Pine trees are one of the few low maintenance trees that naturally grow to be beautiful with little or no human effort. They can grow in nutrient-deficient soil. They are evergreens so even when your other plants might be losing its appeal due to color change, leaves shedding due to season of the year your pine tree is most likely going to remain green and beautiful. They are conifers – their leaves are needle-like or scale-like, they bear cones that hold their seeds. They don’t produce flowers. Pine trees like any other tree can be damaged, diseased, and needs to be trimmed to maintain health.


Reasons to trim a pine tree.

Pine trees, unlike ornamental trees, are rarely trimmed for aesthetics reasons as they have a naturally beautiful shape. Pine trees should be checked after a storm for possible damages. If there are any damaged branches, they should be removed immediately.

In rare cases, a branch could rub against another branch. In such a case one of the rubbing branches should be removed. Rubbing branches lead to openings and wounds on the bark of affected branches which makes the branch more vulnerable to diseases and pests.

Diseased, weak, or dead branches should be removed immediately they are noticed. This prevents further damage to the tree and prevents sudden falling off of weak branches that could cause accidents.

Sometimes the lowers leaves of pines turn brown. This could be due to several reasons. If the tree is so dense that sunlight does not reach the branches at the base of the tree, they could turn brown due to insufficient sunlight. If this happens, surrounding or nearby shady trees should be removed. Also, the pine tree should be thinned to allow sunlight to reach the lower branches. Use small cuts to remove tangled branches that could be blocking sunlight.

To make a pine tree more dense and lush, pinch back newly growing tips or candles. This should be done in the spring preferably late spring. This should be done with hands not shears. Pinch off new candles with thumb and forefinger. The process of removing new growth tips or candles is called candling. Using shears could cut into the needles, damaging them and making them turn brown.

Sometimes, pines are trimmed to conform them to a particular shape or size.

Avoid trimming more than 25% of foliage in a season as pines have a slower growth rate compared to ornamentals.


When to trim a pine tree.

Pines, unlike most conifers, are best trimmed in the spring. Avoid trimming in fall or late summer as much as possible. This gives the cuts time to heal before winter.

How to trim

Don’t trim to shorten the branch of a pine tree. This cuts into the woody part and stunts the growth of the branch. Instead, remove overgrown branches. Don’t reduce it!

To remove a branch to the collar. The collar is the point of attachment of the branch to the trunk. It is slightly wider and thicker than other parts of the branch. This allows the cut to scab over. When cutting a branch don’t cut all through from top to bottom to prevent peeling of bark. Make the first cut at the downside of the branch away from the trunk. The first cut should be made just outside the branch collar. Avoid damage to the collar. The second cut should be made a few inches from the first cut away from the trunk. The cut should be from top to bottom all through the branch. This leaves a stub. The stub is then removed. When removing the stub ensure the bark ridge is left intact. The bark ridge is the slightly raised area of the bark where the branch attaches to the trunk.

Use sharp and clean tools to trim your tree. When trimming your tree, use the right tools. Wear gloves to avoid injuries. Masks could be worn when removing diseased trees to prevent inhalation of spores. Inhaling spores of fungi causes infections that could be severe.

After trimming

When you have successfully trimmed your tree, diseased, decaying and dead branches should be fully removed from around the tree and burnt. This prevents spread of disease as they could contain spores. For healthy clippings, use them as mulch. This retains soil moisture and prevents weeds from encroaching into the pine’s territory. Contact us for quality pine tree trimming in Jacksonville FL.