If you own a tree, caring for it is an excellent way of ensuring you continue to enjoy the benefits for years. Pruning is an important part of proper tree care and preventative maintenance. You can consider this as a haircut for your trees.
In pruning, you get rid of all damaged ends while creating an aesthetically pleasing outdoor shade and ensuring the tree has a healthy base to support growth. Regularly pruning your tree also protects your property and loved ones from pest control or risk of injury.
Just how important is tree pruning? Here are seven reasons why you should prune your trees.
The benefits of pruning trees
Promoting tree growth
Tree pruning is an excellent way of promoting new growth in your trees. During the pruning process, you get rid of unhealthy and unwanted branches and leaves taking up resources. This way, the tree is able to dedicate more of these resources to the healthy parts of the plant. The healthy branches will experience better growth while encouraging regrowth to the pruned parts to balance the top of the tree with the root system.
The more you prune, the lusher the tree grows, improving its aesthetic appeal and health.
Pruning encourages fruit production
Unpruned dead tree limbs are perfect breeding grounds for insects and can cause tree disease. If you have a fruit tree that is not bearing fruit, chances are it is because it has not been pruned in a while and is probably sick. Pruning off the dead parts of a fruit tree will help rid the three of infected and dead branches and encourage spurs growth. The healthy tree will continue to grow more spurs, which results in a bountiful harvest.
Pruning helps to treat diseases
Like humans, trees can also get sick, and the diseases spread quickly between branches and even to neighboring plants. One way to prevent felling an infected tree is to prune out infected parts before spreading. Pruning is especially ideal if a tree has a fungal infection.
For instance, powdery mildew, common fungi groups, quickly spread amongst trees. While it may not kill the tree, it can disfigure the larger part of the vegetation in your yard in a short time. In such a scenario, pruning out the affected branches is the best way to prevent the spread.
Pruning is a safety precaution
While trees are wonderful for the environment and your home’s aesthetic value, they can pose a significant safety risk when not kept free of damage and infections. Dead tree branches are a hazard that can damage your property and even hurt your loved ones. During strong winds, dead or infected branches can easily detach from the trunk and fall on the property or a person at a moment’s notice. This risk is not solely limited to bad weather and can happen anytime.
Unmaintained trees become dangerous when the branches are left to hack over the roof or electric lines. If the root system growth is poor, the tree may fall at some point, posing a catastrophic danger and risk of damage. The best way to avert such a crisis is by ensuring your trees are pruned to maintain their health.
Pruning is an excellent way of shaping your trees
Besides keeping a tree healthy and maintaining safety around your home, pruning can also be done for aesthetic reasons. You can prune your trees to different shapes to improve your home’s curb appeal. This is a common practice done in professional gardens using topiary and pollarding.
Pollarding is done to reduce the height of a tree to promote a denser foliage. On the other hand, topiary is done to give shrubs and trees an ornamental shape, like spherical boxwoods. Our local tree service in Tallahassee specializes in decorative pruning to give your trees an appealing appearance.
Removal of unwanted growth
While pruning is done to promote growth, it can also be done to remove unwanted growth on a tree. Whether you want to get rid of part of the root system or visible foliage, pruning is an excellent option. You can use pruning to limit how much a tree grows or get rid of foliage that may be blocking your view. You can also use pruning to:
- Get rid of roots damaging the sidewalk
- Get rid of roots obstructing the underground pipe system
- Get rid of branches that have grown too close to the house
- Get rid of branches that are not aesthetically pleasing
- Get rid of branches encroaching on power lines
Generally, if you do not like a particular growth pattern on your tree, pruning is the best way to correct it.
Pruning can save you money
While DIY pruning and trimming are ideal for any homeowner, it can get dangerous when dealing with larger trees. The average cost of pruning trees is around $450 but can go as low as $200 when trees are properly cared for. This is more affordable compared to the cost of completely getting rid of a sick or damaged tree. Tree removal costs can go upwards of $1200 without including the cost of planting a new tree and treating other infected plants. Pruning is the best way to avoid the extra costs.
How to prune trees properly
Once a tree is established in a yard, it will require occasional care, which ensures you enjoy the benefits of pruning.
To properly prune an infected tree brunch, you should start by pruning size branches back to the trunk, leaving the collar intact. Leaving the collar untouched ensures proper healing of the tree wound.
When you want to prune larger tree limbs more than one and a half inches in diameter, you will need to use a pruning saw, or a bow saw for the 3-part cut.
- Make the first cut under the branch, ensuring it is between 6 and 12 inches from the trunk, and make the cut only up to a third way through.
- The second cut should be made 3 inches from the first one facing the end of the branch. This will prompt the branch to fall as you cut.
- Finish by cutting the remaining stub back to the collar
A pruning saw, or hand pruner is ideal for removing smaller branches as they allow you to cut back to an intersecting branch or outward-facing bud.
Avoid covering pruning cuts using tree paint. Sealing tree wounds or cuts does not speed up healing and may promote decay.
The bottom line
Proper pruning is the best way to ensure the health of your trees while still enjoying the many benefits of pruning. We believe that this article has enlightened you on the importance of pruning and how to do so properly. You can contact us for professional tree pruning services to maintain the excellent health and aesthetic value of your trees.