Best Tree Trimming & Pruning Methods Explained

Best Tree Trimming & Pruning Methods Explained

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Every tree needs maintenance, especially with the changing seasons or before and after the storms. Tree care is done in several stages – finding the right or better place on the property (transplanting), setting up a watering system (if needed), pest control, fertilization, and trimming and pruning. 

Among the other tree maintenance procedures, tree trimming and pruning are one of the most important for the health and beauty of your trees. However, many people do not see and know the difference between these procedures and consider them synonymous. 

So, first of all, you must understand the difference between the two and realize the benefits both bring to your trees.

Both trimming and pruning involve the removal of unwanted branches. However, they are performed for different purposes, using various tools and techniques.

Tree Pruning

Pruning is a process of removing dead, diseased, dry, or damaged branches. These types of branches harm the tree’s health, so you should permanently remove them.  

So the primary purpose of pruning is to stimulate the plant’s growth and keep it healthy. Removing dead or diseased branches makes your tree more potent and resistant because only the most beneficial parts remain untouched. Such cases include, for example, disease-infected branches. To prevent the illness from spreading to healthy ones, it’s always worth cutting them off. 

That will help your tree prepare for changing season.  

Branches are also removed if the tree has grown too big, isn’t able to give proper nutrition to everyone, or doesn’t let in enough light for good growth. 

The process can be pretty difficult to perform, even impossible if you are not experienced. Branches are usually removed by shears, secateurs, loppers, and saws. Different tools are used depending on the branch’s condition and thickness. 

When done correctly, pruning can bring your trees to life and stimulate flower and fruit production. But if the process is not done correctly, your tree could suffer from shock, which will stop the growth, flower, and fruit production. It can even encourage pests and leave open wounds for diseases. It can seriously harm your tree or even kill it. That is why you should, if not experienced enough, leave it to the professionals.

Tree Trimming

While pruning is designed to make your tree healthier, tree trimming has a different aesthetic. If you do not take regular care of your trees, their branches will probably overgrow, taking different directions, creating too much shade that is bad for smaller plants. Branches usually grow in different directions, which makes the tree unappealing, especially in neat gardens. 

Overgrowth can have health issues too. Some branches might grow too much, become too heavy and break, or they can go dry and attract pests and diseases. To prevent these things from happening and to keep your trees friendly and pleasant to the eye, trim your trees often enough. 

Remember that trimming is done only a few times a year, so excessive ornamentation can harm the tree. If you cut it too often, the tree might stop its growth. It could also become prone to diseases and attract pests. That is why you should let professionals handle it.

Excess branches are removed with special techniques to maintain the plant’s health and give it a beautiful and well-groomed appearance. Most often used tools are hand shears and pruning shears, but trimmers and saws are used too. It all depends on the tree’s size and the branches’ thickness.

Tree trimming is often used to form and shape hedges, so this method is widely used in creating parks and gardens.

Best Tree Trimming and Pruning Methods Explained Infographic  

How Often Do You Need Tree Trimming and Pruning?

The frequency of tree trimming and pruning primarily depends on the target. Are you trimming hedges or small or large trees? 

When it comes to aesthetics only, prune branches as often as necessary for the shrub or tree’s appearance, but remember that over-pruning and trimming can cause more damage than benefit. 

For example, hedges bloom actively in the summer and require trimming every few weeks. Trees grow much more slowly, so trimming their branches is not needed as often. Young trees are growing fast and should be cut once a year or every two to three years, depending on the growth speed. Mature, large trees growing very slowly should be trimmed every three to five years, again depending on the size and age of the tree. 

The best season for tree pruning Infographic

When it comes to pruning and trimming, the vital things to pay attention to are the type of tree and the time of year. For trees that bloom in the spring, pruning is most often done after flowering. Trees that bloom in the summer should be pruned in the winter or spring. In any case, pruning should not be done more than once or twice a year. 

If the branches are diseased or infected, they should be pruned as soon as possible, without waiting for the flowering season, because if you wait too long, infections will harm your tree even more.

Tree Trimming and Pruning Methods

There are no unique methods for tree trimming. They all include removing overgrown branches, which gives a tree or shrub a beautiful and well-groomed appearance. Some arborists have their style and order of doing it, but it all comes down to branch removal. 

We will consider pruning methods in more detail because it is essential to understand how they work. That way, it will be easier for you to know what kind of procedure your trees need.

There are four main pruning methods. These are crown thinning, crown raising, reduction, and cleaning.

Crown Thinning consists of removing branches to reduce the overall density of the tree. Without changing the tree’s overall size or shape, tree crown thinning entails eliminating some secondary branches to create a balanced crown structure. Thinning increases air circulation and allows for better sunlight penetration. It lessens the wind stress on the tree’s limbs and the sail effect of the crown without significantly changing the tree’s appearance. It helps the tree to regain its glow and health. 

Crown Raising is to remove only the lower branches of the tree. Two-thirds of the tree’s overall height should be preserved while doing any crown lifting. Low-hanging branches can harm a home’s curb appeal by obstructing the view. Dead limbs and low-hanging branches can be dangerous for both automobiles and pedestrians. Removing them will increase the luminous flux required for average growth of the tree and provide the extra free space required for a better view or more convenient access to it.

Crown Reduction is removing the tops of branches and pruning them back to the nearest growing point. It is often done to remove dead, diseased, damaged branches or reduce the tree’s overall size. 

This procedure is also used in cases where the tree’s root system is damaged, but it needs to be preserved for some reason. Crown reduction dramatically reduces the tree’s weight and makes it more resistant to severe storms and hurricanes. This method helps the tree to grow a new, healthier crown. 

Crown Cleaning is the removal of dead, diseased, or broken branches. It can be done as needed or in any of the above pruning methods. It is similar to crown thinning but focuses mainly on old, damaged, diseased branches that could potentially harm the tree.

Each of these methods can be used individually or combined. The choice will always depend on the purpose of pruning and trimming.

Best Tree Trimming and Pruning Methods Explained Infographic 2

Whatever method you need and your goals, you should remember that tree trimming and pruning are complicated procedures, so it is not recommended to do them yourself. You can not only destroy the tree, but you can also harm yourself and others around you by, for example, cutting a branch that is too big and at a considerable height.

Trust tree trimming and pruning to our professionals, and we guarantee high-quality work and excellent results.

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