Tom Clark's Blog

When Is it Time for Tree Pruning?

[img]/images/user/96258_14845324490646154210.png[/img] Are you getting conflicting advice about when you should prune your trees? By following some basic rules and pruning techniques, you can keep your trees healthy and shaped.
Many times, people remove tree branches without thinking about what happens next. They don’t think about pruning rules or understand the proper way to prune trees.
Read more about the best time to prune trees and why you should do it.
[b]Reasons to Prune Your Trees[/b]
Pruning trees is important for several reasons. These include shaping, maintaining healthy trees, removing hazards, and preventative maintenance.
[b]Shaping Trees[/b]
One of the reasons to prune your trees is to shape them. This helps your tree develop its form and makes it more attractive. Pruning your trees also encourages more flowers and fruit to develop.
[b]Keeping Trees Healthy[/b]
Removing diseased, dying and injured branches helps keep your trees healthy. Pruning also removes any dead branches infested with insects or disease that could spread to the rest of the tree.
If you have old trees or shrubs, pruning can help rejuvenate them. It also encourages blooms and better [url=]fruit production[/url].
[b]Remove Hazardous Branches[/b]
You should prune any branches that could hurt people passing by or fall on utility lines. Keep in mind, only professional arborists should prune around any electric lines and poles.
Also, remove any trees or shrubs that block vision at intersections and the entrance to your home.
[b]Prevent Future Tree Problems[/b]
You can avoid any future tree problems with pruning maintenance. If you don’t prune your trees or shrubs for several years, they become overgrown and it becomes a huge job to remove large branches. Regular pruning also keeps your trees healthy so they can resist disease.
[b]Best Time to Prune Trees[/b]
Your trees should be at least three years old before you start pruning them. This ensures they have a strong root system. According to the [url=]Colorado State Forest Service[/url], if you start pruning your trees when they’re young, you’ll avoid more expensive tree care later.
The best time to prune most trees is when they’re still dormant. This is from late winter to early March. If you trim at this time, the wounds will heal quickly before new growth appears.
Some trees, such as elms, maples, birch, walnut, and [url=]poplar trees[/url] will still drip sap even when pruned in late winter. But, it shouldn’t hurt the tree.
[url=]Read more here[/url] about the best time for trimming flowering trees and evergreens.
[b]Pruning after Blooming[/b]
Although most trees need pruning in late winter, there are exceptions. You shouldn’t prune flowering trees until after they bloom. These trees and shrubs include:
[ul][li]Azalea[/li] [li]Chokecherry[/li] [li]Flowering Plum[/li] [li]Flowering cherry[/li] [li]Forsythia[/li] [li]Lilac[/li] [li]Magnolia[/li] [li]Early spirea[/li] [/ul]These are just a few of the flowering trees and shrubs to prune after they bloom. If you have any other type of flowering trees, check with your local tree service to find out the best time to prune them.
[b]What About Evergreens?[/b]
You don’t have to prune evergreens very often. It depends on the type of evergreen and it’s growth patterns.
[b]Spruce and Firs[/b]
These evergreens don’t grow constantly so you can prune them whenever you want. They have side buds that still sprout even if you trim the tip buds. It’s a good idea to trim them in late winter but it’s not harmful to prune in the spring.
Pine trees grow a new tip every spring then they stop growing. If you trim them, it will leave dead stubs. If you have to prune pines, do it before the new growth matures. Try not to prune further back than the new growth.
[b]Arborvitae, Juniper, and Hemlock [/b]
These evergreens grow all through the growing season. You can prune them anytime up until mid-summer. Try to keep their natural shape and only prune defects.
[b]Tips on Pruning Trees Properly[/b]
Knowing a few tips on how to prune trees the right way will keep you safe and your trees healthy. Before getting out your chainsaw, check your trees for any of the following problems:
[ul][li]Damaged branches[/li] [li]Broken branches[/li] [li]Crossing or rubbing branches[/li] [li]Inward growing branches[/li] [li]Waterspouts[/li] [li]Narrow-angled crotches[/li] [/ul]All of these problems interfere with the proper growth of your trees. Pruning also helps maintain the tree’s health. It controls how large the tree grows and [url=]improves the tree’s appearance[/url].
Try not to remove any branches without having a reason. Also, don’t lop off the tops of the trees. This will make it develop suckers and become malformed. Never remove more than 25 percent of the branches per year.
Space the branches along the trunk of the tree and prune below the tree’s canopy.
Prune the branches just outside the spot where they come out of the tree trunk. This is the branch collar.
If your trees need any overhead pruning or removing large branches, contact an insured, certified tree service to do the pruning.
[b]Tools for Pruning[/b]
Make sure you have the right [url=]tools for pruning[/url] your trees. You can get most pruning jobs done with the following tools:
[b]Pruning Shears[/b]
These are one of the most popular tools for pruning. They can cut branches up to a three-quarter inch thick.
[b]Lopping Shears[/b]
These shears have longer handles than pruning shears so you get more leverage with them. They prune branches up to 1 ½ inch in diameter.
[b]Hedge Shears[/b]
These aren’t made for pruning thick branches. You use these for shaping hedges and shrubs with thin stems.
[b]Hand Saws[/b]
These can cut one-inch diameter or larger branches. You can choose from several styles of hand saws that can cut up to 4-inch diameter branches.
[b]Pole Saws[/b]
These saws have long handles for reaching high branches. You need to be careful with these because it’s hard to get a clean cut.
[b]Chain Saws[/b]
These are for pruning large branches. If you use one, make sure you wear protective glasses, gloves, and clothing.
Don’t reach above your shoulders with a chain saw whether you’re on the ground or a ladder. It’s better to have a licensed arborist do the job for you to be on the safe side.
[b]When to Call an Arborist[/b]
Call in a professional certified arborist for large trees or if you don’t have the right tools for the job. You should only use well-maintained, sharp tools.
Make sure you know your goal before pruning and that you know the best time to prune trees and shrubs.
[url=]Read more[/url] informative posts.

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