Trees are perhaps the most eye-catching component in any landscaped property, and therefore, it’s pretty important that they are as beautiful as they can possibly be. Pruning is an essential part of any tree maintenance program, and if you want to get your property in tip-top shape, then it’s something that should be done regularly.
It is also a task however, that takes a lot of time, energy and know-how. Without the proper tools, physical strength and knowledge – tree pruning can be a dangerous undertaking, and thus, many property owners choose to use experienced professionals for their tree maintenance.
First and foremost, pruning is necessary to ensure that your trees are as healthy as they can be. Thinning a dense tree or bush allows more light and oxygen in, which in turn helps the tree fight off numerous diseases and fungi. Dead, diseased and broken branches can be removed to prevent further spread of insect damage and disease. More damage can be avoided by eliminating crossing branches.
As you can see, pruning your tree is definitely not just for aesthetic purposes but forms an important practical part of tree maintenance that will ultimately keep your trees healthy.
Aesthetics and shape
This is one of the primary reasons that property owners prune, trim and maintain their trees and hedges: they simply want them to look good. Trees can be the crowning jewel of your garden, and it is completely understandable that you want them to wow your visitors. Trees can be cut and manipulated into specific looks and even shapes (however this depends on the type of tree of course) – or simply trimmed to keep them neat and tidy.
Aesthetics are a large part of why trees get pruned, and with their potential to really stand out on your property, it’s of little wonder that you would want them to look amazing.
Safety and growth
Pruning is also an excellent way to ensure that your trees maintain a strong and healthy structure. Low hanging branches can be walked into, protrude onto sidewalks, or cause structural damage on walls and fences. Old and dead branches are a safety hazard, as they will – at some stage – fall out of the tree. Removing these old, damaged and dead branches is an important part of maintaining high safety standards on your property.
Tree maintenance and pruning is a great way to stimulate healthy growth in sparse areas of the tree, and it is also an effective way to restrict or control areas where there is too much growth or where space is restricted.
If you are pruning to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches, then it’s best to get pruning as soon as possible. However, general pruning for tree maintenance should be done in late winter or early spring if possible – this will result in vigorous growth and lots of new green buds. If you are pruning to slow or dwarf the growth of a tree, then the best time is to wait for seasonal growth to finish, so this is usually in summer.
Before you get started on pruning your trees, you should have a solid plan in place about what part of the tree you are going to prune and what equipment you are going to use. Hand pruners, loppers and and a pruning saw should be all the equipment that you need for a simple pruning job.
You would do well to remember that you are wounding the tree when you prune it, and while it is beneficial when done correctly – a bad pruning job can be very damaging. Trees use a chemical to ‘cauterize’ and seal their wounds, which results in thick callus-like bark growing around and over the wounded area. They do this to seal the area off from infection and decay that may occur from an open cut.
This chemical is found in two areas of the tree: the bark ridge and branch collar. The branch collar is the raised area found at the base of a branch and the bark ridge is the area where the branch and the tree meet. You need to cut close to these areas but try and avoid actually cutting them at all costs – this could damage the tree’s sealing capabilities and the tree could start to decay.
While it is fairly simple to trim or prune small shrubs, trees and branches – it is advisable to hire professionals if your tree maintenance is anything bigger than that, as it can be extremely dangerous.
To find out more about tree maintenance, plant selection and everything else you need to know about maintaining your commercial property, download our guide: Landscape Maintenance Guide for a Commercial Property Owner.