Trimming is an important part of your trees’ health, and it must be done regularly. You should examine your trees throughout the year to see how they are growing and what upcoming needs they may have in the spring. That way, you can put some thought into how you plan to trim the tree ahead of time rather than haphazardly cutting off limbs in the spring just because it’s time to prune.
The first thing you have to consider is why you are pruning your trees.
The tree’s health should be your first concern. Dead, damaged or diseased branches should always be removed in order to keep the rest of the tree healthy. You should keep the tree’s canopy thin enough that air can pass through. Also, ‘suckers’ should be removed so that they don’t pull water and nutrients from the tree.
Safety is another concern. Branches that may become weak over time need to be removed. Examine the area where the branch meets the tree trunk. If it is an extremely narrow V-shape, then the branch should be removed.
Trimming is also important for growth and flowering. Trimming a tree is advisable if you want the tree to develop a good deal of new growth or if you want it to have lots of showy blooms in the spring and summer.
Next, you have to trim trees at the appropriate time.
It’s best to trim trees for shaping purposes when they are young. The earlier you begin shaping a tree, the easier it will be as the tree gets bigger.
Spring is the best time to prune trees because there is a low risk for infection and the tree is not in its main growing season. Fall trimming isn’t recommended because fungi spread much faster during this time of year, and it isn’t advisable to trim in the summer because the tree is undergoing tremendous growth. Only trim in the summer if a branch becomes damaged and has become a safety hazard.
Finally, you need to know the proper methods for tree trimming.
The first step is to determine exactly what needs to be trimmed away. If you trim while the tree is still small, you can probably do the job with hand pruners.
Know the proper angle for trimming a tree branch. If you cut to close to the tree, you will scar the tree badly, but if you cut too far away from the trunk, you will leave a noticeable stump on the tree. It’s important to locate the branch collar, a swollen area around the base of a branch, and make your cut just beyond this. It’s the only way to ensure that the tree will heal itself correctly after you have trimmed the branch away.
After you have found the branch collar, trimming your tree should be pretty easy. As a final tip, experts recommend that you don’t use tree paint or would dressing. These products actually inhibit the tree’s ability to heal its own wounds.