Are you trimming a tree yourself? You need to know the best ways to do it, or you could end up causing irreparable damage. Luckily, we are here to share the secret tree trimming tips of the professionals with you, so you don’t make mistakes.
From preparation to where and what to cut, we are here to help. Read on to find out our must-know 9 tree trimming tips.
1. Perform Tree Trimming Tips in Fall or Winter
One of the biggest mistakes people make is to trim their tree at the wrong time of year. It can be tempting to wait until the good weather arrives, but by then it is too late. The tree has already woke and is beginning its yearly cycle, so it is much better to prune in fall and winter.
Start by making sure you have the correct tools. You will need long-handled loppers for medium-sized branches, and shears for smaller ones. Before you begin, take some time to sharpen them.
Next, look at the tree and decide what needs to be removed. Mark out the main branches, so you do not accidentally tamper with the structure of the tree. Then take a walk around the tree, observing it from numerous angles before you get started.
Make sure you stay safe. Wear gloves, protective eyewear, and any other protective clothing you may require.
3. Prune Before Trimming – Tree Trimming Tips
Pruning and trimming are two very different things. Pruning is the process of taking away small parts and cuttings. Trimming is the removal of larger branches.
Start pruning before you begin a large trimming session. Take away any clutter from the base of the tree or roots. Follow this up by pruning any dead twigs and leaves.
On younger trees, prune any smaller branches that are taking light from the main branch or competing with it. Then cut out any upright, weak clusters of branches.
4. Cut Correctly
When cutting any branches, the first thing you need to do is locate the collar. This is the swollen, enlarged part under a branch that is the connector between itself and the main tree. This is a great reference point from which to begin.
If cutting smaller, thinner branches then cut just in front of the collar. This works mainly for branches that are less than one inch in diameter.
For larger branches, your cut also needs to be made in front of the collar. You do not want to chop the collar itself, but you need to be close enough to avoid a large stump being left.
5. Don’t Trim Diseased Trees
Diseased trees are bad news. Many of them are often untreatable, and diseases can spread quickly throughout an area. No matter how you trim them, it is unlikely that you will be able to stop the spread of the infection.
Wounds caused by tree trimming actually increase the chances of other trees becoming infected. If you have a diseased tree, consult an expert, and be prepared for the fact that the best solution may be to cut it down.
6. Take Into Account the Branch Weight
The branch weight is extremely important, as misunderestimating it could result in serious injury to yourself and anyone assisting you. If you think a branch may be too heavy, then call in a professional. Do not attempt any cutting of larger branches while up a ladder without the correct safety equipment.
When making a cut, the first incision should be on the underside just slightly past the collar. Do not go too far in, as this could cause cracking of the collar if the weight is too much. Then switch to a cut from above, meeting halfway.
The branch will fall off and leave a stump. You can then cut the stump away, and the tree will be ready to heal.
7. Never Trim More Than 25%
In one session, you should never trim more than 25% of the trees canopy. Doing so can weaken the tree and it can even die from stress. You will find that pruning it incorrectly, or pruning too often, can cause these problems.
Always avoid making any cuts on the collar of a branch. This part is integral to the growth of the tree, making sure the wound properly heals when cut. If not, the tree becomes prone to infection and disease.
8. Clean Your Tools – Tree Trimming Tips
When moving from one tree to another, always make sure to clean any of your tools thoroughly. Even with healthy trees, it is best to rub the tools with a cloth soaked in mild disinfectant. Trees that look healthy may actually still have problems, and this could spread if you do not wash tools.
When trimming diseased trees, it becomes even more vital. Rub household cleaner or alcohol on your tool each time you cut an infected branch. This prevents the transfer of diseases from one part of the tree to another.
9. Avoid Large Trees
Pruning larger trees is definitely not recommended. There is a very serious threat of injury, particularly if you are not experienced and do not have the correct safety equipment. If you are using ladders, without the harnesses and correct tethering you may fall with tools in hand, with disastrous consequences.
In this situation, it is best to call a specialist. They will have all the expertise and equipment required to do the job safely and professionally.
The defining factor when using these tree trimming tips is that everything you do for the tree should encourage growth. This should be not just for the tree, but in the surrounding areas, be it your yard or a large public space.
If you need help with your tree, then call Grace Tree Service. We are a family-owned business that has operated in the Kokomo area for the last 20 years. Contact us today for a quote, so we can remove your trees or stumps, and let your garden begin to grow!