DIY Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning Tips & Techniques

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DIY Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning Tips & Techniques

Preforming regular tree maintenance will help your trees stay healthy, look better and be fruitful. Tree maintenance is more complex than most tree owners realize.  Learn how to prune and how to trim your tree. Trees come in all shapes, sizes, growth patterns and maintenance needs. Before anyone can pick-up a chainsaw and start cutting limbs and branches off, one must understand the needs and behaviour of that specific tree specie.

Most trees need pruning or trimming maintenance every 4 to 7 years, to stay healthy and thrive. For the correct maintenance of your trees, finding tree trimming and tree pruning specialists is critical.

Identify the Tree Species

If you will be pruning or trimming your own trees, then first identify the species you are trying to trim or prune. All trees come from 2 families, evergreen and deciduous. These 2 families have different trimming and pruning needs.

Deciduous trees are plants that completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season, and regrow them in the summer. In contrast to deciduous trees, evergreen trees are plants that stay green year long, they only lose a few leaves or needles at a time. When they do lose them, new ones grow back right away, so they have visible leaves year-round. These two families have different trimming and pruning needs, and different growth habits.

– Some of the most common deciduous trees found in Canada are: Maple, Oak, Poplar, Elm, Birch, Willow and Ash trees.

– Some of the most common evergreen trees found in Canada are: Pine, Spruce, Cedar and Juniper trees.

Getting the Right Tools

Once you know your trees’ pruning and trimming requirements, you have to use common tips and sound techniques to trim and prune the trees.

First, you will need specific tools:

  • If you are doing minor pruning, you will need pruning clippers. Pruning clippers come in different sizes; choose the correct size depending on the branch size you will be pruning.
  • For hedge pruning, you will need to purchase a hedge pruner. A hedge pruner will allow you to prune large hedges very quickly and with great cosmetic results.
  • For trimming branches, a professional tree trimmer will always use either a chainsaw or a pole saw. Both allow for great accuracy and give you the ability to trim large branches with ease.

Figuring Out What to Prune

Tree experts advise to check the health of all your trees annually. Some of the more common health and safety issue that require trimming or pruning of evergreen and deciduous trees are:

  • Over grown branches that could cause injury to people.
  • Over grown branches that are growing too close to electrical wires.
  • Over grown limbs too close to buildings or home.
  • Excessive or large dead limbs that could break-off. It is advised to begin corrective trimming of dead limbs before fall or winter, to help heal the wounds in the growing season.
  • Minor or major dieses and infestations that could damage or kill a tree, as in The Emerald Ash Borer.
  • Pruning for fruit growth. Pruning causes strong branching structure and direct fruit growth.
  • Pruning for flower growth. Pruning causes strong branching structure and direct flowers growth. Flowering trees blossom in early spring: after the flowers bloom during summer.
  • Hallo or peeling bark.
  • Removing Suckers & Water Sprouts, that shoot and arise from the trunk of a tree or from branches that are several years old, they take nutarians away from the tree.

Second, you will have to follow these safety tips and techniques for you and the tree:

  • Avoid moderate to severe pruning your trees from when it begins budding to when the leaves are fully formed, especially branches larger than 3 inches in diameter.
  • Avoid trimming main, vital limbs that could cause the death of the whole tree. Consult with a tree trimming and tree pruning expert on which limbs are vital to your trees before removing them.
  • Generally using a ladder is not the best option, but if you do, do not go up more than 6 feet high.
  • Watch for powerlines in the vicinity of the limb you are planning on cutting. Only a tree services expert can safely remove limbs close to powerlines.
  • Do not use a chainsaw while on a ladder to trim your trees. Chainsaws produce a lot of power, that can cause you to lose balance and fall-off.
  • Watch for people and pets in the vicinity of the limb you are planning on cutting.

Trimming and Pruning, the Right Way

How to Prune a Tree

Lastly, after you have selected your tool and taken all the safety factors into account, take a step back and imagine how you would like the tree to look like once the trimming or pruning is completed. When ready to start cutting:

  1. Pick out all your leader limbs in the area you will be trimming or pruning.
  2. Then remove the deadwood and unnecessary limbs branching out from the leaders.
  3. For larger branches and limbs, take smaller pieces at a time, until you make it to the attachment end of the branch. To make a safe and controlled cut, start by making a 30% cut from the bottom, then finish it from the top of the branch.
  4. The attachment point of a branch has two points, Branch Bark Ridge, at the top of the attachment point, and Branch Collar, at the bottom of the attachment point.
  5. Avoid damaging the bark of the tree.
  6. When cutting, cut right outside the branch bark ridge and branch collar to avoid damage to the bark.
  7. Allow 1 or more seasons for the traces of the removed limbs to fully heal.

Once your trees are fully trimmed and pruned for health and safety, you will be able to enjoy them for many years to come worry free.

We, The Real Tree Masters Inc. Have years of experience working with thousands of clients, with all kinds of needs. We utilize all the necessary equipment and trucks to be able to hand le the largest and most complex residential and commercial projects. We take pride in our reputation in the tree services industry. Our arborists have many years of experience working all over Canada, from east to west. If you are looking for just a free over the phone or in person consultation, give us a call today and we will be happy to assist you.

We at The Real Tree Masters Inc. will be posting a new article to assist you with Choosing The Right Tree for Planting, Please stay tuned!


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