how to prune treeesDo you know how to prune trees without putting the plant or yourself at risk? Properly maintained trees live longer, healthier lives. However, trimming the branches requires more than just a few hours of your time. If you want to keep your landscape looking its best, make sure you follow these tips the next time you decide to prune.

Know the Four D’s of Pruning

Removing branches may compromise the overall structure of a tree. If you trim the wrong one, you may end up with a dangerous situation on your hands. A single foul cut may result in a tree that is top-heavy, uneven, and ready to uproot in the blink of an eye. As a general rule of “green” thumb, only remove branches that fall within one of the four D’s or pruning, including:

  • Dead: A dead branch is an accident waiting to happen. Look for branches that no longer grow leaves or have dry, rotting bark.
  • Damaged: You should prune any split or cracked branches. Not only do damaged limbs prevent healthy branches from growing, but they may also fall without warning.
  • Diseased: Just like humans, trees can get sick. If you find any branches with signs of fungal or pest infestations, it’s best to remove them to keep the rest of the tree healthy.
  • Deranged: Branches should grow outward and with a sense of purpose. Remove any branches that seem to be out of place, such as rubbing or crossing branches.

Pruning 101: Less Is More

Pruning trees shouldn’t like a scene out of Edward Scissorhands. While it may tempt you to remove as many branches as possible to turn your tree into a work of art, it’s not usually the best idea. Instead, it’s better to cut as little as possible.

Thinning out a tree is sometimes necessary, but taking down too many branches may make the plant more susceptible to wind damage. How much you prune depends on the health and age of the tree. If you want to play it safe, never remove more than 20-25 percent of a tree’s live wood.

Droughts and Pruning Don’t Mix

Only well-watered trees in healthy soil can survive the stress of pruning. During times of drought, you should avoid pulling out your loppers altogether. Wait until the rainy season returns to shape the trees in your yard. The only exception is to remove dead branches that pose a safety hazard.

Leave Tree Trimming to the Pros

Trimming branches takes a lot of time and effort. Cutting without the proper training may put the health of your tree in jeopardy. It’s best to leave this tricky task to the pros. Pruning trees is just one of our many areas of expertise here at Engram’s Tree Service. With more than 25 years in the industry, you can rest assured your tree is in good hands with us.

We carefully map out and plan every cut we make. Engram’s Tree Service never removes branches without reason. Get in touch with us to schedule tree care service with our experts who know how to prune trees the right way.