The trees that grow on your property and around your neighborhood, especially if you live in an older area, are likely one of the things that drew you to buying a house in that particular location. There’s nothing quite like a street filled with gorgeous, mature, vibrant trees.
You’d probably be devastated if one or more of those remarkable trees disappeared one day. And while its true that trees have a certain life cycle and eventually die, just like us, there are many things you can do to promote the health and longevity of the trees on your property.
What’s the number one thing you should be doing for your trees at every stage of growth? Pruning.
In this article you’ll learn what is tree pruning, the many benefits, why you shouldn’t forget about young trees, and how often to prune your trees.
What is Tree Pruning?
Tree pruning is an essential part of tree care and maintenance. It involves the removing dead, diseased or other problematic branches from a tree with a focus on promoting the overall health of the tree.
While many people only prune in reaction to damage or disease, regular clearing can prevent a variety of hazards and even encourage growth. The following are just a few ways tree pruning can benefit your property’s landscape.
Benefits of Tree Pruning
Thinning out a tree’s canopy is essential to keeping it healthy. Careful pruning can be used as a simple method to prevent:
- Insects drawn by diseased or dead branches
- Co-dominant branches (two branched growing from the same origin point) that may inhibit a tree’s growth or ability to withstand a storm
- Weak wood such as water or root sprouts that cannot endure harsh weather
- Tangled or crowded branches that impede growth and rub against one another, causing damage
Trees grow throughout their lifespan, often in a fashion not compatible for long-term health. Pruning can be a pre-emptive measure to avoid the pitfalls of more natural growth.
Many times pruning only occurs when a canopy poses a danger to persons or property, or has already caused damage. This is unfortunate, since proper tree care can help owners avoid costly cleanup and repair.
We remove dead or dying branches before they fall and damage your property or other plants. Poor branch unions that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye, can lead to branch or stem failure.
In addition to clearing away dead branches that can fall, pruning can also shape trees to steer their branches away from problematic areas. For example, trimming canopies that are close to telephone wires or powerlines can keep them from becoming tangled.
When branches get out of hand, a yard can appear wild and unkempt. Strategically pruning your trees can create a neat appearance that you and your guests can enjoy. If you’re especially creative, you may be interested in shaping techniques that produce topiaries or boxwood. Tree pruning professionals have a variety of techniques, many of them developed over hundreds of years, that can turn your landscaping into living art.
Think of us as an exterior designer. With an artful eye we can shape your trees to flow with the architecture of your home and landscape.
Fruit and Flowers
If your tree has the potential to produce fruit, pruning can encourage a larger harvest. Trimming can prompt a tree to create growth spurs, which are the source of flowers and fruit. Once the fruit appears, further pruning during the summer months can improve your crop, as clearing crowded branches prevents decay and disease, and encourages faster ripening.
Save a Storm Damaged Tree
You’ve weathered the storm but your trees may not have fared as well. We will take care of that obvious problem you’ve spotted and work to make sure there are no other hidden dangers.
Baseline for Effective Disease Monitoring
With mature trees its especially helpful to have a thorough pruning done and have all of the deadwood removed. This aides monitoring your trees for any large pockets of dead wood that may show up in the coming years.
Structural Pruning of Young Trees
Older and mature trees aren’t the only ones who need regular pruning to remain healthy. By focusing on pruning young trees you can avoid many of the problems that necessitate future expensive visits from arborists like us!
We highly recommend pruning young trees for the following reasons:
- Cost effective. (typically under $350). As trees get larger and stretch their branches over homes and near power lines it becomes very difficult and time consuming to prune out issues that could have been remedied early in life.
- Improved aesthetics. We can make your tree even more beautiful right from the start!
- Improved long-term health. Pruning young trees allows us to make small cuts and therefore small wounds that will have a large long term impact on heath and structure.
- Identify trouble areas early. Left unchecked, certain trees tend to have bad habits. We are able to identify these areas early and fix them.
- Cheaper to prune out issues now than deal with expensive failures later. Certified Arborists will catch planting errors or disease issues early on This is BIG, it takes many years of continual education and experience to properly identify root and planting issues. At ECO we specialize in Root collar excavation using advanced non harmful techniques to uncover your tress root system and then correct root issue before its permanent.
How Often to Prune Trees
Most pruning sought by homeowners is reactive tree pruning, sparked by the appearance of a dead branch or suspicion of disease. While hazard mitigation is certainly a good reason to prune a mature tree, most mature trees benefit from pruning every 3-5 years. A certified arborist can evaluate your trees during a free consultation and help you build out a plan for pruning and caring for your trees at every stage of growth.
Who Should Prune Your trees?
We’ll cut right to the chase – not you! Unless you’re a certified arborist, of course.
Trust us when we say there is a lot of bad pruning out there in the world. When we drive around town we often wince at the terrible things done to some of the beautiful trees in our city by homeowners and unskilled tree company employees.
We highly recommend consulting with an ISA certified arborist in your area for all of your tree care needs. We share exactly why that’s so important in this article.
If you live outside of our service area (Madison, WI) you can search for a certified arborist here.
If you live in the Madison, WI area you’re in luck because Eco Tree Company’s certified arborists offer tree pruning in addition to other tree care services. With a passion for arboriculture, our professionals use research-based methods to keep your plants healthy. To get a quote, call us at (608) 886-0626 or contact us online.