5 Signs It’s Time To Prune Your Trees
We all love trees – they offer shade in summer, beautiful fall foliage and a great look for your yard. Trees also help keep your home safe, reduce fire hazards and add to the value of your property. From time to time, trees may need pruning if they’re overgrown or if they’re crowded by other trees. Pruning will set the tree’s shape, improve fruit production and decrease fire risks.
Dead Or Diseased Branches
Over the course of millennia, trees have developed excellent defense systems against pests and diseases. However, it’s important to be aware that dead or diseased branches are an open invitation to these intruders. One way to tell if your branches are in bad shape is by looking at the bark. If a branch is sagging or has large cracks in it, this could be an indication of pests or disease that need to be addressed immediately.
Typically, the first sign your tree may need pruning is if it has broken branches. This can happen from storm damage, structural defects in the tree, or even due to an improper pruning job. A tree’s main branches are what keep the whole tree healthy and strong. If one of them breaks, it can weaken the rest of the tree and cause more damage. If a branch has been broken, it is often best to prune it out completely. This will allow it to heal faster, allowing the tree to grow new leaves and foliage. However, if the branch is not completely broken and has some healthy green wood in it, then repairing it can be a viable option. In addition, if the break is near a fruit-bearing branch, then it is often worthwhile to try to bring the fruit back in place.
Pruning thick limbs can keep them from falling over or damaging your home, landscaping and other structures on your property. When pruning thick limbs, be sure to follow a three-step cut method. This helps you dig in deep without damaging your limb or cutting yourself and it creates a callus that will help protect the bark as it grows back over the branch you are removing.
The first step in this three-step cut is to travel about 18 inches up the underside of the branch you are removing. This is the perfect spot to start the cutting process because it will prevent the branch from tearing bark off as it falls. Once you have reached this point, you can begin to cut through the top side of the limb. This will also remove the branch and leave a stub behind. Finally, cut through the branch about two to four inches beyond the branch collar, and this will be the final cut of your limb. This is the best place to make a three-part cut as it will help you create the perfect callus and it will keep your limb from rubbing against other tree limbs or wires.
A good rule of thumb is to be extra careful when pruning branches that cross other branches. This type of limb is weakly attached, and will be more likely to break in strong winds or fall off. It also may promote fungi and insect pests that can harm the tree trunk. If you need to prune a branch that crosses another, make the first cut underneath it, about 6 to 12 inches out from the trunk and one third of the way through the branch. Then, make a second cut from the top of the branch to about 3 inches further from the undercut. The last cut should be made at the collar, a small mound of tissue that resembles a raised ring around the base of the branch.
Excessive greenery on a tree is not a good thing. This can be caused by improper pruning (the wrong size leaves are removed) or by excess watering, both of which will wreak havoc on your tree’s health. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to mitigate this issue. First, do the research to determine your plants’ watering needs and stick with them. Second, consider a light touch when pruning branches. The most important step is to make sure you are pruning at the right time of year, which will ensure that the branch you remove grows back quickly and evenly!