It is important to have healthy trees. In order to have this, you need proper maintenance and care. This is especially important for trees in Toronto. With so many people close together, knowing the proper pruning techniques is vitally important, not just for the health of your tree, but to ensure longevity and care. Our team at Five Star Tree Services have compiled effective pruning practices that will aid in keeping your trees happy, healthy, and vibrant for many years to come.
Know Why & When to Prune
There are multiple reasons to prune a tree. It’s not just to make it look aesthetically pleasing, it is to keep it healthy too. When you prune, you should be removing dead, diseased, and damaged branches. This is going to help improve air circulation throughout the canopy of the tree, which will help to promote new growth. But you can’t prune at any time, there are specific times that will be the most beneficial and won’t hurt the tree. The bet time to prune is when the tree is dormant, typically once all the leaves have fallen off in the fall and before the leaves come out again in the spring. Pruning during this time lowers the stress put on the tree and also helps to prevent the transmission of diseases.
Know What Branches to Prune
There are certain branches that should and should not be pruned. To start, target dead, diseased, and damaged branches. You want to get rid of these because they can harbor disease and pests that can hurt the tree. The next thing you should look for and prune are branches that cross each other and rub together. These will damage the tree and eventually, the weaker branch will fall on its own if you do not remove it first. Once this is done, the structural integrity will be improved.
Caution with Over-Pruning
There is such a thing as too much pruning. If you over-prune, this can have detrimental effects on the tree, possibly killing it in the process. Trees require a certain amount of foliage to live. Your tree can get stressed if it is over-pruned, thus reducing energy production, and making it more vulnerable to diseases and pests. Which can eventually kill the tree. Therefore, finding the right balance between removing problem branches and keeping the right amount of foliage is critical.
Proper Tools & Techniques for Pruning
Just like when you go to the hairdresser, there are specific tools they use. The same thing applies for pruning trees. There are specific tools and techniques that need to be used in order to properly prune a tree and maintain its health. Using dull or the wrong tools can damage the tree unnecessarily and instead of helping it, you will end up hurting it. Having clean cuts is essential for preventing disease, as the tree can heal quickly. When you make a cut, position just outside the branch collar. This is the slightly swollen area where the trunk and branch meet. Healing will be efficient, and the risk of decay will be minimized.
Tree Size & Type Considerations
Each tree species has different growth habits, which means the pruning requirements vary for each tree. There are going to be some trees that need minimal pruning, whereas others are going to need regular pruning. If you have a large tree, it might require structural pruning. This will help to prevent the branches from getting too close to other buildings and power lines. Knowing the growth patterns of your specific trees will help you determine when and how often you need to prune them.
Young Tree Pruning
Start pruning your trees when they are young for optimum shaping and future problem prevention. Encourage one strong central leader and prune away any competing vertical branches early on, when it’s easier to do so. To create a healthier and safer mature tree, make sure to remove the lower branches regularly. This is especially helpful if your tree is overhanging on the sidewalk, as it will improve pedestrian visibility. It also helps to reduce the risk of storm damage.
Professional Arborist Consultation
Again, tree pruning can be compared to hair cutting. Sure, you can do it yourself, but there is nothing like getting a professional to get the job done. Minor pruning is easy for homeowners to accomplish but if there are any major things that need to be done, a professional arborist is best. This is usually the case when there are large branches close to utility lines, major damage from storms, or situations where the pruning is complex. Professional arborists will be able to assess the condition of your tree and come up with an appropriate and safe action plan.
How Five Star Tree Services Can Help
Pruning can be an art and a science. The professional arborists at Five Star Tree Services are knowledgeable, trained, and have the right equipment to properly prune your trees, no matter the species or size. If you need tree pruning services in Toronto, make sure to contact us today at (416) 990-3355!