What is pruning and why do we prune trees?
In short, pruning refers to the cutting of branches. The main purpose of this, is to cut and get rid of branches that are unwanted or harmful for one reason or another. First of all, let’s say that the first branches that need to be cut are the ones that are broken. As they are still absorbing nutrients, cutting them allows the nutrients to be transferred to the viable remaining branches.
In addition, a damaged branch is a gateway for insects and fungi. By cutting it properly and allowing it to heal, you can prevent an infection that can be fatal to the whole tree in the long term.
Prune areas of the tree that are very dense, too much branch density prevents air circulation, which tends to promote insect and fungal growth. Therefore, if too many branches are growing inwards, the situation will have to be remedied, the solution is to prune trees that are very dense.
In a completely different vein, let’s say that cutting branches can also be done from a purely aesthetic point of view. If you are particularly concerned about the appearance of your tree, cut down all the small branches that give it an untidy appearance.
Finally, let’s say that some branches should be cut down for safety reasons, i.e. to prevent them from touching the roof, the electrical wires or simply to prevent them from falling during inclement weather.
Rules to follow
Of course, cutting down a tree is done according to several rules in order to allow the tree to heal well, that is why we are talking about Why and When to prune trees. First of all, it is important to minimize the size of the cut as much as possible. The more a tree is pruned, the more fragile it is and therefore at risk of falling prey to fungi and insects. As a guideline, pruning should never exceed 25% of the tree’s branches.
Always keep in mind also that you should never prune more than a third of the branches that are green. If you break this rule, the tree will not be able to photosynthesize enough to grow well both in height and diameter.
Next, remember that pruning should only be done once a season to allow the tree to recover. Another rule: It is best to cut the branches before they reach a diameter of 3 cm, as this will allow them to heal more quickly. Early pruning is the best way to respect the growth of the tree.
To ensure that pruning is carried out properly, be sure to use a saw if the diameter of your branches is greater than 25 millimeters. Otherwise, curved pruning shears or shears are more appropriate. Before you start, make sure your tools are sharp.
When to prune Trees
Knowing when to prune depends largely on your goal and the objective to be achieved. As a general rule, the best time to prune is when the tree is dormant. Branch removal will not be as stressful for the trees since it is inactive. Pruning at the right time allows the branches to heal more easily, thus reducing the risk of pest infestation.
Late spring and early summer are the worst times to prune trees because that is when the leaves develop and all the tree’s energies are used for its new growth. When pruning, it is best to leave the base wider, allowing the sun to reach the base of the shrub.
If a tree needs to be pruned because it poses a threat, it is best to hire an arborist or a pruning company, such as The Real Tree Masters Inc.. Since one of the main objectives of tree pruning is personal safety, it is best to hire a professional to prune and inspect it properly for damage, pests or disease.
Here are some situations where it is recommended to use a company that offers a maintenance service for trees:
- Trees near power lines should only be pruned by a professional arborist. It’s too dangerous and risky to go near power lines.
- The felling of trees larger than 10 centimeters should be carried out by professionals.
In short, pruning is essential to the health of your shrubs and trees. However, following the advices above can protect your tree from stress and help it survive the cold season. Before carrying out any work yourself, it is best to seek professional advice.
Contact The Real Tree Masters Inc. now for more information on tree pruning and trimming tips.