For instance, when trees are trimmed by professionals, the cost of hiring a tree service is far less than the cost of removing an entire tree altogether when it has become diseased or otherwise hazardous. Trimming also increases the life expectancy of certain types of trees that may have otherwise fallen victim to pests or other conditions that could shorten their lifespan.
Why is there a need to trim or prune?
The main reason that owners have their trees professionally trimmed and/or pruned is to improve the health, safety, and aesthetics of their trees. Trees are an investment in your home’s landscape. Generally, when people notice that there is something wrong with the look or performance of their trees, they automatically think that they need to be “trimmed” which is not always true!
Health and Safety
The most important reason for tree trimming and/or pruning is to maintain a clear trunk pathway that allows people, vehicles, and equipment to move around the tree. Keeping a healthy growing zone can also help to allow more airflow into the canopy of the tree which reduces pest infestations.
In terms of aesthetics, trees naturally produce dead branches and leaves, so it is perfectly okay to cut these off. Prune living branches every 6-12 inches in diameter to help control the size of your tree, but don’t remove more than 1/3 of any one branch at a time.
Safety Steps in Trimming and Pruning
Tree trimming may seem like an easy task, but there are ways to make it safer and more effective.
Step 1: Tree Type
Know your tree species types. Cypress trees require very little pruning care because they only shed dead limbs naturally. Pine trees do not shed limbs naturally at all so you must be careful when removing branches or needles will fall.
Step 2: Weather Forecast
Check the weather forecast. When it is very windy you should not do any tree trimming because strong winds are risky for nearby houses and people. If there are heavy rains in the next day or two, don’t prune trees until dry weather returns.
Step 3: Choosing Equipment
Choose the right equipment for your task. Pruning saws are typically the best tool for tree pruning because they can cut small branches without tearing them.
Step 4: Be Mindful
Always keep an eye out for bystanders and other people in the area. Pruning trees near driveways or sidewalks is dangerous if anyone walks by because limbs can fall into their path unexpectedly.
Step 5: Appropriate Clothing
Wear appropriate clothing. Wear thick gardening gloves, long sleeve shirts, and pants when pruning trees. You should also wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from falling debris.
Step 6: Tie a Knot
Know how to tie a secure knot. You can use a figure eight or clove hitch to tie tree branches onto the tree so they don’t fall again until you are ready for them too.
Step 7: Disposing Properly
Dispose of tree debris properly. If you live in an area where bears or other wildlife are living outside the city, keep all your pruned branches inside until trash day to prevent animals from eating them and becoming sick. Other places may have rules against burning wood or yard waste, so check that out before adding it to the fireplace or campfire.
Step 8: Be Careful when Climbing
Be careful when climbing ladders to prune trees. Make sure the ladder is stable before you climb up on it and never do so if someone else is holding it for you. When sawing off branches on an especially tall tree, tie a rope around your waist so if you slip while cutting limbs, someone can pull you back to safety.
Step 9: Talk to an Arborist
Always talk with a qualified arborist if you have any questions about tree trimming or pruning. When in doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
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