How to Properly Prune Your Trees to Promote Healthy Growth
Planting trees on your property not only beautifies the property, it also value to your investment. There will be times when you need to prune the tree branches to help the tree maintain healthy growth or for other reasons including safety and aesthetics.
Pruning can also promote the production of more robust and healthy fruits, and add to the value of the timber. Pruning for safety allows you to remove tree branches that pose threats to bodily harm due to falling branches, interfere with power and cable lines or block direct lines of sight to streets and driveways.
Pruning for health reasons could involve removing diseased branches, insects-infested stems, thinning the crown to improve airflow to lower the chance of pest infestation and removing crossing obstacles. Pruning also helps lower the chances of severe property damage during thunderstorms, windstorms or hurricanes for those living in regions known for these natural occurrences. But perhaps the best reason for tree pruning is to encourage the growth of strong structure in your trees.
Pruning for aesthetics serves to improve the natural form and character of your trees, and add to better flower production.
Whatever your reason for pruning your trees; to improve form, structure, health or appearance, it is important that you do it right. Failing to do so could expose your tree to damage or worse, premature death.
How Do You Trim a Tree?
There are so many ways to properly trim a tree but ensuring that unnecessary damage is not done to the tree should be the uppermost consideration. Careful consideration should be given to the end result before the pruning process begins.
Crown thinning is one way of properly pruning your trees and it involves cutting the branches or stems at the node; this is the point at which one branch attaches to the other.
If the aim is to promote free air flow by selectively removing branches (or crowns), then care should be taken to maintain the tree’s form and structure. Do not remove more than is necessary. If more branches need to removed, it is better to do so in successive years instead of one time. This allows the tree to retain its structure and avoid unnecessary stress. It also lowers the possibility of excessive production of epicormic sprouts.
Another reason for pruning your tree is to raise the crown. This is known as crown raising and it is the practice of cutting tree branches or removing tree branches from the bottom or lower part of the crown. This could be done to provide clearance for pedestrians, vehicular traffic and buildings or to improve lines of sight to the walkway or street.
Crown raising could also help prevent tree diseases. For example, pruning lower branches on white pines can stop or lower the chances of blister rust. Crown- raising your tree could also allow you to meet your local municipal ordinances.
Trees are also pruned to reduce the crown. This is the process known as Crown Reduction or Drop Crouch Pruning. This is often applicable where a tree has grown too large for the given space and is employed to help the tree minimize stress, maintain a more natural appearance and meet height requirements.
Crown reduction pruning should be the last resort because it could result in decay as a result of the injury to the crown. If your tree can be safely removed and relocated, that is preferable because crown reducing your tree could cause it to wilt.