How to Trim a Tree the Right Way
Getting your trees trimmed is one way of maintaining their good health while improving overall appearance and extending life expectancy. While tree trimming primarily involves removing new growth around the outer portion of the tree’s perimeter for a better aesthetic appeal, you can also do some basic pruning or removing of dead, unsightly, and insect-infested branches.
There’s a saying that goes “Trim trees anytime your saw is sharp,” and you can actually choose to do this for just getting a snip here and a snip there. But to make the most of your tree trimming activity, timing is an important factor to consider.
For instance, many flowering trees already have their flower buds set way before they bloom. Cutting off these blooms prematurely would therefore result in their inability to bloom the following season.
Once you’ve already established the right season for tree trimming, then it’s time to get hold of that tool and just trim away. Follow these steps on how to trim a tree:
1. Before starting, determine which tool you are most comfortable with. A chainsaw is perhaps the best implement for this but if you’re not experienced in using it, a pruning saw with telescopic handle will do just as well and is safer to use.
2. Look at your tree closely and determine beforehand which branches would need to be removed, both to give it a neater and more attractive shape, while also removing diseased and dead branches.
3. You might also want to give particular attention to the following branches that you see in your initial inspection: broken limbs, low hanging branches, crisscrossing limbs, those that grow too close to the main trunk, and crowding branches.
4. When doing the trimming or pruning proper, you can avoid having the bark torn by following these steps:
• Do a cut first from the bottom of the branch, about 5 inches away from the trunk and halfway through the branch you are cutting;
• Then make a second cut from the top of the trunk this time and on the outside of the initial cut;
• Lastly, make a third and final cut on the trunk side of the branch, sawing completely from top to bottom.
5. Remember to make the final cuts on the branches just above the collar, and do not use paint to cover the cut. These will help the trunk heal naturally and faster.
If your tree is heavily damaged, or is an overly large tree that would require the use of tall ladders or chain saws, it is best to leave the trimming to a professional tree arborist.