Tree pruning is a common and important part of tree maintenance. Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood and unappreciated by the general public. This article aims to provide some insight into ten things about tree pruning that we should all keep in mind next time we see someone working on a leafy green behemoth.
1) Tree pruning is not the same thing as tree trimming.
Tree pruning is performed to remove dead, dying, and diseased parts of trees in order to increase their lifespan. It also helps manage overcrowding and improve airflow, both of which can help limit the infestation of disease and pests on a tree.
Trimming, on the other hand, is intended to shape trees. It may also involve the removal of dead wood, but it does not improve or protect the tree in any way.
2) Tree pruning is an important part of overall tree maintenance.
Tree pruning reduces the amount of potentially hazardous limbs and branches on a tree, which helps reduce risk to people and property around it. It also increases airflow through a tree canopy, lessening the likelihood that pests will infect all parts of the plant.
But perhaps most importantly of all, removing dead or dying material will help prevent irreparable damage to the whole tree when the time comes for more invasive procedures like cabling—which strengthens weak areas in a trunk by attaching cables to either side of it—and crown reduction—which reduces the size of a tree’s canopy.
3) It’s all about proper timing.
The best time to prune a tree is when it begins to grow new shoots, leaves, and blossoms in the springtime. Avoiding this critical growth period will not only reduce the chances of full recovery but can also shorten the life expectancy of your plant by removing flowers and leaves that would have otherwise provided nourishment throughout the year without human intervention.
4) You should never attempt to perform tree pruning on your own unless you’re an expert with years of training and experience under your belt.
Do-it-yourselfers should stick to tree trimming (see above). Tree pruning requires specialized knowledge and training to perform safely, and without causing injury to yourself or additional damage to the tree. A professional will know how to judge exactly where on a tree it is best to remove foliage so that branches are stripped away from energy-producing areas like the heart of the plant itself.
5) Any reputable arborist should be able to help you with your pruning needs.
Tree care companies can set up regularly scheduled visits for pruning services (usually in late springtime); they may also provide one-time consultations, especially when homeowners need help removing dead trees. A professional arborist’s services typically range from basic trimming and thinning of your tree’s canopy, all the way up to crown reduction or cabling depending on what is required for your specific tree.
Over time, repeated pruning can actually help make a tree grow in a more aesthetically pleasing way. However, only an experienced arborist will be able to advise you on when and how often to prune your trees in order to preserve their health without compromising appearance or function.
6) Pruning a tree is a complex process.
Removing anything other than dead, broken, diseased, or dying branches can change the way your tree grows and even damage its internal structure. As such, pruning should only be performed by an experienced professional who knows exactly what they’re doing.
7) Most healthy trees don’t require extensive pruning at all.
In fact, given that neglecting necessary pruning can lead to disease and infestation within your canopy, it’s important to only trim as much as you need to in order to keep things safe and looking sharp. Prune sparingly and let nature do the rest!
8) Pruning services cost money whether you hire an arborist or do it yourself—so make sure you know what’s involved before taking on the task yourself.
Basic pruning services can run anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour for an arborist, while DIY-ers should expect to spend between $20 and $40 per tree depending on how much work is necessary. Remember that it’s almost always cheaper to trim your trees than remove them entirely, so if you’re considering removing a tree altogether, consult with an arborist first!
9) Pruning is a great way to enhance the overall appearance of your yard or public space.
From making a property look more modern and sleek, to restoring an image of wildness by bringing disorder back into an otherwise perfectly cared-for landscape, there are many reasons why people choose to prune their trees! As long as it’s done right, you should feel free to give your yard (or other outdoor spaces) some much-needed attention with regular pruning services every now and then.
Remember that while trimming will help keep your canopy healthy and beautiful throughout all seasons, only an experienced arborist should be performing more complex pruning jobs—and the reason is very clear. Pruning is dangerous work that should be left to trained professionals who know what they’re doing!