Trees are a significant part of the urban environment as they provide us with oxygen, shade, and enhance to our well-being. For these reasons, it is important to care for the trees that are around and support us through correct pruning practices. These practices influence a tree’s ability to cause damage while improving health and attractiveness. When, where, and how to prune should be determined by a certified arborist since the health of a tree could be influenced by these actions.
It is important to reduce the risk of tree related damage, through preventative maintenance, as the consequences could be severe. Without yearly preventive maintenance, trees have the potential to cause damage to people, property, vehicles, homes, roadways, and power lines. Preventative maintenance involves pruning away weak, congested, diseased, or dead branches. These branches are likely to break off the tree during a strong storm and cause destruction. Over-extended branches or limbs overhanging roofs, evestroughs, skylights, driveways, and vehicles should also be inspected for necessary pruning. During the winter, it is possible for ice to collect on branches. This added weight could cause branches to break and fall onto people or property below. Pruning branches that compete for the same space in trees is also useful as this reduces the amount of crossing and rubbing branches that could cause rot over time if they continue to overlap.
Aesthetically, attractive trees help to add property value. Through proper pruning practices involving canopy shaping and levelling and thinning the tree interior the appearance, health, and structural integrity of your trees will greatly improve. In urban environments where there is limited growing space, pruning trees at a young age will prevent out-of-control growth, thus reducing the potential for future property, roadway, or pedestrian damage, while also encouraging proper growth habits.
Depending on branch size, tree pruning can be dangerous and it is best to leave this type of work to a professional. Also, the arborist will know the correct time to prune as timing can greatly influence tree health. For example, maple, birch, and walnut trees, if pruned late in the winter, will weep sap at the wound, causing the tree to potentially weaken. Pruning in spring or summer months for lilac and magnolia trees makes corrective pruning easier as the arborist can look at the existing foliage and determine dead, congested, or limbs with extra weight. By pruning away these lower quality branches, higher quality branches will be able to flourish and produce the most growth.
When pruning diseased branches, it is important to reduce the possibility of spreading diseases to other trees by first pruning the affected branches then properly disinfecting the tools before working on the next tree.
It is best to prune trees at major branch intersections, while avoiding damaging the limb or trunk. It is easier for trees to heal wounds after being pruned at these areas. It is not recommended to cut the tree in half or remove the full treetops as this can result in improper growth while also preventing proper healing of the pruned area.
To conclude, tree pruning has a variety of benefits that involve damage prevention, prolonging tree life. Fruit trees are best pruned while dormant, just before growth begins. Pruning fruit trees in the winter is commonly practiced by orchards since it is known that when spring arrives, the fruit tree uses its stored energy to heal the wounds and produce new growth.
It is recommended to consult an arborist prior to pruning your own trees.
If wanting to lessen growth next year, prune trees in late winter or early spring. This is especially helpful for mature trees since the water and nutrients required by the tree would be reduced, as there would be less growth to support (AGR).
Increase air circulation through the tree both for the trees benefit and to increase air flow into the landscape. More sunlight gets through the tree which is beneficial for lawn growth.
Trees are an extremely important part of the urban environment. They provide oxygen and shade, and contribute to feelings of well-being and improved mental health.
Trees that prefer pruning after blooming include the lilac and magnoalia as well as others.