Knowing how to trim trees can go a long way in keeping your backyard or porch look neat and attractive, aside of course from the fact that you are also ensuring good health of your trees. Learning about the basics would never hurt and can actually help you out in case you want to do this activity yourself. If you are armed with the right pruning and trimming techniques, you will no longer have the necessity to call on a professional to do the job for you.
Why you need to trim a tree
There can be a few purposes or reasons as to why you will feel the need to trim your trees, such as:
- To improve health – An infected or damaged tree can still be saved if the correct trimming or pruning is performed. You can do this by pruning or trimming the affected limbs and branches. On the other hand, thinning and trimming the crown of the tree will improve airflow. Also, if the branches are already rubbing together or crossing over, they need to trimmed to prevent them from falling unexpectedly.
- For safety – Broken or dead branches can fall anytime and this can be seriously dangerous, that’s why they need to be trimmed as soon as possible. The same thing goes with branches that are obstructing your view or vision when driving. Lastly, you also need to watch out for tree branches and limbs that are growing too close to utility lines. But then in such cases, you can actually contact the utility company and they handle the issue themselves.
- For aesthetic reasons – It is needless to say that trimming and pruning the trees on a regular basis greatly help in maintaining its good appearance and shape. But you have to be very careful not to overdo it, as too much trimming and pruning can cause serious damage in return.
What you will need
Before engaging in this kind of activity on how to trim trees, you will first need to prepare the necessary tools and equipment that you are going to use. Basically, you will need a ladder, especially if the trees are too tall or hard to reach by hand, hand pruners that you will use for thin and small branches, a pole saw for branches that are hard to reach, a hand saw or chain saw of the correct size and lastly, loppers. Chainsaws may come in different models and brands, so you might need to first get yourself acquainted with this tool before proceeding. You can read the manuals and read some reviews about it so you will know what to expect as you use it.
Be sure to wear protective gears, as well, such as gloves for your hands’ protection and safety goggles to make sure that no foreign object will get in contact with your eyes. You can also wear a shirt with long sleeves.
Tree trimming techniques
Although you can always trim a tree anytime you want to, it is highly advised that you do so during its dormant season. Of course, the only exception is when danger signs are already showing and trimming is the only way to prevent any accident from occurring. As much as possible, it is best to prune young branches as they are relatively easier to manage. When trimming the branches, go only for those that are narrow, V-shaped and weak. Branches with U-shaped angles are strong and they should be kept as it is unless potentially infected or damaged.
It is wrong to cut or trim too close to the tree’s trunk. These cuts are too large and can greatly delay the wound from sealing. On the other hand, cutting too far from the trunk will leave an ugly stub, and this stub can be used by insects as an entry point. The best way to do it is to cut just outside the collar of the branch, as it contains chemicals that help in speeding the formation of callus tissues. These tissues are responsible for sealing the wound. This same technique can also be used when pruning living and dead branches.
Additional tips to consider
Woods and branches that are already dead or dying can be pruned anytime. This can be easily spotted when the branches are already leafless in the summer. It also helps to dip your chainsaw blades and other equipment into a bleaching solution or any other household cleaner to make sure that you avoid the disease or infection from spreading. If you are still not a hundred percent sure as to when will be the best time to prune or trim your trees, you can always check any gardening resource that is available in your area. Dormant season sometimes depends on your geographic location, so might as well ask the experts first just to be really sure.
These tips and techniques should be able to help you on how to trim trees. With the right knowledge and of course, the right tools, you can actually perform this task on your own and feel accomplished in the end.
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