Tips and Techniques For Tree Trimming and Pruning Success

If you learn the basics of tree trimming, you may be able to do a lot of this kind of work yourself. There are a number of good tree trimming tricks and pruning methods that can help you keep your trees in great shape year after year. With the right equipment and knowledge, you can trim and prune trees as they need it to keep their looks and health tiptop and eliminate many tree safety and health issues.

There are a lot of tree trimming techniques people swear by, but if you want to do your own tree trimming, there are a few basics that will help you keep your trees in order. If these techniques sound like too much work with your busy schedule, you can still hire a professional tree service company to do the work for you. Read our guide that follows for helpful information.

Reasons Trees Need to be Trimmed or Pruned

There are three main reasons trees need to be trimmed:

  • Aesthetics. Trees that are correctly pruned or trimmed look better. Sticking to a natural shape for the type of tree is the best practice.
  • Safety. Dead or damaged branches and tree limbs can fall without warning, causing serious safety hazards. Branches can fall on a car and obstruct the driver’s vision, causing a dangerous situation. Branches can grow too close to power lines and need to be trimmed by the power company crews.
  • Tree health. Trees in the beginning stages of insect infestation or disease can sometimes be saved by strategic pruning of the infected branches. Improving the airflow through the tree by trimming branches at the tree crown can improve tree health. Branches that are rubbing against each other or damaged should be trimmed and removed so they do not fall and damage property or cause injuries.

Some Basic Tree Trimming Tips

  • In most cases, trees should be pruned and trimmed during their dormant season in late winter. Technically, trees can be trimmed at any time, but it is better during their dormant time. One exception to this rule is when a hazard exists or storm damage occurs.
  • The size of branches matters. It is better to remove branches that are less than five centimeters in diameter. Larger branches should not be removed unless there is a very good reason. When larger branches need attention, it might be better to call a tree expert.
  • Stick to trimming branches that have weak, narrow, or V-shaped angles. Keep the branches with U-shaped angles. Lateral branches need to be one-half to three-quarters the diameter of the branch they are attached to.
  • When you are done pruning a tree, the ratio of the living crown to tree height should be about two-thirds.
  • Try to trim offending branches when they are young and easier to manage. It leaves fewer scars on the tree.
  • Don’t trim branches too long or too close because you don’t want to leave a large stub or remove the branch collar.

Basic Tips For Tree Pruning

Here are a few tree pruning tips and methods to guide you when you are planning on pruning a tree. They are also good for basic tree trimming care and maintenance knowledge.

Crown Thinning

When thinning the crown of a tree follow these tips:

  • Keep all lateral branches as evenly spaced as you can, especially with young trees.
  • Prune branches that cross other branches or rub against other branches.
  • Be sure not to remove more than one-forth of a tree’s crown at one time. If more branches need to be removed, spread the job over a few years.

Crown Raising

This is to make more clearance at the bottom of the tree for pedestrians or to remove obstructing branches. This is accomplished by carefully pruning the tree. You will need to keep the live branches on at least two-thirds of a tree’s height. If too many branches are removed near the lower part of a tree, it may not be able to grow a strong stem.

Crown Reduction

  • When removing foliage from the crown of a tree, do not remove more than half or remove the whole branch.
  • Only reduce the crown of a tree if it really needs it, and prune lateral branches that are more than one-third the diameter of a stem that needs to be removed.

Techniques For Tree Trimming

Here are tree rimming and pruning basic techniques to learn:

  • Before you make a cut, look for the branch collar. It grows from the stem tissue located at the base of a branch. Locate the branch ridge on the upper surface of a branch. It will be parallel to the branch angle at its stem.
  • Make sure to always make cuts outside the branch ridge, and then angle the cut down and away from the branch stem. Do not injure the branch collar.
  • Use the same care and method to trim dead branches as living branches.
  • There is a three-cut technique for longer branch stems. This involves making a cut on the side of the stem that faces away from the branch that will be kept. A second cut is made inside the crotch of the branch and above the branch ridge. Finally, a third cut will remove the stub by cutting through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge.

If these tips are confusing, and you are not sure what you need to do to prune and trim your trees effectively, don’t risk your trees—call a professional tree service like Burnaby Tree Surgeons from Burnaby. It is better to spend a some money on professional tree care than to ruin your trees with improper trimming and pruning. We are qualified arborists with extensive experience in tree service with proper licenses and insurance.

What Will Tree Trimming cost?

Trimming and pruning trees helps them to look their best and retain their health to live longer. Trimming trees removes dead and damage branches to keep trees healthy and safe. The cost of tree trimming depends on different factors, including the size and type of tree, what condition it is in, and where it is located.

Call Burnaby Tree Surgeons to discuss your tree problem and get a free estimate for the needed tree services.