Trimming trees is a mess most people would prefer not to have to deal with. Leaving dead tree branches on a tree however makes the tree aesthetically unpleasing and a hazard to your home and yard environment. The best time to take note of tree limbs that are ready to be trimmed is near the end of the summer season right before the leaves drop. It is easier to note dead limbs while the leaves are still intact on the living limbs. Mark the limbs and after the foliage has dropped it will be easier to maneuver in and around the tree to cut the dead limbs.
There are a few reasons you may want to trim limbs and branches that are still alive. If you note that a limb is diseased, crossing over another limb, rubbing on other branches, growing inward or over a structure the limb should most likely be removed. It sounds simple enough to cut the branches off of the tree however there is a right way and a wrong way to prune trees. A tree will recover quickly when trimmed in the correct manner however cut the limbs incorrectly and you may be creating a snowball effect of negative consequences.
Below I will present you with the proper way to cut tree limbs to ensure the health of the tree is not disturbed during the process.
The first step is to make sure you don’t cut the branch close to the trunk. Make sure the first cut on the branch is done one to two feet from the trunk and make sure to begin the cut from the underside of the limb only about a third of the way through the branch.
Next you will want to make a second cut on the outside of where the initial cut was made. This cut can be made all the way through the branch. It will break away as you saw the limb, since the initial cut was made this will allow the branch to fall off without tearing any of the trees bark away. If the bark were to tear off the tree it would make the area that is left exposed susceptible to disease and would leave an access entry way for bugs and tree pests.
The final cutting process is done by cutting the bit of limb that is left where the branch meets the trunk. This area will heal and “scab” over with new bark in the shape of a donut. This is how you know the tree is properly healing.
As previously mentioned the best time to remove limbs is after the leaves have fallen. The cooler weather that is present in the fall and winter months kills off diseases that are more prevalent in the summer months. Some trees, when cut, will ooze. This is unsightly and looks as if great harm is being caused to the tree however this is not true. The ooze is most common in beech, birch, elm, maple and yellowwood. Covering the wound with tree paint or other liquid sold as treatment in unnecessary. Trees can adapt to this condition and heal just fine if left alone and untreated.
Tree trimming and pruning limbs greatly improves the look and health of the trees and landscape. Don’t take shortcuts when trimming trees as larger problems can ensue if not done properly. If you are unsure of exactly what you should do even after reading this look into hiring a local tree removal contractor. They are equipped with everything to make trimming trees simple.