Last Chance for Major Tree Trimming Before Spring


There are a couple of very good reasons to trim your trees. First of all, trimming trees encourages them to grow strong and healthy. If you have large trees on your property or are growing saplings that will one day be large trees, you want them to be strong and healthy in order to withstand harsh weather and not come crashing down, especially if they are located around your house or other structures.

Secondly, proper tree trimming adds aesthetic beauty to your property. Instead of having very tall and scraggly trees that are not so appealing, you create a fuller tree with great structure that are lovely to gaze at. An added benefit to full, structured trees is that they can withstand a great deal of wind and provide a lot of shade.

When to Trim

The rule of thumb for most trees is that they should be pruned from late Fall through March 1st for major pruning. Minor pruning can be done year round.

It is advisable to do some arbor research before pulling out the pruners. You can glean tree-specific information from online, through books or the library, or by consulting a professional arborist.

Major Tree Trimming

In some cases, tree growth has gotten out of hand and needs major trimming. Major tree trimming requires a bit different approach than normal trimming.

The first step is to remove all scraggly, weak, and dead branches, cutting them flush with large branches or the trunk.

You want to reduce the size of the full canopy by approximately a third, but you should begin by cutting growth on the outer portions of larger branches and work your way in to the target point. Cutting smaller portions makes removal easier as well as relieving tension gradually which is much safer.

Try to keep overall trimming as symmetrical as possible for the best results in appearance. Any branches you want to remove totally should be cut flush with the larger branch being left. Avoid cutting a branch at mid point. Always try to find a joint to make the cut.

A long deep watering after pruning is always good. Consider fertilizing the tree around April 15th.

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