3 Tips for Tree Pruning Like a Professional

Failing to take care of your trees properly can lead to increased risk of insect infestation, disease, animal habitation, and possible damages to your property should it lose any dead limbs or branches. Below are three easy tips you should keep in mind when you’re considering tree trimming around your yard.

1) Know When To Prune Trees

A big part of tree pruning is knowing the best time to start. Although it might seem like it makes sense, you should never prune at the height of bloom, as this only slows down growth. The most ideal time for most trees to be pruned is in the winter, just before spring, when the trees are dormant. Be sure not to prune a newly planted tree before it’s experienced a blossom and had time to settle and adjust to the soil, or you may inhibit the tree’s growth. You can also prune after a bloom once the colors have faded if you so desire.

2) Know What To Look For

  • If you see overgrowth that has started to encroach on power lines or your home, then those branches should be your first priority to prune to avoid complications.
  • A general rule of thumb is if a branch is less than 5cm in diameter, then it’s safe to remove.
  • Take care to only trim branches that are V-shaped with narrow angles. Leave branches that have a stronger U-shaped angle alone.
  • Before you cut, look for the branch’s collar growing from the stem tissue at the bottom base of the branch. Then locate the branch ridge, which is usually on the upper surface and runs parallel to the branch angle at the stem. Make sure to always cut outside the branch ridge, angling your cut down and away from the stem and taking care not to harm the branch collar.

3) Utilize the 25% Rule

It’s called tree trimming for a reason. Just like how you don’t ask your barber for a trim and then have them proceed to shave your head bald, you don’t prune your tree and cut it off at the trunk. Never trim more than 25% of a tree, as over pruning can leave a tree susceptible to damage and disease.

Leave Tree Trimming To The Pros

While all these tree pruning tips are great for DIYers who like to get out in the yard and maintain their own property, it’s better if you leave the tree trimming up to the professional tree pruning team here at Blackhawk. Properly caring for trees takes experience, knowledge, and tools that the general public doesn’t have, which is why our ISA-certified arborists are here to help. Give us a call at (919) 369-1340 to schedule your appointment today!