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When Trimming Your Trees​

When Trimming Your Trees

A single tree is provides enough oxygen for four people. So planting them in a highly urbanized city is beneficial for its residents. Trees are the perfect solution to increase privacy and provide a visually appealing garden layout. However, just like other plants, trees need care and maintenance. Specifically, trimming them is essential for healthy growth and to avoid accidents from falling branches. So, if you’re a tree owner, here are some things to remember when trimming your trees:

Tree owners often neglect the state of their tree. Unknowingly, diseases and pest infestations already penetrate the tree trunk. If ignored, they can be a hazard and cause property damages and accidents. Trimming trees is one solution to keep them healthy. To spot tree diseases look for:

  • Vertical cracks and seams on the trunk
  • Discoloration and deformation of leaves
  • Seeping fluid from the trunk or branches
  • Peeling/broken bark
  • Reduced foliage
  • Presence of termites
  • Changes on the soil around the tree
  • Remove dead tree parts
  • Avoid improper trim cuts
  • Trim trees at the right time

It is best to call for emergency arborists for a full tree checkup and they might provide solutions right away.

You cannot trim a tree with just scissors. Tree trimming requires cutting off branches, twigs and leaves. Thus, you need the right tools and equipment, such as shears, pruners and loppers, to finish the task. Moreover, it is vital to have a ladder for climbing and safety gears for protection.

Also, note that low quality and dirty tools can bring diseases on trees. They can be bearers of infectious fungi and bacteria. Meanwhile, improper cutting from unpolished and low-quality tools results in rough marks and wounds that attract tree diseases.

Local councils don’t permit irresponsible cutting of trees or their parts. So, depending on the kind of work, you need to get necessary permits. Different cities have different regulations. 

Trimming trees is not only limited to their foliage. It also involves cutting unwanted and dead branches and twigs. Fungi and bacteria are attracted to them. Moreover, they can potentially fall in your property and cause harm to you, your family, or passersby.

To remove dead limbs and twigs safely, cut them not more than 6mm from the bud to prevent dieback. However, large branches need more than one cut. For the first cut, make a partial cut on the bottom part, a few millimeters away from the branch origin. Then, make a second cut on top, few millimeters away from the first cut. After that, the branch will freely fall.

Trimming too close to the trunk or branch produces a flush cut. It destroys the trees natural defense mechanisms that lead to wound compartmentalization and callus formation.

On the other hand, trimming too far from a branch can leave a dead part on the tree. It invites disease organisms and becomes a passageway to enter the trunk, affecting the tree as a whole. Eventually, it could lead to decay or death of the tree.

The trimming volume for trees depends on their age. Young trees can lose 25% of their overall foliage. Meanwhile, mature trees can only withstand 15% of their foliage removed. As young trees have more energy and strength for recovery, that is not the case for old ones.

Trimming more than 15% of a mature tree’s foliage will lessen food and nutrient production within its system. Moreover, if mature trees get sick, losing their foliage may eventually lead to their death.

For more efficient growth, trimming trees at the right time is crucial. In particular, evergreen trees that don’t drop their leaves during autumn need shaving during their dormant season.

The perfect time for tree trimming is late winter/early spring:

In case trimming produces wounds, some recommend applying a dressing to them. They claim that it prevents decay, speeds up healing and enhances the appearance of the cut. But in reality, they hinder healing and invite rot organisms and pest infestations. So from now on, it is best to avoid putting dressing on tree wounds.

After trimming, remember to clean tree debris and green waste right away. These can become tripping hazards and cause accidents. Furthermore, leaving them for several days in the backyard can invite pests and rodents. These are threats to human health and the community’s sanitation system.

Let’s be honest. Most home owners don’t know the right procedures for tree trimming. Most of the time, they create more harm than good. Thus, getting in touch with expert arborists is crucial to maintain and keep your backyard trees healthy. From trivial methods of foliage trimming to extensive tasks such as chopping large and heavy branches, they have the right tools and equipment.