In addition to watering and feeding, many trees require periodic trimming and pruning to keep them looking their best. Neglected and overgrown trees often pose a safety hazard, as well as making yards and parks look unkempt and unattractive. Your overall landscape design, and the types of trees you grow, helps determine how often your trees require pruning and shaping. Keep your yard looking its best by performing this landscaping task as part of your regular yard care.
Tree trimming maintains the shape of trees, removes damaged limbs, and encourages new growth. Trees in manicured lawns require frequent trimming, while those in naturalized landscapes often require only the removal of broken or dead branches. Trimming fruit and nut trees encourages them to produce a plentiful harvest.
While you should remove damaged growth throughout the year, the timing of periodic trimming depends on the variety of trees you grow. As a general rule, trim non-flowering trees during the dormant season to reduce the possibility of damaging your trees. Prune fruit trees and blossoming varieties right after the flowers fade.
Pruning shears work well on young trees and small branches, while larger growth requires sturdier tools. Limb saws have curved ends with sturdy teeth, allowing you to saw quickly through branches. Long-handle attachments allow you to reach tall branches. Power tools, such as chain saws, easily cut through large tree branches and trunks.
Trimming your tree correctly ensures a minimal amount of damage to your trees. Shape trees and prune living branches by cutting the limbs just outside the branch collar, the area of thick growth near the trees' trunks. Cut broken and damaged branches above the affected growth, removing the spoiled portion. Disinfect your tools between cuts with a diluted solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.
Cutting large trees and overhead branches pose a hazard to homeowners. Trees near power lines and other structures, as well as hollow trees and leaning trees, also increase the risk of accidents. Trim small trees and low branches yourself, while hiring a professional tree trimming service to prune large trees and trees growing in hazardous locations.