Regularly pruning and trimming your trees can help maintain their shape and appearance and also rid them of dead or diseased branches that may be at risk of falling off. It is therefore important to learn several basics of tree care that can help you maintain your trees yourself. Here is how to trim and prune your trees so as to keep them in excellent shape.
Tree trimming tips
While trimming your trees, only target branches that have weak, V-shaped angles and retain branches with strong U-shaped angles. Trimming weak branches early on when they are still young is crucial, as they are often easier to cut and will usually not leave nasty scars like older branches would.
Before trimming any dead or weak branches, be sure to look for the collar, which grows from the stem tissue at the bottom base of the branch. You should also locate the branch ridge, which is on the upper surface and is parallel to the branch angle at the stem. Make the cut outside the branch bark ridge, taking care not to injure the branch collar, as you angle your cut down and away from the stem.
If you encounter a stem that is too long, make a notch on the side of the stem that faces away from the branch that's being retained, before cutting through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge.
Tree pruning tips
Tree pruning is an effective way to raise, reduce or thin the crown of a tree for aesthetic reasons and to also remove low-lying branches that could be obstructing views or driveways.
For effective pruning that allows the tree to blossom, target lateral branches that cross against other branches, hampering their growth. You should also take care not to remove too many branches on a living crown at once, as this would make the tree vulnerable to pests and diseases.
When raising a crown to clear driveways, be careful not to remove too many branches from the bottom half of the tree, as this would affect the tree's ability to develop a strong stem. Typically, you should maintain branches on at least two-thirds of a tree to maintain optimal growth.
The tips above can help maintain your trees. However, when dealing with trees that have suffered severe storm or wind damage, or ones with long branches overlying power lines, it is advisable to call in a tree service company like Advanced Arbor Care to handle the trimming so as to minimize the risk of damage to property or injury to passersby.