How Do You Trim a Tree the Right Way?
How do you trim a tree the right way? Every gardening enthusiast has probably asked this question at some point, and the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
As one of the go-to tree trimming and pruning services in New Smyrna Beach, FL, we at T&K Tree Service & Stump Grinding know our way around branches like sailors know their knots. Keep reading as we explain the finer points of the practice and help uncover your landscape’s full potential.
Use the Right Equipment
The last thing you want is to find yourself midway through a job and realize you’re unprepared. Assemble your arsenal of tools ahead of time to avoid any hiccups:
- Hand pruners for small twigs and branches
- Loppers for bigger limbs
- Pole pruners for those out of reach
- Goggles or similar safety gear to protect your eyes from debris and dust
- Leather gloves for protection and grip
- A sturdy ladder if you’re tackling tall varieties
Keep every cutting tool sharp for clean pruning cuts that heal quickly, and sanitize them between different specimens to prevent any disease spread.
Make Strategic Cuts
How do you trim a tree the right way? You start by identifying the right limbs to remove:
- Suckers, or the small shoots growing near the base of the tree
- Limbs that cross or rub against each other, causing unnecessary stress and potential damage
- Deadwood, diseased, or infested branches
- Branches that endanger structures or passersby
Top Pruning Guidelines
Follow these few tried-and-true pruning tips to keep your green giants thriving:
Find the Right Moment
Generally, late winter or early spring is the ideal time for pruning. This period allows wounds to heal quickly, readying the tree for vigorous growth in spring. For species that blossom in early spring, hold off until after they’ve put on their floral show.
Make Downward Cuts
When you make flat cuts, you create a perfect little reservoir for water to gather. Over time, this pool becomes a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria, which could lead to disease and decay.
Always aim to make your cuts at a slight angle, downward, and away from the tree. This way, any rainwater that lands on the pruned area will simply run off rather than pooling and causing problems.
Prune by the Branch Collar
The branch collar is the swollen part where the branch connects with the trunk. Look for a ridge, circle, or spot with a thicker bark if you have trouble identifying it. Always cut outside of this area to encourage the wound to heal properly.
Consult a Local Tree Health Expert
How do you trim a tree without prior experience? If you don’t want to risk damaging your favorite specimen or endangering yourself, our crew at T&K Tree Service & Stump Grinding can help.