom of the tree and work up to the top. One of the major reasons for pruning is to maintain the tree’s shape.

Hence, anything that is not part of the tree’s natural shape should be removed. When you trim with the natural shape in mind, you increase the tree’s health, beauty, and structure.

  • Don’t trim tree branches too close or long on the collar. An area where a branch is growing out of the tree is termed the branch collar. The area where the collar is located has a thicker bark than the rest of the limbs.

Do Trees Need to be Trimmed or Pruned?

Trees are trimmed or pruned for three major reasons. These are aesthetics, tree health, and your safety.

Aesthetics: Trimming and pruning are done to maintain the shape and appearance of the tree. This beautifies the tree which in turn adds value to your environment.  The percentage of timing and pruning should not damage the tree. You should not assign an unnatural shape or size on a tree.

Your Safety: Overgrown and dead or broken branches can present a safety hazard. Dead or broken branches can fall off and cause damage to your property or injure you. Branches that are overgrown can affect utility lines or obstruct your vision while driving. Tree trimming and pruning should be done to ensure your safety.

Tree Health: A diseased or pest-infested tree branch is pruned in order to save the tree. Reducing the crown of the tree enhances airflow which is beneficial to the tree.  Trimming is also used to control tree growth while encouraging flower and fruit production.

Tree Pruning/Trimming Methods

The four most common ways of general tree pruning are; crown raising, crown reduction, crown cleaning and crown thinning. The crown of the tree is an essential part for photosynthesis. That is why most pruning methods focus on the crown so as to maintain a strong and healthy crown.

Crown Thinning

Crown thinning involves the trimming of the tree to eliminate branches in order to decrease the overall density. Sunlight penetration and air circulation are enhanced through thinning. Thinning is the most commonly pruning method. When thinning, only 10 to 20 percent of the branches should be removed.

Crown Raising

In crown raising, the bottom edges of tree limbs are raised to create a better view. Crown raising should be done slowly over an extended period of time. Only a few limbs should be removed to avoid having a weak tree. Few limbs lesser than 4 inches in diameter should be pruned every year.

Crown Reduction

This method is commonly used on old matured trees. This method enhances the tree strength and facilitates new growth. A tree branch is converted to a lateral branch through the crown reduction method. The lateral branch becomes a part of the tree crown when the growing season begins.

Crown Cleaning

This is the removal of broken, diseased and dead branches when pruning a tree. Crown cleaning strengthens the tree all-round. It prevents future damage to your property and the tree while ensuring the overall safety of your landscape.