Trees add value and beauty to a property. If your property has trees, it’s not only a responsibility, but a pleasure to keep them trimmed for optimal growth. As trees grow and develop branches and develop more weight, it becomes harder for them to bear their own load. Here are some great tips on how to trim trees:
Best Time to Trim
To promote good growth, trees need timely and effective trimming. The correct time to trim your trees depends on the type:
- Deciduous and Fruit Trees should be trimmed when dormant.
- Flowering trees should be trimmed after the blooms fade.
- Evergreens should be trimmed during their growing season, or spring.
Trees tend to grow in random bursts and fits. Often, as trees grow, their limbs and branches can out-strip the strength of the trunk and become dangerous in unpredictable weather. To keep your trees stable, strong and aesthetically pleasing, a good trim goes a long way.
Hire a Professional or DIY?
When you are ready to have your trees trimmed, you can either hire a local, reputable tree-trimming service, or undertake the trim yourself. When deciding this question, consider these great tree trimming tips.
The Right Service
If you choose to hire a service, it’s a good idea to have some down-to-earth considerations in mind. Because a stray tree limb with too much weight can cause considerable and costly damage, ensure the service you hire meets a few basic requirements:
- Ensure the service you are considering is fully insured against accidents and damages, including Workman’s Compensation, in case of an accident.
- Make sure the service has experience and expertise in tree-trimming and removal of the residual limbs.
- Avoid services demanding payment in advance. Any reputable service should be willing to provide a free estimate of the cost, as well as a written contract detailing the tree-trimming job. Make sure that the contract covers trimming, as well as disposal of limbs, accident coverage and other aspects of the job.
- Ensure the company you hire practices safety first.
- Ensure the company accounts for how the limbs fall to the ground. Since a stray limb can be a very heavy object, it’s best to ensure it falls safely, and not on the neighbors car, telephone or utility wires.
Do It Yourself
Knowing how to trim trees can be very beneficial. If you decide to tackle the tree-trimming yourself, it’s important to gather the correct tools. At the very least, you’ll need:
- Hand-held pruner
- Larger lopping shears
- Handsaw or Chainsaw
- Eyeglasses that meet ANSI standards for eye protection
- Trash bags or container to dispose of trimmed branches
When deciding what to trim, keep the following tree trimming tips in mind:
- Remove dead or diseased branches.
- Identify crisscrossing branches and remove at least one.
- Remove branches pointing inward to avoid overcrowding.
- Find the limbs that make the tree look odd-shaped and trim to a pleasing shape.
- Remove limbs too close to the house, car, or garage to limit damage during windy weather.
- Raise the canopy by removing branches below head-height for mature trees.
- Cut above where the branch attaches to the tree, be very careful to not cut the actual connection to allow the tree to heal.
- For large branches, start a foot away from the trunk and cut 1/3 through from the bottom of the branch. Then, starting from the top, cut through the rest of the branch. Cutting in this way protects the trunk bark. When the branch is removed, it is time to remove the stub above the branch collar (where the branch widens out to the connecting branch). Cutting in this way will allow the tree to heal over the wound and continue to grow.
When you trim your trees, you have the opportunity to create a pleasingly aesthetic shape on your property. You don’t have to create the gardens of a mansion, but you certainly can create a pleasing shape for your tree.
Whatever your goals, trimming your trees is an important part of home ownership. Healthy trees increase your property value, and can increase the enjoyment of your home. In addition, healthy trees can insure against damage to your property during harsh weather. We hope you have enjoyed our tree trimming tips and have learned some great suggestions on how to trim trees.