Careless pruning can be damaging – Avoid these common pruning mistakes for optimal tree health!
Have you ever noticed a tree that resembles something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book or looks like it’s been used as an improvised coat rack? In most cases, this is the result of careless pruning methods that can drastically alter and even kill the tree.
If you live in the Clarence area of New York and want to avoid costly pruning mistakes, then this is for you. We’ve noticed that many homeowners as well as untrained tree trimmers make these same common errors over and over again. Sadly, some of these blunders can be irreversible – but we can fix others afterwards. No matter what though, it’s far better to get it right from the start! Therefore, our advice: never let anyone do any of those detrimental practices on your trees!
The Benefits of Regular Tree Pruning for Healthier, More Beautiful Trees
Have you ever looked out your window and noticed the captivating symmetry of a tall, lush tree? Chances are that beauty wasn’t born overnight – it’s been nurtured to perfection through years of careful pruning by experienced professionals. Yes, professional tree pruning is an art as well as a science; but if not done properly, it can lead to irreparable damage which weakens the structure and longevity of its life.
So before investing in someone who will take on this delicate task for you — or worse yet attempting it yourself — let us explain what NOT TO DO so that you don’t end up with costly cuts (literally). After all – once those branches have been removed they aren’t coming back! If you’re considering taking care of your trees’ health through proper pruning techniques then we’d love to chat about how best to accomplish this mission successfully.
Don’t Make These Pruning Mistakes!
1. Bad Cuts
If your trees have been pruned incorrectly, you’ll be able to tell with even just one branch removed. Here are a few bad types of cuts that indicate improper pruning:
Stub Cuts leave a piece of the branch without allowing it time to heal and ward off diseases; Flush Cuts remove the enlarged area around the base which prevents healing; Heading Cuts take away pieces randomly letting in pests and weakening it overall. Additionally, sometimes an undersized twig may remain at the end of a major structural limb.
Professional pruners with the necessary experience and skill-set should be left to make these cuts – not you.
2. Topping A Tree
Topping trees is a practice that should have been forgotten long ago, yet it still persists. Unfortunate homeowners may think this is the proper way to prune their large trees – it’s not! Hiring tree care services who advertise topping as one of their customer offerings can be disastrous for your valuable trees and should absolutely be avoided in all circumstances.
Have you ever wondered why topping a tree is so detrimental? This practice involves cutting off the main trunk, or branch leader of a tree at an arbitrary point below its peak for height reduction purposes. The trunk/branch leader plays an integral part in creating structure and balance as it emerged from the very first sprout, grew to an apex and produced lateral (side) branches that form the crown. Topping inhibits this growth pattern which produces undesirable results when attempting to achieve aesthetically pleasing trees through proper maintenance.
When a tree is topped, it usually reacts by producing an extensive number of “watersprouts”— weakly attached and lanky branches that sprout all along the ends or length of its initial limbs. This decline in appearance is a natural reaction to loss due to the absence of its main structural branch.
Topping can lead to a number of additional tree maintenance tasks in the future. These suckering branches must be pruned from the tree so that it remains under control and aesthetically pleasing, but they are also vulnerable to strong winds and may break off unpredictably. Taking this into consideration is critical for ensuring long-term health of your trees!
A professional pruner understands that topping cuts are rarely suitable, except in extremely dire circumstances. Instead, they will carefully select a lateral branch along the trunk of the tree and make an appropriate pruning cut above it. This process then allows for the lateral branch to take over as its leader and grow outward with ease! Of course, knowing which species need what types of cutting is key – this is where their experience comes into play!
3. Pruning Big Branches
For large tree branches with diameters of 3 or 4 inches and larger, pruning can cause too much damage to the tree. To avoid this sort of harm and encourage healing, it’s best to trim back such oversized branches up to the trunk so that its branch collar can effectively seal off any wound incurred. Depending on a given trees crown and branching pattern, this method may prove necessary in order for you to successfully prune your foliage.
Homeowners should take extra caution before attempting to remove any large branches on their own, as there are many reasons why it may be unsafe.
- Securing safety should be your top priority before pruning. If the branch you wish to cut is unreachable from the ground, do not attempt to climb into the tree with tools! Even a tripod orchard ladder may become unsteady while using pruning instruments; therefore, do not take risks and stay safe.
- Liability – Safety should always be your primary concern when pruning. The risk of falling or harming yourself with heavy, sharp tools is very real and can lead to damages to both your property and that of others. Before you begin any project involving pruning, make sure you have the right coverage from an insurance provider so that you are fully protected in case of injury or damage.
- Risk of Injury – Heavy branches frequently fall during pruning, and DIY-ers without the correct equipment often simply toss them to the ground. Neither you nor your neighbors are safe from potential harm caused by falling limbs. Your tree is not exempt either; they easily break other branches while hidden bark may be torn away as they plummet downwards. Don’t forget that even the lawn or planting beds beneath can become victims of these hazardous falls too!
- Disposal – When you stumble upon those big branches, they may look small and manageable. But then when you try to pick them up, it’s a whole different story! Without the right means of disposal, all that wood will be left behind in your yard forming an unexpected piece of art.
Unfortunately, we often witness DIY enthusiasts attempt to cut off large branches through pruning as a result of which serious accidents and fatalities have occurred. It is one of the most hazardous blunders we come across in this regard.
Before you attempt to prune the large branch on your own, consider all the advantages that come with hiring a professional team. From using specialized equipment designed for this task, having an experienced crew who can make precise cuts that facilitate quicker healing of plants and trees, liability insurance coverage in case of any damage caused while they work on your property; not to mention swift removal of branches from your premises—these are just some benefits associated with getting professional help when it comes to pruning!
4. Lion Tailing
Have you ever seen a tree with an incomplete, sparse canopy, too many exposed interior branches, and foliage only at the tips of its branches? Chances are that this is “lion tailing”. This phenomenon isn’t something accomplished by professional tree pruners – instead it’s caused by improper trimming techniques. Lion tailing should never be used as an alternative to crown cleaning or reduction.
Professional tree-care providers understand the consequences of lion tailing and, therefore, avoid it. Lion tailed trees are unnatural looking and can actually damage more than they help. When a branch is pruned with this method, stress leaves sprout up across the trunk and branches as a response to the trauma inflicted by this tactic – these reaction sprouts are not evidence of health but rather that energy reserves have been depleted in order to cope with harm done to its branches. Additionally, crown weight will be redistributed unevenly when using this technique which creates potential safety hazards down the line. Finally, too many foliage layers may be removed during lion tailing thus compromising photosynthesis while leaving exposed areas vulnerable from wind or sun exposure.
Don’t forget, winter storms in Clarence, New York and surrounding Buffalo area can be accompanied by fierce winds and frozen snow. Trees are resilient to the weather but if their branches have been trimmed too drastically (also known as lion tailed), they no longer possess that natural flexibility and become more susceptible to storm damage. To protect your trees during this time of year, avoid over-trimming them!
5. Removing Too Much Of A Tree’s Crown
It is a common mistake for homeowners to remove as much of the tree’s crown as possible when they haven’t pruned in some time. However, “more” may not always be better in this case – even perfect pruning cuts are still wounds that can stress your trees! Pruning should be an ongoing process attuned to each tree’s age and health needs. A professional will evaluate the entire tree before deciding on how little to trim off so you can achieve your desired goals without putting too much strain on it.
When pruning a tree, never remove more than 5-20% of the crown at once. Doing so causes immense stress to the tree and can cause it to produce weak suckering branches in unsuitable areas. This will not only waste its energy reserves but also require extra effort for correction when pruning again. Moreover, trees already weakened by pests or drought may even succumb if over-pruned. The best way is to have your tree trimmed periodically instead; this helps maintain an organized crown structure while getting rid of redundant or discrepant branches with ease!
6. Damaging a Tree’s Bark
Bark damage to trees is of the utmost urgency and can be potentially fatal. To prevent pruning-related harm, never drop or toss branches through a tree’s canopy, but rather use the proper three-step method when trimming limbs instead.
All experienced pruners understand the importance of using a safe method when pruning, particularly for bigger branches. To do this, they firstly make an incision on the bottom side of the branch as a way to minimize tearing bark. Next, they cut further out than required to reduce excess weight from that part of the branch. Finally, they create another cut beyond what is known as “the collar,” which lies between a tree’s main trunk and any outside limbs – ultimately providing improved protection around each area being trimmed.
Let Us Help
Pruning is an intricate art, and if you don’t feel confident about tackling it yourself or want to correct prior pruning blunders, then contact us for help! Our professional staff has 10+ years of expertise in maintaining trees in the Clarence area and will make sure your greenery are healthy by making appropriate cuts at optimal times. Allow us to provide you with our wisdom so that your local foliage can look their best!