Tree Trimming Guide in Edmonton
When considering proper tree care, it is essential to learn how to trim or prune your trees correctly and at the right time of year. Proper pruning will not only have your trees lasting longer but will ensure that they look their best. When making cuts, make sure you’re doing so safely and effectively.
Whether you’re trying to give an out of control tree a small trim or keeping a larger growing species in scale, proper pruning can improve a tree’s overall appearance. Also, consider that some trees show their attractive bark or flowers more effectively when pruned correctly. We have put together some information to understand the importance of proper tree care.
Tree Trimming Safety
Though the look of your tree is one of the most common reasons for trimming your trees, there are several other reasons to consider:
- In some circumstances, you can remove diseased branches before they infect the rest of the tree. A rule of thumb is to ensure that you dip the pruning blade in a 10 percent bleach solution between each cut to avoid spreading the disease to the rest of the tree.
- Removal of dead or broken branches before insects burrow inside and make a home.
- Trimming of branches that threaten power lines can help avoid serious issues (please contact a professional when dealing with this situation)
- Large dead or loose branches should be removed, as well as branches that could interfere with vehicles or lawnmowers.
- Remove branches that contact the house as they can cause damage on windy days.
When is a good time to trim trees
- Pruning too early can weaken trees that have just leafed out in spring. A better option is to prune in late summer and avoid any weakening.
- If looking to clean up trees for structure and form, it is best to prune after the leaves have fallen and the branches are visible and easily accessible.
- Dead branches or wood can be removed in the summer when leafless branches are easily spotted.
- Pruning for clearance should be done when branches are sagging to their lowest point.
Things to Consider When Cutting Trees
- It is crucial not to cut too close to the trunk. Flush cuts can be too large and delay the sealing of the wound.
- Do not cut too far from the trunk. Doing this leaves an ugly stub which can provide insects with an entry point. It is imperative to remove the stub so that the wound can seal.
- Cut just outside the branch collar or the swollen area where the branch meets the trunk. Within the branch, collar are chemicals that speed the formation of callus tissue that seals the wound.
3 Steps to Remove Larger Branches
When pruning trees, smaller branches are relatively easy to deal with; however, larger branches should be removed in three steps.
- Make a shallow cut on the underside of the branch, about 4-5 inches from the trunk.
- Completely cut the branch off about 2-3 inches from the initial cut. The weight of the unsupported branch will cause it to fall, but the initial cut prevents the bark from peeling down the side of the trunk.
- Make a final cut to remove the remaining stub. Make this cut just outside the branch collar.
When looking to cut back stems, avoid cutting halfway between buds as this leaves an extended portion of the stem to wither and die, which is unsightly and invites insects and disease.
Instead, cut about 1/4 inch above a bud facing the direction you wish new growth to follow, and angle the cut in the same direction.
Many types of trees can have forked trunks which are less stable than a single trunk. Often, the forked trunks can grow together, leaving a hollow cavity where rot and insects can cause the tree to weaken. At some point, the tree will split, or one of the trunks will break off.
Removing one of the forked trunks while the tree is still young can prevent these issues. Cut the stump on a slight angle as close to ground level as possible. Doing this will allow rainwater to drain off the stump and not pool or cause issues with rot. It is also essential not to damage the bark on the remaining trunk.
When too many branches get bunched together, it can become unsightly and smaller, more undesirable branches may interfere with the development of larger branches.
By thinning the lateral shoots, the remaining branches will be allowed to get better air circulation, water, and sunlight.
Edmonton has been known to experience extreme weather, and when a branch breaks off in the wind, a stub is left behind. The dead remnant or stub prevents a protective callus from closing the wound and provides insects with a potential entry point. Once insects make their way inside, moisture and rot can take over.
The discoloured wood in the stub shows the damage the tree sustained as the rot spread. When cutting off an old stub, be cautious not to cut into the swollen callus tissue forming at the base of the stub as it is needed to seal the wound.
Applying a seal over pruning cuts or even broken branches is no longer necessary. Allowing a wound to breathe is the best way for it to heal faster.
Tree pruning in Edmonton is necessary to ensure that your tree has a long and healthy life. Make sure to call an expert at Arbor Man Tree Care to have your trees taken care of by a Certified Arborist!