Most people who own properties in rural area have a wide variety of trees on their property. These trees offer beauty and shade, and they also remove carbon dioxide from the environment. If you want your trees to remain healthy, then you should prune them regularly. If you know very little about tree pruning, then hiring a professional is your best option. Although this is true, you may decide to attempt the pruning yourself. If you do this, then you may make quite a few mistakes. This can result in the death of your trees, so try to keep mistakes to a minimum by reading about some of the common errors below.
Mistake # 1 - Cutting Branches Flush with the Trunk
Many people think that they need to prune tree branches so that cuts are flush with the trunk or the branch of the tree. You may think that this will minimize weight or you might believe that tree damage will be minimized with this type of cut. In reality, you are causing a much larger wound to the tree that cannot be repaired if you make a clean cut.
Trees repair tissue damage in a very unique way. Regrowth does not occur at the base of the cut like you may think, but new growth actually occurs around the cut to cover the exposed tissues. This helps to prevent the heartwood or the inner wood tissues from rotting. Bark growth also prevents microorganism and parasite infestations. The bark can only grow around the cut if you leave the branch collar in place. The collar is where the branch attaches to the trunk or the larger branch of the tree.
To locate the branch collar, inspect the base of the branch and look for wrinkles along the bend. The collar is the entire wrinkled area of the base. If you do not see wrinkles or indentations in the bark, then measure three or four inches out from the base of a large branch. If the branch is small, then measure out one or two inches. The edge of the collar or the end of your measurement will be where you should make your cut.
Mistake # 2 - Pruning in the Spring
Many people believe that they should prune their trees in the spring so they can prevent new growth during the spring and summer months. This is generally not wise, because many trees form buds during the spring. Trees use a great deal of their energy reserves to grow these buds, and removing the budded branches will result in the waste of this energy. This can result in poor growth for the remainder of the year.
Trees can actually be pruned almost anytime outside of the initial budding and growth period, but most arborists say that the fall and winter months are the best time to prune. Most trees are dormant once they lose their leaves, and removing branches will allow the trees to provide good nutrition to the remaining branches through their root systems. This will keep the remaining branches healthy so they can grow leaves and new branches next year.
When you prune in the fall or winter, you will also be able to see branches more clearly without leaves getting in the way. This can help you to make better decisions on which branches should be removed.
Mistake # 3 - Removing the Top of the Tree
If you notice that one of your trees has grown very large and wide, then you may become concerned about property damage and falling limbs. In some cases, people feel that they can remedy this concern by removing the entire top portion of a tree. It may seem reasonable that a tree that is shorter and thinner is less likely to release large branches on a home or car. Unfortunately, when you trim a tree in this manner, you are actually removing the strongest limbs from the tree. New branches are much more likely to break off or crack, and this means your tree will be more dangerous when new branches start to grow at the top of the tree.
The best way to prune a tree is to remove branches evenly from all parts of the tree. Smaller branches should be removed, unless bigger ones appear dead or rotten. When trimming, try not to remove as much growth from the upper canopy. You may think that this will allow sunlight to shine through. This sunlight can actually damage new bark that forms on the tree. As you prune, stop cutting when you have removed about 20% or 25% of the smaller branches.
If you want to prune the trees on your property, then you should probably call a professional tree trimmer or look at a site like http://shadywoodtreeexperts.com. If you decide that you want to prune yourself, then make sure that you do not make the common mistakes that are described above.