When it comes to tree pruning, it can appear that it is as straightforward as just cutting off some overhanging branches. However, that is not the case, as tree trimming should be undertaken with care in order to maintain the health of the tree.

The main reasons to prune a tree

Typically, trees are trimmed for one of three reasons; health, safety, or aesthetics. When it comes to tree health, there is no reason to completely remove an infected tree. Strategically trimming away infected limbs and branches can go a long way to saving a tree.

Safety is another reason to prune, with dead and broken limbs posing a risk if they should fall. Tree limbs can also interfere with traffic on narrow roads as well as grow close to power lines.

When it comes to aesthetics, trimming a tree will help it maintain its shape and appearance, but you should avoid pruning too much to avoid damaging the tree.

Tree pruning tips

Generally speaking, the optimum time to prune a tree is when it is in its dormant season, although it is possible to prune pine trees at any time of the year, it is still good advice to wait until it is dormant.

Be aware of the size of the branches and limbs you are going to trim. The rule-of-thumb here is that if the limb is less than 5cm in diameter, it is fine to remove it. If the branch is between 5cm and 10cm in diameter then you should leave it be, whereas any limb over 10cm in diameter should be left well alone, unless leaving it in place would be dangerous.

Crown thinning

This involves pruning a tree in order to reduce the overall bulk of the tree and is the most regular trimming carried out on mature trees. This kind of trimming helps with air circulation and airflow.

The proper way to prune a tree limb

Cutting small branches with hand tools are going to encourage new growth in the future, so make sure that you cut each limb 0.635cm above a bud that faces the outside of the tree as this will be the direction of any new growth. Also, it is important to remember to cut at a 45-degree angle to prevent disease and water damage.

If you’re looking for local professional tree surgery services, get in touch with South Downs Tree Services Ltd today.